Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Subtype-Specific Regional and Temporal Regulation of ADP Ribosylation Factor-1-Dependent Rho/MLC Pathway at Pre-Clinical Stage

J Mol Neurosci. 2015 Jun;56(2):329-48. doi: 10.1007/s12031-015-0544-3. Epub 2015 Apr 21.


Small GTPases of the Arf family mainly activate the formation of coated carrier vesicles. We showed that class-I Arf1 interacts specifically with full length GPI-anchored cellular prion protein (PrP(C)). Several recent reports have also demonstrated a missing link between the endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi-complex role for proper folding, but the exact molecular mechanism is not yet fully understood. In the present study, we identified and characterized the interactive role of Arf1 during PrP(C) intracellular distribution under pathophysiological conditions. PrP(C) interaction with Arf1 was investigated in cortical primary neuronal cultures of PrP(C) wild type and knockout mice (PrP(-/-)). Arf1 and PrP(C) co-binding affinity was confirmed using reverse co-immunoprecipitation, co-localization affinity using confocal laser-scanning microscopy. Treatment with brefeldin-A modulated Arf1 expression and resulted in down-regulation and redistribution of PrP(C) into cytosolic region. In the pre-symptomatic stage of the disease, Arf1 expression was significantly downregulated in the frontal cortex in tg340 mice expressing about fourfold of human PrP-M129 with PrP null background that had been inoculated with human sCJD MM1 brain tissue homogenates (sCJD MM1 mice). In addition, the frontal cortex of CJD human brain demonstrated significant binding capacity of Arf1 protein using co-immunoprecipitation analysis. We also examined Arf1 expression in the brain of CJD patients with the subtypes MM1 and VV2 and found that it was regulated in a region-specific manner. In the frontal cortex, Arf1 expression was not significantly changed in either MM1 or VV2 subtype. Interestingly, Arf1 expression was significantly reduced in the cerebellum in both subtypes as compared to controls. Furthermore, we observed altered RhoA activity, which in turn affects myosin light-chain (MLC) phosphorylation and Arf1-dependent PI3K pathway. Together, our findings underscore a key early symptomatic role of Arf1 in neurodegeneration. Targeting the Arf/Rho/MLC signaling axis might be a promising strategy to uncover the missing link which probably influences disease progression and internal homeostasis of misfolded proteins.

MeSH terms

  • ADP-Ribosylation Factor 1 / genetics
  • ADP-Ribosylation Factor 1 / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Cerebellum / metabolism
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome / metabolism*
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome / pathology
  • Frontal Lobe / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mice
  • Myosin Light Chains / metabolism*
  • Prions / genetics
  • Prions / metabolism
  • Protein Binding
  • Signal Transduction
  • rhoA GTP-Binding Protein / metabolism*


  • Myosin Light Chains
  • Prions
  • ADP-Ribosylation Factor 1
  • rhoA GTP-Binding Protein