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Prion. 2017 Sep 3;11(5):352-367. doi: 10.1080/19336896.2017.1367082.

Aberrant alterations of the expressions and S-nitrosylation of calmodulin and the downstream factors in the brains of the rodents during scrapie infection.

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a College of Life Science and Technology , Heilongjiang Bayi Agricultural University , Daqing , People's Republic of China.
b State Key Laboratory for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control, Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases (Zhejiang University), National Institute for Viral Disease Control and Prevention, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention , Beijing , People's Republic of China.


The aberrant alterations of calmodulin (CaM) and its downstream substrates have been reported in some neurodegenerative diseases, but rarely described in prion disease. In this study, the potential changes of Ca2+/CaM and its associated agents in the brains of scrapie agent 263K-infected hamsters and the prion infected cell line SMB-S15 were evaluated by various methodologies. We found that the level of CaM in the brains of 263K-infected hamsters started to increase at early stage and maintained at high level till terminal stage. The increased CaM mainly accumulated in the regions of cortex, thalamus and cerebellum of 263K-infected hamsters and well localization of CaM with NeuN positive cells. However, the related kinases such as total and phosphorylated forms of CaMKII and CaMKIV, as well as the downstream proteins such as CREB and BDNF in the brain of 263K-infected hamsters were decreased. Further analysis showed a remarkable increase of S-nitrosylated (SNO) form of CaM in the brains of 263K-infected hamsters. Dynamic analysis of S-nitrosylated CaM showed the SNO form of CaM abnormally increases in a time-dependent manner during prion infection. Compared with that of the normal partner cell line SMB-PS, the CaM level in SMB-S15 cells was increased, meanwhile, the downstream proteins, such as CaMKII, p-CaMKII, CREB, as well as BDNF, were also increased, especially in the nucleic fraction. No SNO-CaM was detected in the cell lines SMB-S15 and SMB-PS. Our data indicate an aberrant increase of CaM during prion infection in vivo and in vitro.


CaMKII; CaMKIV; S-nitrosylation; calmodulin; prion infection

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