α-Synuclein Amyloids Hijack Prion Protein to Gain Cell Entry, Facilitate Cell-to-Cell Spreading and Block Prion Replication

Suzana Aulić, Lara Masperone, Joanna Narkiewicz, Elisa Isopi, Edoardo Bistaffa, Elena Ambrosetti, Beatrice Pastore, Elena De Cecco, Denis Scaini, Paola Zago, Fabio Moda, Fabrizio Tagliavini, Giuseppe Legname

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The precise molecular mechanism of how misfolded α-synuclein (α-Syn) accumulates and spreads in synucleinopathies is still unknown. Here, we show the role of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in mediating the uptake and the spread of recombinant α-Syn amyloids. The in vitro data revealed that the presence of PrPC fosters the higher uptake of α-Syn amyloid fibrils, which was also confirmed in vivo in wild type (Prnp +/+) compared to PrP knock-out (Prnp -/-) mice. Additionally, the presence of α-Syn amyloids blocked the replication of scrapie prions (PrPSc) in vitro and ex vivo, indicating a link between the two proteins. Indeed, whilst PrPC is mediating the internalization of α-Syn amyloids, PrPSc is not able to replicate in their presence. This observation has pathological relevance, since several reported case studies show that the accumulation of α-Syn amyloid deposits in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients is accompanied by a longer disease course.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10050
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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