Evidence of conformational landscape alteration and macromolecular complex formation in the early stages of in vitro human prion protein oxidation
Jan Bohl, Cécile Sicard, Human Rezaei, Guillaume Van der Rest, Frédéric Halgand
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics
Oxidative stress is proposed to be one of the major causes of neurodegenerative diseases. Cellular prion protein (PrP) oxidation has been widely studied using chemical reagents such as hydrogen peroxide. However, the experimental conditions used do not faithfully reflect the physiological environment of the cell. With the goal to explore the conformational landscape of PrP under oxidative stress, we conducted a set of experiments combining the careful control of the nature and the amount of ROS produced by a60Co γ-irradiation source. Characterization of the resulting protein species was achieved using a set of analytical techniques. Under our experimental condition hydroxyl radical are the main reactive species produced. The most important findings are i) the formation of molecular assemblies under oxidative stress, ii) the detection of a majority of unmodified monomer mixed with oxidized monomers in these molecular assemblies at low hydroxyl radical concentration, iii) the absence of significant oxidation on the monomer fraction after irradiation. Molecular assemblies are produced in small amounts and were shown to be an octamer. These results suggest either i) an active recruitment of intact monomers by molecular assemblies’ oxidized monomers then inducing a structural change of their intact counterparts or ii) an intrinsic capability of intact monomer conformers to spontaneously associate to form stable molecular assemblies when oxidized monomers are present. Finally, abundances of the intact monomer conformers after irradiation were modified. This suggests that monomers of the molecular assemblies exchange structural information with intact irradiated monomer. All these results shed a new light on structural exchange information between PrP monomers under oxidative stress.
Circular dichroism, Secondary structure, Biochemistry