Taking advantage of physiological proteolytic processing of the prion protein for a therapeutic perspective in prion and Alzheimer diseases

Prion. 2014 Jan-Feb;8(1):106-10. doi: 10.4161/pri.27438.


Prion and Alzheimer diseases are fatal neurodegenerative diseases caused by misfolding and aggregation of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) and the β-amyloid peptide, respectively. Soluble oligomeric species rather than large aggregates are now believed to be neurotoxic. PrP(C) undergoes three proteolytic cleavages as part of its natural life cycle, α-cleavage, β-cleavage, and ectodomain shedding. Recent evidences demonstrate that the resulting secreted PrP(C) molecules might represent natural inhibitors against soluble toxic species. In this mini-review, we summarize recent observations suggesting the potential benefit of using PrP(C)-derived molecules as therapeutic agents in prion and Alzheimer diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / metabolism*
  • Alzheimer Disease / therapy
  • Humans
  • PrPC Proteins / metabolism*
  • Prion Diseases / metabolism*
  • Prion Diseases / therapy
  • Proteolysis


  • PrPC Proteins