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      Characterization of mutations in PRNP (prion) gene and their possible roles in neurodegenerative diseases

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          Abstract

          Abnormal prion proteins are responsible for several fatal neurodegenerative diseases in humans and in animals, including Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstmann–Sträussler–Scheinker disease, and fatal familial insomnia. Genetics is important in prion diseases, but in the most cases, cause of diseases remained unknown. Several mutations were found to be causative for prion disorders, and the effect of mutations may be heterogeneous. In addition, different prion mutations were suggested to play a possible role in additional phenotypes, such as Alzheimer’s type pathology, spongiform encephalopathy, or frontotemporal dementia. Pathogenic nature of several prion mutations remained unclear, such as M129V and E219K. These two polymorphic sites were suggested as either risk factors for different disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), variant CJD, or protease-sensitive prionopathy, and they can also be disease-modifying factors. Pathological overlap may also be possible with AD or progressive dementia, and several patients with prion mutations were initially diagnosed with AD. This review also introduces briefly the diagnosis of prion diseases and the issues with their diagnosis. Since prion diseases have quite heterogeneous phenotypes, a complex analysis, a combination of genetic screening, cerebrospinal fluid biomarker analysis and imaging technologies could improve the early disease diagnosis.

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          Most cited references 178

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          Quantifying prion disease penetrance using large population control cohorts.

          More than 100,000 genetic variants are reported to cause Mendelian disease in humans, but the penetrance-the probability that a carrier of the purported disease-causing genotype will indeed develop the disease-is generally unknown. We assess the impact of variants in the prion protein gene (PRNP) on the risk of prion disease by analyzing 16,025 prion disease cases, 60,706 population control exomes, and 531,575 individuals genotyped by 23andMe Inc. We show that missense variants in PRNP previously reported to be pathogenic are at least 30 times more common in the population than expected on the basis of genetic prion disease prevalence. Although some of this excess can be attributed to benign variants falsely assigned as pathogenic, other variants have genuine effects on disease susceptibility but confer lifetime risks ranging from <0.1 to ~100%. We also show that truncating variants in PRNP have position-dependent effects, with true loss-of-function alleles found in healthy older individuals, a finding that supports the safety of therapeutic suppression of prion protein expression.
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            Linkage of a prion protein missense variant to Gerstmann-Sträussler syndrome.

            Gerstmann-Sträussler syndrome is a rare familial neurodegenerative condition that is vertically transmitted, in an apparently autosomal dominant way. It can also be horizontally transmitted to non-human primates and rodents through intracerebral inoculation of brain homogenates from patients with the disease. The exact incidence of the syndrome is unknown but is estimated to be between one and ten per hundred million. Patients initially suffer from ataxia or dementia and deteriorate until they die, in one to ten years. Protease-resistant prion protein (PrP) and PrP-immunoreactive amyloid plaques with characteristic morphology accumulate in the brains of these patients. Current diagnostic criteria for Gerstmann-Sträussler syndrome incorporate clinical and neuropathological features, as animal transmission studies can be unreliable. PrP is implicated in the pathogenesis and transmission of the condition and in scrapie, an equivalent animal disease. It was discovered by enriching scrapie-infected hamster brain fractions for infectivity. Because there is compelling evidence that the scrapie isoform of PrP is a necessary component of the infectious particle, it seemed possible that the PrP gene on the short arm of human chromosome 20 in Gerstmann-Sträussler syndrome might be abnormal. We show here that PrP codon 102 is linked to the putative gene for the syndrome in two pedigrees, providing the best evidence to date that this familial condition is inherited despite also being infectious, and that substitution of leucine for proline at PrP codon 102 may lead to the development of Gerstmann-Sträussler syndrome.
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              A novel human disease with abnormal prion protein sensitive to protease.

              To report a novel prion disease characterized by distinct histopathological and immunostaining features, and associated with an abnormal isoform of the prion protein (PrP) that, contrary to the common prion diseases, is predominantly sensitive to protease digestion. Eleven subjects were investigated at the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center for clinical, histopathological, immunohistochemical, genotypical, and PrP characteristics. Patients presented with behavioral and psychiatric manifestations on average at 62 years, whereas mean disease duration was 20 months. The type of spongiform degeneration, the PrP immunostaining pattern, and the presence of microplaques distinguished these cases from those with known prion diseases. Typical protease-resistant PrP was undetectable in the cerebral neocortex with standard diagnostic procedures. After enrichment, abnormal PrP was detected at concentrations 16 times lower than common prion diseases; it included nearly 4 times less protease-resistant PrP, which formed a distinct electrophoretic profile. The subjects examined comprised about 3% of sporadic cases evaluated by the National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center. Although several subjects had family histories of dementia, no mutations were found in the PrP gene open reading frame. The distinct histopathological, PrP immunohistochemical, and physicochemical features, together with the homogeneous genotype, indicate that this is a previously unidentified type of disease involving the PrP, which we designated "protease-sensitive prionopathy" (or PSPr). Protease-sensitive prionopathy is not rare among prion diseases, and it may be even more prevalent than our data indicate because protease-sensitive prionopathy cases are likely also to be classified within the group of non-Alzheimer's dementias.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat
                Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat
                Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
                Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
                Dove Medical Press
                1176-6328
                1178-2021
                2018
                14 August 2018
                : 14
                : 2067-2085
                Affiliations
                [1 ]Department of Bionano Technology, Gachon Bionano Research Institute, Gachon University, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea, seong.an@ 123456gmail.com
                [2 ]Department of Neurology, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul, South Korea
                [3 ]Department of Neurology, Seoul National University College of Medicine & Neurocognitive Behavior Center, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seongnam, South Korea
                Author notes
                Correspondence: Seong Soo A An, Department of Bionano Technology, Gachon Bionano Research Institute, Gachon University, 1342 Sungnam-daero, Sujung-gu, Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, 461-701, South Korea, Tel/fax +82 31 750 8755, Email seong.an@ 123456gmail.com
                Article
                ndt-14-2067
                10.2147/NDT.S165445
                6097508
                © 2018 Bagyinszky et al. This work is published and licensed by Dove Medical Press Limited

                The full terms of this license are available at https://www.dovepress.com/terms.php and incorporate the Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial (unported, v3.0) License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/). By accessing the work you hereby accept the Terms. Non-commercial uses of the work are permitted without any further permission from Dove Medical Press Limited, provided the work is properly attributed.

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