Activation of Prn-p gene and stable transfection of Prn-p cDNA in leukemia MEL and neuroblastoma N2a cells increased production of PrP(C) but not prevented DNA fragmentation initiated by serum deprivation.
ABSTRACT Prion protein (PrP(C)) via its isoform PrP(SC) is involved in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). We observed that murine erythroleukemia (MEL) cells arrested in phase G(1) undergo transcriptional activation of Prn-p gene. Here, we explored the potential role of activation of Prn-p gene and cytosolic accumulation of PrP(C) in growth arrest, differentiation, and apoptotic DNA fragmentation by stably transfecting MEL and N2a cells with Prn-p cDNA. Stably transfected MEL cells (clones # 6, 12, 20, 38, and 42) were assessed for growth and differentiation, while clones N2a13 and N2a8 of N2a cells for growth and apoptosis by flow cytometry using Annexin V and propidium iodide (PI). Our results indicate that (a) Induction of terminal differentiation of stably transfected MEL cells led to growth arrest, activation of Prn-p gene, concomitant expression of transfected Prn-p cDNA, suppression of bax gene, cytosolic accumulation of PrP(C), and DNA fragmentation. The latter was also induced in non-differentiated MEL cells growing under serum-free conditions; (b) similarly, serum deprivation promoted growth arrest, apoptosis/necrosis associated with DNA fragmentation in parental N2a and N2a13 cells that produced relative high level of PrP(C) and not PrP(SC). These data indicate that activation of Prn-p gene and expression of transfected Prn-p cDNA in cells of both hematopoietic and neuronal origin occurred concomitantly, and led to cytosolic accumulation of PrP(C) and DNA damage induced by serum deprivation. PrP(C) production failed to protect DNA fragmentation induced by serum deprivation. The question how does PrP(C) contribute to growth arrest and DNA fragmentation is discussed.
Article: Expression of prion protein in mouse erythroid progenitors and differentiating murine erythroleukemia cells.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Prion diseases have been observed to deregulate the transcription of erythroid genes, and prion protein knockout mice have demonstrated a diminished response to experimental anemia. To investigate the role of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) in erythropoiesis, we studied the protein's expression on mouse erythroid precursors in vivo and utilized an in vitro model of the erythroid differentiation of murine erythroleukemia cells (MEL) to evaluate the effect of silencing PrP(C) through RNA interference.The expression of PrP(C) and selected differentiation markers was analyzed by quantitative multicolor flow cytometry, western blot analysis and quantitative RT-PCR. The silencing of PrP(C) expression in MEL cells was achieved by expression of shRNAmir from an integrated retroviral vector genome. The initial upregulation of PrP(C) expression in differentiating erythroid precursors was detected both in vivo and in vitro, suggesting PrP(C)'s importance to the early stages of differentiation. The upregulation was highest on early erythroblasts (16200±3700 PrP(C) / cell) and was followed by the gradual decrease of PrP(C) level with the precursor's maturation reaching 470±230 PrP(C) / cell on most mature CD71(-)Ter119(+) small precursors. Interestingly, the downregulation of PrP(C) protein with maturation of MEL cells was not accompanied by the decrease of PrP mRNA. The stable expression of anti-Prnp shRNAmir in MEL cells led to the efficient (>80%) silencing of PrP(C) levels. Cell growth, viability, hemoglobin production and the transcription of selected differentiation markers were not affected by the downregulation of PrP(C).In conclusion, the regulation of PrP(C) expression in differentiating MEL cells mimics the pattern detected on mouse erythroid precursors in vivo. Decrease of PrP(C) protein expression during MEL cell maturation is not regulated on transcriptional level. The efficient silencing of PrP(C) levels, despite not affecting MEL cell differentiation, enables created MEL lines to be used for studies of PrP(C) cellular function.PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(9):e24599. · 4.09 Impact Factor