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      Cell biology. A unifying role for prions in neurodegenerative diseases.

      Science (New York, N.Y.)

      Protein Conformation, pathogenicity, metabolism, chemistry, Prions, etiology, Prion Diseases, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Humans, Fungal Proteins, Animals

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          Most cited references 9

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          Chronic traumatic encephalopathy in athletes: progressive tauopathy after repetitive head injury.

          Since the 1920s, it has been known that the repetitive brain trauma associated with boxing may produce a progressive neurological deterioration, originally termed dementia pugilistica, and more recently, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE). We review 48 cases of neuropathologically verified CTE recorded in the literature and document the detailed findings of CTE in 3 profession althletes, 1 football player and 2 boxers. Clinically, CTE is associated with memory disturbances, behavioral and personality changes, parkinsonism, and speech and gait abnormalities. Neuropathologically, CTE is characterized by atrophy of the cerebral hemispheres, medial temporal lobe, thalamus, mammillary bodies, and brainstem, with ventricular dilatation and a fenestrated cavum septum pellucidum. Microscopically, there are extensive tau-immunoreactive neurofibrillary tangles, astrocytic tangles, and spindle-shaped and threadlike neurites throughout the brain. The neurofibrillary degeneration of CTE is distinguished from other tauopathies by preferential involvement of the superficial cortical layers, irregular patchy distribution in the frontal and temporal cortices, propensity for sulcal depths, prominent perivascular, periventricular, and subpial distribution, and marked accumulation of tau-immunoreactive astrocytes. Deposition of beta-amyloid, most commonly as diffuse plaques, occurs in fewer than half the cases. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a neuropathologically distinct slowly progressive tauopathy with a clear environmental etiology.
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            Prion-like propagation of mutant superoxide dismutase-1 misfolding in neuronal cells.

            Deposition of proteins of aberrant conformation is the hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases. Misfolding of the normally globular mutant superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) is a central, early, but poorly understood event in the pathogenic cascade leading to familial forms of ALS. Here we report that aggregates composed of an ALS-causing SOD1 mutant penetrate inside cells by macropinocytosis and rapidly exit the macropinocytic compartment to nucleate aggregation of the cytosolic, otherwise soluble, mutant SOD1 protein. Once initiated, mutant SOD1 aggregation is self-perpetuating. Mutant SOD1 aggregates transfer from cell to cell with remarkable efficiency, a process that does not require contacts between cells but depends on the extracellular release of aggregates. This study reveals that SOD1 aggregates, propagate in a prion-like manner in neuronal cells and sheds light on the mechanisms underlying aggregate uptake and cell-to-cell transfer.
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              Cytoplasmic penetration and persistent infection of mammalian cells by polyglutamine aggregates.

              Sequence-specific nucleated protein aggregation is closely linked to the pathogenesis of most neurodegenerative diseases and constitutes the molecular basis of prion formation. Here we report that fibrillar polyglutamine peptide aggregates can be internalized by mammalian cells in culture where they gain access to the cytosolic compartment and become co-sequestered in aggresomes together with components of the ubiquitin-proteasome system and cytoplasmic chaperones. Remarkably, these internalized fibrillar aggregates are able to selectively recruit soluble cytoplasmic proteins with which they share homologous but not heterologous amyloidogenic sequences, and to confer a heritable phenotype on cells expressing the homologous amyloidogenic protein from a chromosomal locus.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                10.1126/science.1222951
                3942086
                22723400

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