IMR Press / FBL / Volume 16 / Issue 1 / DOI: 10.2741/3682

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Understanding the neurospecificity of Prion protein signaling
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1 INSERM U747, Paris Descartes University, 75006 Paris, France
2 Hopital Lariboisiere, 75009 Paris, France and Pharma Research Department, F. Hoffmann-La-Roche Ltd., CH-4070, Basel, Switzerland
Academic Editor:Sophie Mouillet-Richard
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2011, 16(1), 169–186;
Published: 1 January 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cellular prion protein partners and signaling)

The cellular prion protein PrP(C) is the normal counterpart of the scrapie prion protein PrP(Sc), the main component of the infectious agent of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). It is a ubiquitous cell-surface glycoprotein, abundantly expressed in neurons, which constitute the targets of TSE pathogenesis. The presence of PrP(C) at the surface of neurons is an absolute requirement for the development of prion diseases and corruption of PrP(C) function(s) within an infectious context emerges as a proximal cause for PrP(Sc)-induced neurodegeneration. Experimental evidence gained over the past decade indicates that PrP(C) has the capacity to mobilize promiscuous signal transduction cascades that, notably, contribute to cell homeostasis. Beyond ubiquitous effectors, much data converge onto a neurospecificity of PrP(C) signaling, which may be the clue to neuronal cell demise in prion disorders. In this article, we highlight the requirement of PrP(C) for TSEs-associated neurodegeneration and review the current knowledge of PrP(C)-dependent signal transduction in neuronal cells and its implications for PrP(Sc)-mediated neurotoxicity.

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