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: 7.53). 03/2009; 5(2):e1000383. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000383
Source: PubMed


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.

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    • "Hectd2 was first identified in mouse mapping studies and confirmed as a candidate in human prion disease association studies (15). Three knockdown cell lines, each with mRNA knockdown >95%, were generated. "
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    ABSTRACT: Prion diseases (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) are fatal neurodegenerative diseases including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, scrapie in sheep and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle. While genome-wide association studies in human and quantitative trait loci mapping in mice have provided evidence for multiple susceptibility genes, few of these have been confirmed functionally. Phenotyping mouse models is generally the method of choice. However, this is not a feasible option where many novel genes, without pre-existing models, would need to be tested. We have therefore developed and applied an in-vitro screen to triage and prioritise candidate modifier genes for more detailed future studies which is faster, far more cost effective and ethical relative to mouse bioassay models. An in vitro prion bioassay, the scrapie cell assay (SCA), uses a neuroblastoma derived cell line (PK1) that is susceptible to RML prions and able to propagate prions at high levels. In this study, we have generated stable gene silencing and/or overexpressing PK1-derived cell lines to test whether perturbation of 14 candidate genes affects prion susceptibility. While no consistent differences were determined for seven genes, highly significant changes were detected for Zbtb38, Sorcs1, Stmn2, Hspa13, Fkbp9, Actr10 and Plg, suggesting that they play key roles in the fundamental processes of prion propagation or clearance. Many neurodegenerative diseases involve the accumulation of misfolded protein aggregates and "prion-like" seeding and spread has been implicated in their pathogenesis. It is therefore expected that some of these prion-modifier genes may be of wider relevance in neurodegeneration.
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Human Molecular Genetics
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    • "HECTD2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, is located on chromosome 10. SNPs in HECTD2 have been associated with variant and sporadic CJD in the British population (89). However, the -247G>A and +16066T>A polymorphisms were not associated with genetic susceptibility to sporadic CJD in a Korean population (90). "
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    ABSTRACT: Human prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that are characterized by spongiform changes, astrogliosis, and the accumulation of an abnormal prion protein (PrPSc). Approximately 10%-15% of human prion diseases are familial variants that are caused by pathogenic mutations in the prion protein gene (PRNP). Point mutations or the insertions of one or more copies of a 24 bp repeat are associated with familial human prion diseases including familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome, and fatal familial insomnia. These mutations vary significantly in frequency between countries. Here, we compare the frequency of PRNP mutations between European countries and East Asians. Associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of several candidate genes including PRNP and CJD have been reported. The SNP of PRNP at codon 129 has been shown to be associated with sporadic, iatrogenic, and variant CJD. The SNPs of several genes other than PRNP have been showed contradictory results. Case-control studies and genome-wide association studies have also been performed to identify candidate genes correlated with variant and/or sporadic CJD. This review provides a general overview of the genetic mutations and polymorphisms that have been analyzed in association with human prion diseases to date. Graphical Abstract
    Full-text · Article · May 2014 · Journal of Korean Medical Science
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    • "Murine and human HECTD2 are known to intervene in protein degradation in neurodegeneration processes (Lloyd et al., 2009). HECTX contains proteins from Cnidaria and Placozoa proteins, as well as from Filasterea, Fungi and Amoebozoa. "
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    ABSTRACT: The post-translational modification of proteins by the ubiquitination pathway is an important regulatory mechanism in eukaryotes. To date, however, studies on the evolutionary history of the proteins involved in this pathway have been restricted to E1 and E2 enzymes, while E3 studies have been focused mainly in metazoans and plants. To have a wider perspective, here we perform a genomic survey of the HECT family of E3 ubiquitin-protein ligases, an important part of this post-translational pathway, in genomes from representatives of all major eukaryotic lineages. We classify eukaryotic HECTs and reconstruct, by phylogenetic analysis, the putative repertoire of these proteins in the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA). Furthermore, we analyse the diversity and complexity of protein domain architectures of HECTs along the different extant eukaryotic lineages. Our data show that LECA had six different HECTs and that protein expansion and N-terminal domain diversification shaped HECT evolution. Our data reveal that the genomes of animals and unicellular holozoans considerably increased the molecular and functional diversity of their HECT system compared to other eukaryotes. Other eukaryotes, such as the Apusozoa Thecanomas trahens or the Heterokonta Phytophthora infestans independently expanded their HECT repertoire. In contrast, plant, excavate, rhodophyte, chlorophyte and fungal genomes have a more limited enzymatic repertoire. Our genomic survey and phylogenetic analysis clarifies the origin and evolution of different HECT families among eukaryotes and provides a useful phylogenetic framework for future evolutionary studies of this regulatory pathway.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2013 · Genome Biology and Evolution
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