Chapter 18 Prion-like mechanisms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

Publication date: 2018 Source:Handbook of Clinical Neurology, Volume 153 Author(s): Jacob I. Ayers, Neil R. Cashman The prion hypothesis – a protein conformation capable of replicating without a nucleic acid genome – was heretical at the time of its discovery. However, the characteristics of the disease-misfolded prion protein and its ability to transmit disease, replicate, and spread are now widely accepted throughout the scientific community. In fact, in the last decade a wealth of evidence has emerged supporting similar properties observed for many of the misfolded proteins implicated in other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer disease, Parkinson disease, tauopathies, and as described in this chapter, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Multiple studies have now demonstrated the ability for superoxide dismutase-1, 43-kDa transactive response (TAR) DNA-binding protein, fused-in sarcoma, and most recently, C9orf72-encoded polypeptides to display properties similar to those of prions. The majority of these are cell-free and in vitro assays, while superoxide dismutase-1 remains the only ALS-linked protein to demonstrate several prion-like properties in vivo. In this chapter, we provide an introduction to ALS and review the recent literature linking several proteins implicated in the familial forms of the disease to properties of the prion protein.
Source: Handbook of Clinical Neurology - Category: Neurology Source Type: research

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