HECTD2 Is Associated with Susceptibility to Mouse and Human Prion Disease

MRC Prion Unit, University College London Institute of Neurology, London, United Kingdom.
PLoS Genetics (Impact Factor: 8.17). 03/2009; 5(2):e1000383. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000383
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Prion diseases are fatal transmissible neurodegenerative disorders, which include Scrapie, Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), and kuru. They are characterised by a prolonged clinically silent incubation period, variation in which is determined by many factors, including genetic background. We have used a heterogeneous stock of mice to identify Hectd2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, as a quantitative trait gene for prion disease incubation time in mice. Further, we report an association between HECTD2 haplotypes and susceptibility to the acquired human prion diseases, vCJD and kuru. We report a genotype-associated differential expression of Hectd2 mRNA in mouse brains and human lymphocytes and a significant up-regulation of transcript in mice at the terminal stage of prion disease. Although the substrate of HECTD2 is unknown, these data highlight the importance of proteosome-directed protein degradation in neurodegeneration. This is the first demonstration of a mouse quantitative trait gene that also influences susceptibility to human prion diseases. Characterisation of such genes is key to understanding human risk and the molecular basis of incubation periods.

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: In contrast with other neurodegenerative disorders associated to protein misfolding, human prion diseases include infectious forms (also called transmitted forms) such as kuru, iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The transmissible agent is thought to be solely composed of the abnormal isoform (PrP(Sc)) of the host-encoded prion protein that accumulated in the central nervous system of affected individuals. Compared to its normal counterpart, PrP(Sc) is ß-sheet enriched and aggregated and its propagation is based on an autocatalytic conversion process. Increasing evidence supports the view that conformational variations of PrP(Sc) encoded the biological properties of the various prion strains that have been isolated by transmission studies in experimental models. Infectious forms of human prion diseases played a pivotal role in the emergence of the prion concept and in the characterization of the very unconventional properties of prions. They provide a unique model to understand how prion strains are selected and propagate in humans. Here, we review and discuss how genetic factors interplay with strain properties and route of transmission to influence disease suceptibility, incubation period and phenotypic expression in the light of the kuru epidemics due to ritual endocannibalism, the various series iatrogenic diseases secondary to extractive growth hormone treatment or dura mater graft and the epidemics of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease linked to dietary exposure to the agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.
    Infection, genetics and evolution: journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases 06/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.meegid.2014.06.010 · 3.26 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Prion diseases are a diverse group of neurodegenerative conditions, caused by the templated misfolding of prion protein. Aside from the strong genetic risk conferred by multiple variants of the prion protein gene (PRNP), several other variants have been suggested to confer risk in the most common type, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) or in the acquired prion diseases. Large and rare copy number variants (CNVs) are known to confer risk in several related disorders including Alzheimer's disease (at APP), schizophrenia, epilepsy, mental retardation, and autism. Here, we report the first genome-wide analysis for CNV-associated risk using data derived from a recent international collaborative association study in sCJD (n = 1147 after quality control) and publicly available controls (n = 5427). We also investigated UK patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (n = 114) and elderly women from the Eastern Highlands of Papua New Guinea who proved highly resistant to the epidemic prion disease kuru, who were compared with healthy young Fore population controls (n = 395). There were no statistically significant alterations in the burden of CNVs >100, >500, or >1000 kb, duplications, or deletions in any disease group or geographic region. After correction for multiple testing, no statistically significant associations were found. A UK blood service control sample showed a duplication CNV that overlapped PRNP, but these were not found in prion disease. Heterozygous deletions of a 3' region of the PARK2 gene were found in 3 sCJD patients and no controls (p = 0.001, uncorrected). A cell-based prion infection assay did not provide supportive evidence for a role for PARK2 in prion disease susceptibility. These data are consistent with a modest impact of CNVs on risk of late-onset neurologic conditions and suggest that, unlike APP, PRNP duplication is not a causal high-risk mutation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Prions consist of aggregates of abnormal conformers of the cellular prion protein (PrPC). They propagate by recruiting host-encoded PrPC although the critical interacting proteins and the reasons for the differences in susceptibility of distinct cell lines and populations are unknown. We derived a lineage of cell lines with markedly differing susceptibilities, unexplained by PrPC expression differences, to identify such factors. Transcriptome analysis of prion-resistant revertants, isolated from highly susceptible cells, revealed a gene expression signature associated with susceptibility and modulated by differentiation. Several of these genes encode proteins with a role in extracellular matrix (ECM) remodelling, a compartment in which disease-related PrP is deposited. Silencing nine of these genes significantly increased susceptibility. Silencing of Papss2 led to undersulphated heparan sulphate and increased PrPC deposition at the ECM, concomitantly with increased prion propagation. Moreover, inhibition of fibronectin 1 binding to integrin α8 by RGD peptide inhibited metalloproteinases (MMP)-2/9 whilst increasing prion propagation. In summary, we have identified a gene regulatory network associated with prion propagation at the ECM and governed by the cellular differentiation state.
    The EMBO Journal 05/2014; 33(14). DOI:10.15252/embj.201387150 · 10.75 Impact Factor

Full-text (2 Sources)

Available from
May 27, 2014