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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2004 Aug 6;320(4):1240-6.
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Effect of metal ions on de novo aggregation of full-length prion protein.

Giese A, Levin J, Bertsch U, Kretzschmar H.

Zentrum fur Neuropathologie und Prionforschung, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat, Munchen, Germany. Armin.Giese@med.uni-muenchen.de

It is well established that the prion protein (PrP) contains metal ion binding sites with specificity for copper. Changes in copper levels have been suggested to influence incubation time in experimental prion disease. Therefore, we studied the effect of heavy metal ions (Cu(2+), Mn(2+), Ni(2+), Co(2+), and Zn(2+)) in vitro in a model system that utilizes changes in the concentration of SDS to induce structural conversion and aggregation of recombinant PrP. To quantify and characterize PrP aggregates, we used fluorescently labelled PrP and cross-correlation analysis as well as scanning for intensely fluorescent targets in a confocal single molecule detection system. We found a specific strong pro-aggregatory effect of Mn(2+) at low micromolar concentrations that could be blocked by nanomolar concentration of Cu(2+). These findings suggest that metal ions such as copper and manganese may also affect PrP conversion in vivo.
Med Hypotheses. 2004;62(3):346-53.
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Hypothesis of interference to superinfection between bovine spastic paresis and bovine spongiform encephalopathy; suggestions for experimentation, theoretical and practical interest.

Ledoux JM.

DVM, 17, rue Jules Guesde, 59390 Lys-Lez-Lannoy, France.

Sub-acute transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are diseases of little known etiology. The origin of these diseases would appear to be an abnormal protease-resistant prion protein (PrP(res)) which would be infectious by directly inducing its defective conformation to the normal native protein (PrP(C)). This hypothesis does not account for certain aspects of TSEs, such as interference to superinfection: in laboratory animals, inoculation by means of an attenuated strain with a long incubation period protects against later infection by a very virulent strain with a short incubation period. The hypothesis is put forward that there exists a possibility of interference to superinfection between neurodegenerative diseases of unknown origin, thought to be similar to TSEs, and a later infection by a TSE. The study of this interference between bovine spastic paresis (BSP) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) could be used as a model for this hypothesis. BSP is a very rare disease among cattle, of unknown etiology; it is curable, in the very early stages, by using tryptophan and especially lithium, potentiated by copper and manganese. An etiology close to that of TSEs has been suggested on several occasions. If interference could be demonstrated between BSP and BSE, interesting data would be provided concerning the etiology, the pathogenesis and possibly the treatment and prevention of these diseases. Notably, such data could lead to the development of a treatment and a prevention with lithium and amino acids precursors of neuromediators (tryptophan, tyrosine, glutamic acid, etc.), as well as the developing of a vaccine to combat TSEs, especially BSE and scrapie.

Création : 04 octobre 2004
Révision : 07 mars 2005 .

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