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PLoS Pathog. 2015 Apr 14;11(4):e1004832. doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004832. eCollection 2015 Apr.

Structural determinants of phenotypic diversity and replication rate of human prions.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America; Department of Neurology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America; National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America.
2
Department of Physiology and Biophysics, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America.
3
Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America.
4
National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America.
5
Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America; National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America.

Abstract

The infectious pathogen responsible for prion diseases is the misfolded, aggregated form of the prion protein, PrPSc. In contrast to recent progress in studies of laboratory rodent-adapted prions, current understanding of the molecular basis of human prion diseases and, especially, their vast phenotypic diversity is very limited. Here, we have purified proteinase resistant PrPSc aggregates from two major phenotypes of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), determined their conformational stability and replication tempo in vitro, as well as characterized structural organization using recently emerged approaches based on hydrogen/deuterium (H/D) exchange coupled with mass spectrometry. Our data clearly demonstrate that these phenotypically distant prions differ in a major way with regard to their structural organization, both at the level of the polypeptide backbone (as indicated by backbone amide H/D exchange data) as well as the quaternary packing arrangements (as indicated by H/D exchange kinetics for histidine side chains). Furthermore, these data indicate that, in contrast to previous observations on yeast and some murine prion strains, the replication rate of sCJD prions is primarily determined not by conformational stability but by specific structural features that control the growth rate of prion protein aggregates.

PMID:
25875953
PMCID:
PMC4397081
DOI:
10.1371/journal.ppat.1004832
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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