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. 2018 Jul;55(7):6182-6192.
doi: 10.1007/s12035-017-0832-8. Epub 2017 Dec 20.

An Amino Acid Substitution Found in Animals With Low Susceptibility to Prion Diseases Confers a Protective Dominant-Negative Effect in Prion-Infected Transgenic Mice

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An Amino Acid Substitution Found in Animals With Low Susceptibility to Prion Diseases Confers a Protective Dominant-Negative Effect in Prion-Infected Transgenic Mice

Alicia Otero et al. Mol Neurobiol. .

Abstract

While prion diseases have been described in numerous species, some, including those of the Canidae family, appear to show resistance or reduced susceptibility. A better understanding of the factors underlying prion susceptibility is crucial for the development of effective treatment and control measures. We recently demonstrated resistance to prion infection in mice overexpressing a mutated prion protein (PrP) carrying a specific amino acid substitution characteristic of canids. Here, we show that coexpression of this mutated PrP and wild-type mouse PrP in transgenic mice inoculated with different mouse-adapted prion strains (22 L, ME7, RML, and 301C) significantly increases survival times (by 45 to 113%). These data indicate that this amino acid substitution confers a dominant-negative effect on PrP, attenuating the conversion of PrPC to PrPSc and delaying disease onset without altering the neuropathological properties of the prion strains. Taken together, these findings have important implications for the development of new treatment approaches for prion diseases based on dominant-negative proteins.

Keywords: Canine PrP; Prion infection; Prion propagation; TSE; Transgenic mouse models; Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies.

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