Prion diseases recognize, as a unique molecular trait, the misfolding of CNS-enriched prion protein (PrP(C)) into an aberrant isoform (PrP(Sc)). In this work, we characterize the in vitro toxicity of amino-terminally truncated recombinant PrP fragment (amino acids 90-231, PrP90-231), on rat cerebellar granule neurons (CGN), focusing on glutamatergic receptor activation and Ca(2+) homeostasis impairment. This recombinant fragment assumes a toxic conformation (PrP90-231(TOX)) after controlled thermal denaturation (1 h at 53 °C) acquiring structural characteristics identified in PrP(Sc) (enrichment in β-structures, increased hydrophobicity, partial resistance to proteinase K, and aggregation in amyloid fibrils). By annexin-V binding assay, and evaluation of the percentage of fragmented and condensed nuclei, we show that treatment with PrP90-231(TOX), used in pre-fibrillar aggregation state, induces CGN apoptosis. This effect was associated with a delayed, but sustained elevation of [Ca(2+)]i. Both CGN apoptosis and [Ca(2+)]i increase were not observed using PrP90-231 in PrP(C)-like conformation. PrP90-231(TOX) effects were significantly reduced in the presence of ionotropic glutamate receptor antagonists. In particular, CGN apoptosis and [Ca(2+)]i increase were largely reduced, although not fully abolished, by pre-treatment with the NMDA antagonists APV and memantine, while the AMPA antagonist CNQX produced a lower, although still significant, effect. In conclusion, we report that CGN apoptosis induced by PrP90-231(TOX) correlates with a sustained elevation of [Ca(2+)]i mediated by the activation of NMDA and AMPA receptors.
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|Titolo:||Excitotoxicity Through NMDA Receptors Mediates Cerebellar Granule Neuron Apoptosis Induced by Prion Protein 90-231 Fragment|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01.01 - Articolo su rivista|