Axonal prion protein is required for peripheral myelin maintenance

Institute of Neuropathology, University Hospital of Zürich, Zürich, Switzerland.
Nature Neuroscience (Impact Factor: 14.98). 03/2010; 13(3):310-8. DOI: 10.1038/nn.2483
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The integrity of peripheral nerves relies on communication between axons and Schwann cells. The axonal signals that ensure myelin maintenance are distinct from those that direct myelination and are largely unknown. Here we show that ablation of the prion protein PrP(C) triggers a chronic demyelinating polyneuropathy (CDP) in four independently targeted mouse strains. Ablation of the neighboring Prnd locus, or inbreeding to four distinct mouse strains, did not modulate the CDP. CDP was triggered by depletion of PrP(C) specifically in neurons, but not in Schwann cells, and was suppressed by PrP(C) expression restricted to neurons but not to Schwann cells. CDP was prevented by PrP(C) variants that undergo proteolytic amino-proximal cleavage, but not by variants that are nonpermissive for cleavage, including secreted PrP(C) lacking its glycolipid membrane anchor. These results indicate that neuronal expression and regulated proteolysis of PrP(C) are essential for myelin maintenance.

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Available from: Carsten Wessig, Jul 16, 2015
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    • "The cellular form of the prion protein (PrP C ), encoded by the Prnp gene, is displayed on the cell surface by a glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor and serves a precursor role, undergoing a change from a mainly alpha-helical structure to the beta-rich conformation of PrP Sc during disease. Its function is debated such that it could be involved in neuroprotection (Kuwahara et al, 1999; Weise et al, 2004; Watt et al, 2005; Rangel et al, 2007), copper homeostasis (Pauly & Harris, 1998; Herms et al, 1999; Millhauser, 2004, 2007), signal transduction (Mouillet-Richard et al, 2000; Spielhaupter & Schatzl, 2001; Chiarini et al, 2002) or peripheral myelin maintenance (Nishida et al, 1999; Bremer et al, 2010). In structural terms, PrP C is composed of a flexible N-terminal region (including a charged patch), two hexarepeats, five tandem repeats of eight amino acids forming an octarepeat region (OR), a hydrophobic linker region sometimes referred to as the 'HD' (hydrophobic domain) and a C-terminal globular domain (Fig 1A). "
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    ABSTRACT: The cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) comprises a natively unstructured N-terminal domain, including a metal-binding octarepeat region (OR) and a linker, followed by a C-terminal domain that misfolds to form PrP(S) (c) in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. PrP(C) β-endoproteolysis to the C2 fragment allows PrP(S) (c) formation, while α-endoproteolysis blocks production. To examine the OR, we used structure-directed design to make novel alleles, 'S1' and 'S3', locking this region in extended or compact conformations, respectively. S1 and S3 PrP resembled WT PrP in supporting peripheral nerve myelination. Prion-infected S1 and S3 transgenic mice both accumulated similar low levels of PrP(S) (c) and infectious prion particles, but differed in their clinical presentation. Unexpectedly, S3 PrP overproduced C2 fragment in the brain by a mechanism distinct from metal-catalysed hydrolysis reported previously. OR flexibility is concluded to impact diverse biological endpoints; it is a salient variable in infectious disease paradigms and modulates how the levels of PrP(S) (c) and infectivity can either uncouple or engage to drive the onset of clinical disease. © 2015 The Authors. Published under the terms of the CC BY 4.0 license.
    EMBO Molecular Medicine 02/2015; 7(3). DOI:10.15252/emmm.201404588 · 8.25 Impact Factor
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    • "The most studied phenotype of Prnp −/− mice is myelin degeneration . This phenotype is seen in both type 1 and type 2 Prnp −/− mice (Nishida et al., 1999; Baumann et al., 2007; Bremer et al., 2010). The myelin degeneration phenotype is caused by a deficiency of PrP C , suggesting that myelin maintenance may be a representative physiological function of PrP C . "
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    ABSTRACT: Elucidation of prion protein (PrP) functions is crucial to fully understand prion diseases. A major approach to studying PrP functions is the use of PrP gene-knockout (Prnp-/-) mice. So far, six types of Prnp-/- mice have been generated, demonstrating the promiscuous functions of PrP. Recently, other PrP family members, such as Doppel and Shadoo, have been found. However, information obtained from comparative studies of structural and functional analyses of these PrP family proteins do not fully reveal PrP functions. Recently, varieties of Prnp-/- cell lines established from Prnp-/- mice have contributed to the analysis of PrP functions. In this mini-review, we focus on Prnp-/- cell lines and summarize currently available Prnp-/- cell lines and their characterizations. In addition, we introduce the recent advances in the methodology of cell line generation with knockout or knockdown of the PrP gene. We also discuss how these cell lines have provided valuable insights into PrP functions and show future perspectives.
    Frontiers in Cell and Developmental Biology 01/2015; 2(1):1-18. DOI:10.3389/fcell.2014.00075
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    • "Extensive bidirectional signaling between axons and myelinating glia regulates this relationship. The maturation of axons and their long-term survival both depend on the presence of myelin [11] . in turn, the proliferation, migration, survival, and differentiation of myelinating glia require axon-derived signals [12] , and the long-term maintenance of the myelin sheath also depends on axonal signals [13] . "
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    ABSTRACT: The precise and coordinated production of myelin is essential for proper development and function of the nervous system. Diseases that disrupt myelin, including multiple sclerosis, cause significant functional disability. Current treatment aims to reduce the inflammatory component of the disease, thereby preventing damage resulting from demyelination. However, therapies are not yet available to improve natural repair processes after damage has already occurred. A thorough understanding of the signaling mechanisms that regulate myelin generation will improve our ability to enhance repair. in this review, we summarize the positive and negative regulators of myelination, focusing primarily on central nervous system myelination. Axon-derived signals, extracellular signals from both diffusible factors and the extracellular matrix, and intracellular signaling pathways within myelinating oligodendrocytes are discussed. Much is known about the positive regulators that drive myelination, while less is known about the negative regulators that shift active myelination to myelin maintenance at the appropriate time. Therefore, we also provide new data on potential negative regulators of CNS myelination.
    Neuroscience Bulletin 04/2013; 29(2):199-215. DOI:10.1007/s12264-013-1322-2 · 1.83 Impact Factor
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