Prion protein in virus infections
influenza A virus
reactive oxygen species
The normal cellular prion protein, designated PrPC, is a membrane glycoprotein expressed most abundantly in brains, particularly by neurons, and to a lesser extent in non-neuronal tissues including lungs. Conformational conversion of PrPC into the amyloidogenic isoform is a key pathogenic event in prion diseases. We recently found that PrPC has a protective role against infection with influenza A viruses (IAVs) in mice by reducing reactive oxygen species in the lungs after infection with IAVs. The anti-oxidative activity of PrPC is probably attributable to its function to activate anti-oxidative enzyme Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase, or SOD1, through regulating Cu content in lungs infected with IAVs. Oxidative stress could play a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of a wide range of viral infections. Here, we introduce our and others’ studies on the role of PrPC in viral infections, and raise the attractive possibility that PrPC might be a novel target molecule for development of anti-oxidative therapeutics against not only IAV infection but also other viral infections.
DNA and Cell Biology
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Final publication is available from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers https://doi.org/10.1089/dna.2018.4402