Navigation Links
The protein Srebp2 drives cholesterol formation in prion-infected neuronal cells
Date:11/18/2009

Prions are causing fatal and infectious diseases of the nervous system, such as the mad cow disease (BSE), scrapie in sheep or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans. Scientists of Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen and Technische Universitt Mnchen have now succeeded in elucidating another disease mechanism of prion diseases: The prion-infected cell changes its gene expression and produces increased quantities of cholesterol. Prions need this for their propagation.

Prions are infectious and transform the brains of humans and animals into sponge-like structures. Unlike a virus, a prion only consists of protein - called prion-protein in its pathological form (PrPSc). Until now, little was known about the processes that take place inside the infected neuronal cell. This made it difficult to develop effective drugs against prion diseases.

Using microarrays developed in the lab of Dr. Johannes Beckers, Christian Bach and colleagues from Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen and Technische Universitt made a genome-wide analysis of gene activity in prion-infected and healthy cells. The researchers found over 100 genes which are differentially expressed in infected and healthy cells. This has serious consequences for the infected cells: "Several enzymes of cholesterol biosynthesis are affected", explained Christian Bach, first author of the study. As a consequence, the cholesterol level rises in the infected cells.

The cause of this development is the increased activity of the regulating protein Srebp2. It switches on the genes that are involved in cholesterol biosynthesis and cellular uptake. To achieve this, Srebp2 binds to a special segment encoding the gene to be transcribed - the sterol regulatory element. This activates the gene, leading to the biosynthesis of the corresponding protein.

In every step of cholesterol biosynthesis Srebp2 switches on different genes, thus exactly controlling gene expression, i.e. the translation of gene information into the corresponding protein. If cholesterol concentration is elevated in a healthy cell, Srebp2 remains in its inactive form and does not bind to the sterol regulatory element. This control mechanism is obviously disturbed in the infected cells, causing increased cholesterol synthesis. "Remarkably, only neuronal cells react in this way microglia cells exposed to prions do not increase their cholesterol production," said Professor Hermann Schtzl of the Institute of Virology of Technische Universitt Mnchen, who led the research together with Dr. Ina Vorberg. Further studies shall elucidate what role disturbed cholesterol regulation plays in neuronal cells for the development of prion diseases and shall thus point the way to new therapy approaches.


'/>"/>

Contact: Sven Winkler
presse@helmholtz-muenchen.de
49-089-318-73946
Helmholtz Zentrum Mnchen - German Research Center for Environmental Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Largest-ever database for liver proteins may lead to treatments for hepatitis
2. Escaped proteins add to hearing loss in elderly, UF researchers find
3. High-throughput genotyping, protein purification featured in Cold Spring Harbor Protocols
4. Moderate amounts of protein per meal found best for building muscle
5. Chemosensitivity of cancer cells depends on their protein dependency
6. Biochemical on-switch could solve protein purification challenge
7. Single-stranded DNA-binding protein is dynamic, critical to DNA repair
8. University of the Basque Country study on proteins related to Alzheimers
9. InVivo and CEVEC pharmaceuticals sign license agreement regarding the use of human CAP-T Technology for production of recombinant proteins
10. How the 100th protein structure solved at Diamond impacts our understanding of how insects smell
11. All tied up: Tethered protein provides long-sought answer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/15/2016)... 15, 2016 Research and Markets has announced ... 2021" report to their offering. ... ... by 2021 from USD 6.21 Billion in 2016, growing at a ... of the bioinformatics market is driven by the growing demand for ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... 2016 Research and Markets has announced the ... report to their offering. The ... to grow at a CAGR of 12.28% during the period ... an in-depth market analysis with inputs from industry experts. The report ... years. The report also includes a discussion of the key vendors ...
(Date:6/22/2016)... , June 22, 2016 On Monday, the ... to industry to share solutions for the Biometric Exit ... Customs and Border Protection (CBP), explains that CBP intends ... departing the United States , in ... to defeat imposters. Logo - http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20160622/382209LOGO ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 , ... ... a new moving magnet Voice Coil Actuator with a flexure design that ensures ... long life with cost-effective pricing and is ideally suited where extreme precision is ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016  The Allen Institute for Cell Science ... publicly available collection of gene edited, fluorescently tagged ... cellular structures with unprecedented clarity. Distributed through the ... are a crucial first step toward visualizing the ... makes human cells healthy and what goes wrong ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 2016 Part of 5m$ Investment in ... ... Aptuit, LLC today announced that it had successfully completed the ... compounds have increased the Screening Collection to over 400,000. The ... capabilities of the company. This expansion, complemented by new robotics ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... ... November 30, 2016 , ... On 28 November 2016, the International Union of ... nihonium (Nh), moscovium (Mc), tennessine (Ts), and oganesson (Og), respectively for element 113, 115, ... proposed by the discoverers have been approved by the IUPAC Bureau. The IUPAC Council ...
Breaking Biology Technology: