PrPC-deficient mice expressing prion protein variants with large amino-proximal deletions (termed PrPΔF) suffer from neurodegeneration, which is rescued by full-length PrPC. We now report that expression of PrPΔCD, a PrP variant lacking 40 central residues (94-134), induces a rapidly progressive, lethal phenotype with extensive central and peripheral myelin degeneration. This phenotype was rescued dose-dependently by coexpression of full-length PrPC or PrP C lacking all octarepeats. Expression of a PrPC variant lacking eight residues (114-121) was innocuous in the presence or absence of full-length PrPC, yet enhanced the toxicity of PrP ΔCD and diminished that of PrPΔF. Therefore, deletion of the entire central domain generates a strong recessive-negative mutant of PrPC, whereas removal of residues 114-121 creates a partial agonist with context-dependent action. These findings suggest that myelin integrity is maintained by a constitutively active neurotrophic protein complex involving PrPC, whose effector domain encompasses residues 94-134.
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Infection and Inflammation Research (ZIEL)