Amyloid fibrils of human prion protein are spun and woven from morphologically disordered aggregates
2009 (English)In: Prion, ISSN 1933-6896, Vol. 3, no 4, 224-235 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Propagation and infectivity of prions in human prionopathies are likely associated with conversion of the mainly α-helical human prion protein, HuPrP, into an aggregated form with amyloid-like properties. Previous reports on efficient conversion of recombinant HuPrP have used mild to harsh denaturing conditions to generate amyloid fibrils in vitro. Herein we report on the in vitro conversion of four forms of truncated HuPrP (sequences 90-231 and 121-231 with and without an N-terminal hexa histidine tag) into amyloid-like fibrils within a few hours by using a protocol (phosphate buffered saline solutions at neutral pH with intense agitation) close to physiological conditions. The conversion process monitored by thioflavin T, ThT, revealed a three stage process with lag, growth and equilibrium phases. Seeding with preformed fibrils shortened the lag phase demonstrating the classic nucleated polymerization mechanism for the reaction. Interestingly, comparing thioflavin T kinetics with solubility and turbidity kinetics it was found that the protein initially formed non-thioflavionophilic, morphologically disordered aggregates that over time matured into amyloid fibrils. By transmission electron microscopy and by fluorescence microscopy of aggregates stained with luminescent conjugated polythiophenes (LCPs); we demonstrated that HuPrP undergoes a conformational conversion where spun and woven fibrils protruded from morphologically disordered aggregates. The initial aggregation functioned as a kinetic trap that decelerated nucleation into a fibrillation competent nucleus, but at the same time without aggregation there was no onset of amyloid fibril formation. The agitation, which was necessary for fibril formation to be induced, transiently exposes the protein to the air-water interface suggests a hitherto largely unexplored denaturing environment for prion conversion.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Austin: Landes Bioscience Journals , 2009. Vol. 3, no 4, 224-235 p.
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-21064DOI: 10.4161/pri.3.4.10112ISI: 000280061100009OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-21064DiVA: diva2:240500