Conservation of a glycine-rich region in the prion protein is required for uptake of prion infectivity

[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S0021925818496986-main.pdf]
1-s2.0-S0021925818496986-main.pdf - Published Version (4MB) | Preview
Available under license: Creative Commons Attribution

Harrison, Christopher F, Lawson, Victoria A ORCID: 0000-0002-7362-7176, Coleman, Bradley M, Kim, Y-S, Masters, Colin L ORCID: 0000-0003-3072-7940, Cappai, Roberto ORCID: 0000-0002-9505-8496, Barnham, Kevin J ORCID: 0000-0003-1164-9465 and Hill, Andrew F ORCID: 0000-0001-5581-2354 (2010) Conservation of a glycine-rich region in the prion protein is required for uptake of prion infectivity. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 285 (26). pp. 20213-20223. ISSN 0021-9258


Prion diseases are associated with the misfolding of the endogenously expressed prion protein (designated PrPC) into an abnormal isoform (PrPSc) that has infectious properties. The hydrophobic domain of PrPC is highly conserved and contains a series of glycine residues that show perfect conservation among all species, strongly suggesting it has functional and evolutionary significance. These glycine residues appear to form repeats of the GXXXG protein-protein interaction motif (two glycines separated by any three residues); the retention of these residues is significant and presumably relates to the functionality of PrPC. Mutagenesis studies demonstrate that minor alterations to this highly conserved region of PrP C drastically affect the ability of cells to uptake and replicate prion infection in both cell and animal bioassay. The localization and processing of mutant PrPC are not affected, although in vitro and in vivo studies demonstrate that this region is not essential for interaction with PrPSc, suggesting these residues provide conformational flexibility. These data suggest that this region of PrPC is critical in the misfolding process and could serve as a novel, species-independent target for prion disease therapeutics.

Dimensions Badge

Altmetric Badge

Item type Article
DOI 10.1074/jbc.M109.093310
Official URL
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 3207 Medical microbiology
Current > Division/Research > Chancellery
Keywords prion disease, prion protein, PrP, abnormal isoform, misfolding
Citations in Scopus 24 - View on Scopus
Download/View statistics View download statistics for this item

Search Google Scholar

Repository staff login