The Prion Protein Regulates Synaptic Transmission by Controlling the Expression of Proteins Key to Synaptic Vesicle Recycling and Exocytosis

Caterina Peggion, Roberto Stella, Francesco Chemello, Maria Lina Massimino, Giorgio Arrigoni, Stefano Cagnin, Giancarlo Biancotto, Cinzia Franchin, Maria Catia Sorgato, Alessandro Bertoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations

Abstract

The cellular prion protein (PrP C ), whose misfolded conformers are implicated in prion diseases, localizes to both the presynaptic membrane and postsynaptic density. To explore possible molecular contributions of PrP C to synaptic transmission, we utilized a mass spectrometry approach to quantify the release of glutamate from primary cerebellar granule neurons (CGN) expressing, or deprived of (PrP-KO), PrP C , following a depolarizing stimulus. Under the same conditions, we also tracked recycling of synaptic vesicles (SVs) in the two neuronal populations. We found that in PrP-KO CGN these processes decreased by 40 and 60%, respectively, compared to PrP C -expressing neurons. Unbiased quantitative mass spectrometry was then employed to compare the whole proteome of CGN with the two PrP genotypes. This approach allowed us to assess that, relative to the PrP C -expressing counterpart, the absence of PrP C modified the protein expression profile, including diminution of some components of SV recycling and fusion machinery. Subsequent quantitative RT-PCR closely reproduced proteomic data, indicating that PrP C is committed to ensuring optimal synaptic transmission by regulating genes involved in SV dynamics and neurotransmitter release. These novel molecular and cellular aspects of PrP C add insight into the underlying mechanisms for synaptic dysfunctions occurring in neurodegenerative disorders in which a compromised PrP C is likely to intervene.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3420-3436
Number of pages17
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Volume56
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Gene expression
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Neurotransmission
  • Prion protein
  • Selected reaction monitoring
  • Synaptic vesicle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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