skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on December 24, 2022

Title: Endosomal sorting drives the formation of axonal prion protein endoggresomes
The pathogenic aggregation of misfolded prion protein (PrP) in axons underlies prion disease pathologies. The molecular mechanisms driving axonal misfolded PrP aggregate formation leading to neurotoxicity are unknown. We found that the small endolysosomal guanosine triphosphatase (GTPase) Arl8b recruits kinesin-1 and Vps41 (HOPS) onto endosomes carrying misfolded mutant PrP to promote their axonal entry and homotypic fusion toward aggregation inside enlarged endomembranes that we call endoggresomes. This axonal rapid endosomal sorting and transport-dependent aggregation (ARESTA) mechanism forms pathologic PrP endoggresomes that impair calcium dynamics and reduce neuronal viability. Inhibiting ARESTA diminishes endoggresome formation, rescues calcium influx, and prevents neuronal death. Our results identify ARESTA as a key pathway for the regulation of endoggresome formation and a new actionable antiaggregation target to ameliorate neuronal dysfunction in the prionopathies.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
2014862
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10329531
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Volume:
7
Issue:
52
ISSN:
2375-2548
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The prion hypothesis states that misfolded proteins can act as infectious agents that template the misfolding and aggregation of healthy proteins to transmit a disease. Increasing evidence suggests that pathological proteins in neurodegenerative diseases adopt prion-like mechanisms and spread across the brain along anatomically connected networks. Local kinetic models of protein misfolding and global network models of protein spreading provide valuable insight into several aspects of prion-like diseases. Yet, to date, these models have not been combined to simulate how pathological proteins multiply and spread across the human brain. Here, we create an efficient and robust tool to simulate themore »spreading of misfolded protein using three classes of kinetic models, the Fisher–Kolmogorov model, the Heterodimer model and the Smoluchowski model. We discretize their governing equations using a human brain network model, which we represent as a weighted Laplacian graph generated from 418 brains from the Human Connectome Project. Its nodes represent the anatomic regions of interest and its edges are weighted by the mean fibre number divided by the mean fibre length between any two regions. We demonstrate that our brain network model can predict the histopathological patterns of Alzheimer’s disease and capture the key characteristic features of finite-element brain models at a fraction of their computational cost: simulating the spatio-temporal evolution of aggregate size distributions across the human brain throughout a period of 40 years takes less than 7 s on a standard laptop computer. Our model has the potential to predict biomarker curves, aggregate size distributions, infection times, and the effects of therapeutic strategies including reduced production and increased clearance of misfolded protein.« less
  2. Reduction of native prion protein (PrP) levels in the brain is an attractive strategy for the treatment or prevention of human prion disease. Clinical development of any PrP-reducing therapeutic will require an appropriate pharmacodynamic biomarker: a practical and robust method for quantifying PrP, and reliably demonstrating its reduction in the central nervous system (CNS) of a living patient. Here we evaluate the potential of ELISA-based quantification of human PrP in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to serve as a biomarker for PrP-reducing therapeutics. We show that CSF PrP is highly sensitive to plastic adsorption during handling and storage, but its lossmore »can be minimized by the addition of detergent. We find that blood contamination does not affect CSF PrP levels, and that CSF PrP and hemoglobin are uncorrelated, together suggesting that CSF PrP is CNS derived, supporting its relevance for monitoring the tissue of interest and in keeping with high PrP abundance in brain relative to blood. In a cohort with controlled sample handling, CSF PrP exhibits good within-subject test–retest reliability (mean coefficient of variation, 13% in samples collected 8–11 wk apart), a sufficiently stable baseline to allow therapeutically meaningful reductions in brain PrP to be readily detected in CSF. Together, these findings supply a method for monitoring the effect of a PrP-reducing drug in the CNS, and will facilitate development of prion disease therapeutics with this mechanism of action.

    « less
  3. Dague, Etienne (Ed.)
    The formation of neuron networks is a complex phenomenon of fundamental importance for understanding the development of the nervous system, and for creating novel bioinspired materials for tissue engineering and neuronal repair. The basic process underlying the network formation is axonal growth, a process involving the extension of axons from the cell body towards target neurons. Axonal growth is guided by environmental stimuli that include intercellular interactions, biochemical cues, and the mechanical and geometrical features of the growth substrate. The dynamics of the growing axon and its biomechanical interactions with the growing substrate remains poorly understood. In this paper, wemore »develop a model of axonal motility which incorporates mechanical interactions between the axon and the growth substrate. We combine experimental data with theoretical analysis to measure the parameters that describe axonal growth on surfaces with micropatterned periodic geometrical features: diffusion (cell motility) coefficients, speed and angular distributions, and axon bending rigidities. Experiments performed on neurons treated Taxol (inhibitor of microtubule dynamics) and Blebbistatin (disruptor of actin filaments) show that the dynamics of the cytoskeleton plays a critical role in the axon steering mechanism. Our results demonstrate that axons follow geometrical patterns through a contact-guidance mechanism, in which high-curvature geometrical features impart high traction forces to the growth cone. These results have important implications for our fundamental understanding of axonal growth as well as for bioengineering novel substrates that promote neuronal growth and nerve repair.« less
  4. The formation of neuron networks is a process of fundamental importance for understanding the development of the nervous system and for creating biomimetic devices for tissue engineering and neural repair. The basic process that controls the network formation is the growth of an axon from the cell body and its extension towards target neurons. Axonal growth is directed by environmental stimuli that include intercellular interactions, biochemical cues, and the mechanical and geometrical properties of the growth substrate. Despite significant recent progress, the steering of the growing axon remains poorly understood. In this paper, we develop a model of axonal motility,more »which incorporates substrate-geometry sensing. We combine experimental data with theoretical analysis to measure the parameters that describe axonal growth on micropatterned surfaces: diffusion (cell motility) coefficients, speed and angular distributions, and cell-substrate interactions. Experiments performed on neurons treated with inhibitors for microtubules (Taxol) and actin filaments (Y-27632) indicate that cytoskeletal dynamics play a critical role in the steering mechanism. Our results demonstrate that axons follow geometrical patterns through a contact-guidance mechanism, in which geometrical patterns impart high traction forces to the growth cone. These results have important implications for bioengineering novel substrates to guide neuronal growth and promote nerve repair.« less
  5. The cerebral cortex contains numerous neuronal cell types, distinguished by their molecular identity as well as their electrophysiological and morphological properties. Cortical function is reliant on stereotyped patterns of synaptic connectivity and synaptic function among these neuron types, but how these patterns are established during development remains poorly understood. Selective targeting not only of different cell types but also of distinct postsynaptic neuronal domains occurs in many brain circuits and is directed by multiple mechanisms. These mechanisms include the regulation of axonal and dendritic guidance and fine-scale morphogenesis of pre- and postsynaptic processes, lineage relationships, activity dependent mechanisms and intercellularmore »molecular determinants such as transmembrane and secreted molecules, many of which have also been implicated in neurodevelopmental disorders. However, many studies of synaptic targeting have focused on circuits in which neuronal processes target different lamina, such that cell-type-biased connectivity may be confounded with mechanisms of laminar specificity. In the cerebral cortex, each cortical layer contains cell bodies and processes from intermingled neuronal cell types, an arrangement that presents a challenge for the development of target-selective synapse formation. Here, we address progress and future directions in the study of cell-type-biased synaptic targeting in the cerebral cortex. We highlight challenges to identifying developmental mechanisms generating stereotyped patterns of intracortical connectivity, recent developments in uncovering the determinants of synaptic target selection during cortical synapse formation, and current gaps in the understanding of cortical synapse specificity.« less