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Propagation of Lipid-Anchored Prion Aggregates

Investigators
Baron, Gerald
Institutions
DHHS/NIH - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Start date
2011
End date
2012
Objective
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), also known as prion diseases, are a group of neurodegenerative diseases affecting a wide variety of mammals including sheep and goats (scrapie), cervid spp. (chronic wasting disease), and humans (Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease). A central event in TSE disease involves the conversion of the normal host cellular prion protein (PrPC) to a partially protease-resistant, aggregated, disease-associated isoform (PrPSc). TSE-induced pathology is usually associated with PrP-res deposition, but the mechanism of neurodegeneration is not understood.

Like prion diseases, other neurodegenerative diseases involve the deposition of pathological protein aggregates including Alzheimers and Parkinsons disease. Collectively, these diseases are termed protein misfolding diseases because they are associated with the accumulation of misfolded host proteins. Critical processes for transmission of prions between and within hosts include neuroinvasion and intercellular spread of PrPSc. The membrane association of PrP via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI)-anchor may have an important role in modulating these processes.

Our work in this project is focused on elucidating the role of GPI anchoring in modulating the aggregation and intercellular spread of aggregation-prone proteins.In 2011, we have continued experiments to investigate how membrane anchoring can allow the propagation of protein aggregates as prions.

Funding Source
Nat'l. Inst. of Allergy and Infectious Diseases
Project source
View this project
Project number
1ZIAAI001112-03
Categories
Bacterial Pathogens
Viruses and Prions
Commodities
Meat, Poultry, Game