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Prion. 2020 Dec;14(1):95-108. doi: 10.1080/19336896.2020.1729074.

The role of cellular prion protein in lipid metabolism in the liver.

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Department of Neurology, Clinical Dementia Center, University Medical Center Göttingen and German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Göttingen, Germany.
Departments of Gastroenterology Endocrinology, University Medical Center Göttingen, Göttingen, Germany.
Network Center for Biomedical Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, (CIBERNED), Institute Carlos III, Hospitalet De Llobregat, Spain.


Cellular prion protein (PrPC) is a plasma membrane glycophosphatidylinositol-anchored protein and it is involved in multiple functions, including neuroprotection and oxidative stress. So far, most of the PrPC functional research is done in neuronal tissue or cell lines; the role of PrPC in non-neuronal tissues such as liver is only poorly understood. To characterize the role of PrPC in the liver, a proteomics approach was applied in the liver tissue of PrPC knockout mice. The proteome analysis and biochemical validations showed an excessive fat accumulation in the liver of PrPC knockout mice with a change in mRNA expression of genes linked to lipid metabolism. In addition, the higher Bax to Bcl2 ratio, up-regulation of tgfb1 mRNA expression in PrPC knockout mice liver, further showed the evidences of metabolic disease. Over-expression of PrPC in fatty acid-treated AML12 hepatic cell line caused a reduction in excessive intracellular fat accumulation; shows association of PrPC levels and lipid metabolism. Therefore, based on observation of excessive fat globules in the liver of ageing PrPC knockout mice and the reduction of fat accumulation in AML12 cell line with PrPC over-expression, the role of PrPC in lipid metabolism is described.


PrPC; ingenuity pathway analysis; liver; non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; proteomics

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