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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11275

Title: Characterization of Shadoo and DPPX: Two Proteins of Potential Relevance to Prion Biology
Authors: Watts, Joel Christopher
Advisor: Westaway, David
Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold
Department: Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology
Keywords: prion
neurodegenerative disease
protein folding
protein-protein interaction
mouse models
Issue Date: 1-Aug-2008
Abstract: Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders of humans and animals. The prion hypothesis states that PrPSc, a misfolded conformational isoform of the cellular prion protein (PrPC), is the sole component of the infectious particle. Many open questions exist in prion biology including the cellular role of PrPC, the potential involvement of auxiliary factors in prion replication, and the mechanism of PrPSc-induced toxicity in prion disease. The identification of novel prion-like proteins and authentic in vivo prion protein-interacting proteins would certainly assist the process of demystifying these unsolved mysteries. Accordingly, two newly-identified proteins with potential relevance to prion protein biology, Shadoo and DPPX, were selected for biochemical and functional characterization. Shadoo, a hypothetical prion-like protein, is revealed as being a glycoprotein which possesses many overlapping properties with PrPC including neuronal expression, C1-like endoproteolytic processing, and the ability to protect against apoptotic stimuli in cerebellar neurons. Shadoo loosely resembles the disordered N-terminal domain of PrPC and consistent with this notion, Shadoo appears to lack a well-defined structure. Remarkably, Shadoo levels in the brains of mice with clinical prion disease are significantly decreased suggesting that Shadoo may be inherently linked to prion replication or prion disease pathogenesis. These experiments define Shadoo as the third member of the prion protein family and, because of its functional similarities to PrPC, Shadoo may be a useful tool for deciphering the in vivo function of PrPC. DPPX, a neuronal type II transmembrane protein, is demonstrated to be the first protein capable of interacting with all three members of the prion protein family (PrPC, Doppel, and Shadoo) in vivo. Complex formation between prion proteins and DPPX appears to be mediated by multiple binding sites. When coupled with high levels of DPPX expression in cerebellar granular neurons, DPPX is a strong candidate for mediating phenotypic interactions between prion proteins in cerebellar cells. Thus, Shadoo and DPPX comprise two new entry points for studying prion proteins. Further investigation of the roles of Shadoo and DPPX in both the cell biology of prion proteins and prion disease may yield important clues to these enigmatic topics.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11275
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology - Doctoral theses

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