Prion diseases, also called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are a group of fatal neurodegenerative conditions that affect humans and a wide variety of animals. There is no therapeutic or prophylactic approach against prion diseases available at present. The causative infectious agent is the prion, also termed PrPSc, which is a pathological conformer of the cellular prion protein PrPC. Passive immunisation studies with PrPC-specific antibodies indicated that immunotherapeutic strategies directed against PrPC can prevent prion disease. In this review, putative mechanisms of antibody-mediated prion inactivation, as well as active immunisation strategies, are discussed. Special attention is given to the problem of immunological self-tolerance against PrP.
"DNA AND CELL BIOLOGY Volume 29, Number 3, 2010 ª Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Pp. 121–131 DOI: 10.1089=dna.2009.0940 Aguzzi, 2004; Buchholz et al., 2006; Bade and Frey, 2007; Mü ller-Schiffmann and Korth, 2008; Federoff, 2009; Nicoll and Collinge, 2009; Sakaguchi, 2009; Sakaguchi et al., 2009 "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prion diseases (e.g., Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans) are always fatal neurodegenerative disorders characterized by conversion of the ubiquitous cellular prion protein (PrP(c)) into a pathological conformer. Immunological strategies are considered as promising prophylactic or therapeutic approaches but, unfortunately, vaccination attempts until now have been very disappointing in wild-type animals because of immune tolerance to self PrP(c). Encouraging results have come from recent experiments carried out through genetic immunization (i.e., injection in mice of cDNA coding for murine prion protein [PrP]) or heterologous protein immunization (i.e., injection in mice of PrP from another species), albeit the levels of autoantibodies in wild-type animals remained generally low. Here we investigated whether combining the potential benefits of these two last approaches, namely using genetic immunization with the cDNA coding for a heterologous PrP, could more efficiently break immune tolerance. Wild-type mice were thus vaccinated with cDNA coding for human PrP(c), fused or unfused to a stimulatory T-cell epitope, using or not using electrotransfer of DNA. After three DNA injections, mice receiving electrotransferred DNA developed a strong immune response, oriented toward the humoral Th2 type, characterized not only by high IgG1 and IgG2a antibody titers against the heterologous human PrP(c), but also, as expected, by significant amounts of autoantibodies recognizing the native conformation of murine PrP(c) expressed on cell membranes as revealed by flow cytometry and immunofluorescence. These results hence open the way for investigation of the possible protective effects of anti-PrP(c) autoantibodies in infected mouse models. More generally, our results suggest that this original immunization strategy could be of value for circumventing tolerance to poorly immunogenic proteins.
DNA and cell biology 12/2009; 29(3):121-31. DOI:10.1089/dna.2009.0940 · 2.06 Impact Factor
"At present, there is no effective therapy for clinically affected TSE patients available, so that TSEs usually culminate in death. Another strategy was based on the finding that PrP-specific antibodies antagonize prion propagation both in vitro and in vivo (for a review, see (Buchholz et al., 2006)). It was proven, that chronically scrapie-infected neuroblastoma cells have been cured by a monoclonal antiprion protein (PrP) antibody (Enari et al., 2001). "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: 1. Prion diseases are a group of rare, fatal neurodegenerative diseases, also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), that affect both animals and humans and include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, scrapie in sheep, chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and elk, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. TSEs are usually rapidly progressive and clinical symptoms comprise dementia and loss of movement coordination due to the accumulation of an abnormal isoform (PrP(Sc)) of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(c)). 2. This article reviews the current knowledge on PrP(c) and PrP(Sc), prion replication mechanisms, interaction partners of prions, and their cell surface receptors. Several strategies, summarized in this article, have been investigated for an effective antiprion treatment including development of a vaccination therapy and screening for potent chemical compounds. Currently, no effective treatment for prion diseases is available. 3. The identification of the 37 kDa/67 kDa laminin receptor (LRP/LR) and heparan sulfate as cell surface receptors for prions, however, opens new avenues for the development of alternative TSE therapies.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Prion diseases are lethal for both humans and animals, and affected individuals die after several months following a rapid disease progression. Although researchers have attempted for decades to develop effective therapeutics for the therapy of human prion disorders, until now no efficient drug has been available on the market for transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) treatment or cure. Approximately 200 patients worldwide have died or suffer from variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Incidences for sporadic and familial CJD are approximately 1.5-2 per million per year and one per 10 million per year, respectively, in Europe. This review summarizes classical and modern trials for the development of effective anti-TSE drugs, introduces potential effective delivery systems, such as lentiviral and adeno-associated virus systems for antiprion components, including antibodies and siRNAs, and presents vaccination trials. Most of the antiprion drugs target prion protein PrP(c) and/or PrP(Sc). Alternative targets are receptors and coreceptors for PrP, that is, the 37/67-kDa laminin receptor and heparan sulfate proteoglycanes. We review clinical trials for the treatment of TSEs and describe hindrances and chances for a breakthrough in therapy of prion disorders.
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