Hara, Hideyuki Tokushima University Tokushima University Educator and Researcher Directory KAKEN Search Researchers
The normal cellular isoform of prion protein, designated PrPC, is constitutively converted to the abnormally folded, amyloidogenic isoform, PrPSc, in prion diseases, which include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy in animals. PrPC is a membrane glycoprotein consisting of the non-structural N-terminal domain and the globular C-terminal domain. During conversion of PrPC to PrPSc, its 2/3 C-terminal region undergoes marked structural changes, forming a protease-resistant structure. In contrast, the N-terminal region remains protease-sensitive in PrPSc. Reverse genetic studies using reconstituted PrPC-knockout mice with various mutant PrP molecules have revealed that the N-terminal domain has an important role in the normal function of PrPC and the conversion of PrPC to PrPSc. The N-terminal domain includes various characteristic regions, such as the positively charged residue-rich polybasic region, the octapeptide repeat (OR) region consisting of five repeats of an octapeptide sequence, and the post-OR region with another positively charged residue-rich polybasic region followed by a stretch of hydrophobic residues. We discuss the normal functions of PrPC, the conversion of PrPC to PrPSc, and the neurotoxicity of PrPSc by focusing on the roles of the N-terminal regions in these topics.
International Journal of Molecular Sciences
© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
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ijms_21_17_6233.pdf 478 KB
Institute of Advanced Medical Sciences