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Transient multimers modulate conformer abundances of prion protein monomer through conformational selection


Transient multimers modulate conformer abundances of prion protein monomer through conformational selection

Guillaume Van der Rest, Human Rezaei & Frédéric Halgand ont publié récemment leurs travaux dans la revue Scientific Reports :

"Transient multimers modulate conformer abundances of prion protein monomer through conformational selection"

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Résumé
Prions are known to be involved in neurodegenerative pathologies such as Creutzfeld-Jakob disease. Current models point to a molecular event which rely on a transmissible structural change that leads to the production of β-sheet-rich prion conformer (PrPSc). PrPSc itself has the capability to trigger the structural rearrangement of the ubiquitously present prion (PrPc) substrate in a self-perpetuating cascade. In this article, we demonstrate that recombinant PrPc exists in a conformational equilibrium. The conformers’ abundances were shown to be dependent on PrPc concentration through the formation of transient multimers leading to conformational selection. The study of PrPc mutants that follow dedicated oligomerization pathways demonstrated that the conformers’ relative abundances are modified, thus reinforcing the assertion that the nature of conformers’ interactions orient the oligomerization pathways. Further this result can be viewed as the “signature” of an aborted oligomerization process. This discovery sheds a new light on the possible origin of prion protein diseases, namely that a change in prion protein structure could be transmitted through the formation of transient multimers having different conformer compositions. This could explain the selection of a transient multimeric type that could be viewed as the precursor of PrPSc responsible for structural information transmission, and strain apparition.