Prion protein (PrP) mutations are linked to genetic prion diseases, a class of phenotypically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorders with invariably fatal outcome. How mutant PrP triggers neurodegeneration is not known. Synaptic dysfunction precedes neuronal loss but it is not clear whether, and through which mechanisms, disruption of synaptic activity ultimately leads to neuronal death. Here we show that mutant PrP impairs the secretory trafficking of AMPA receptors (AMPARs). Specifically, intracellular retention of the GluA2 subunit results in synaptic exposure of GluA2-lacking, calcium-permeable AMPARs, leading to increased calcium permeability and enhanced sensitivity to excitotoxic cell death. Mutant PrPs linked to different genetic prion diseases affect AMPAR trafficking and function in different ways. Our findings identify AMPARs as pathogenic targets in genetic prion diseases, and support the involvement of excitotoxicity in neurodegeneration. They also suggest a mechanistic explanation for how different mutant PrPs may cause distinct disease phenotypes.

Mutant prion proteins increase calcium permeability of AMPA receptors, exacerbating excitotoxicity

Pozzi, Davide;Matteoli, Michela;
2020

Abstract

Prion protein (PrP) mutations are linked to genetic prion diseases, a class of phenotypically heterogeneous neurodegenerative disorders with invariably fatal outcome. How mutant PrP triggers neurodegeneration is not known. Synaptic dysfunction precedes neuronal loss but it is not clear whether, and through which mechanisms, disruption of synaptic activity ultimately leads to neuronal death. Here we show that mutant PrP impairs the secretory trafficking of AMPA receptors (AMPARs). Specifically, intracellular retention of the GluA2 subunit results in synaptic exposure of GluA2-lacking, calcium-permeable AMPARs, leading to increased calcium permeability and enhanced sensitivity to excitotoxic cell death. Mutant PrPs linked to different genetic prion diseases affect AMPAR trafficking and function in different ways. Our findings identify AMPARs as pathogenic targets in genetic prion diseases, and support the involvement of excitotoxicity in neurodegeneration. They also suggest a mechanistic explanation for how different mutant PrPs may cause distinct disease phenotypes.
Animals
Calcium
Cell Death
Mice
Neurons
Permeability
PrPSc Proteins
Protein Transport
Receptors, AMPA
Synapses
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
ppat.1008654.pdf

non disponibili

Tipologia: Versione Editoriale (PDF)
Licenza: Copyright dell'editore
Dimensione 3.72 MB
Formato Adobe PDF
3.72 MB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11699/54354
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 8
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 9
social impact