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Prion Strain-Specific Structure and Pathology: A View from the Perspective of Glycobiology

1
Center for Biomedical Engineering and Technology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MA 21201, USA
2
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MA 21201, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Present address: Trace-Ability Inc., 6919B Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406, USA.
Viruses 2018, 10(12), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/v10120723
Received: 3 December 2018 / Revised: 13 December 2018 / Accepted: 15 December 2018 / Published: 18 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Deciphering the Molecular Targets of Prion and Prion-Like Strains)
Prion diseases display multiple disease phenotypes characterized by diverse clinical symptoms, different brain regions affected by the disease, distinct cell tropism and diverse PrPSc deposition patterns. The diversity of disease phenotypes within the same host is attributed to the ability of PrPC to acquire multiple, alternative, conformationally distinct, self-replicating PrPSc states referred to as prion strains or subtypes. Structural diversity of PrPSc strains has been well documented, yet the question of how different PrPSc structures elicit multiple disease phenotypes remains poorly understood. The current article reviews emerging evidence suggesting that carbohydrates in the form of sialylated N-linked glycans, which are a constitutive part of PrPSc, are important players in defining strain-specific structures and disease phenotypes. This article introduces a new hypothesis, according to which individual strain-specific PrPSc structures govern selection of PrPC sialoglycoforms that form strain-specific patterns of carbohydrate epitopes on PrPSc surface and contribute to defining the disease phenotype and outcomes. View Full-Text
Keywords: prions; prion disease; prion strains; N-linked glycans; glycosylation; sialic acid; sialylation prions; prion disease; prion strains; N-linked glycans; glycosylation; sialic acid; sialylation
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Baskakov, I.V.; Katorcha, E.; Makarava, N. Prion Strain-Specific Structure and Pathology: A View from the Perspective of Glycobiology. Viruses 2018, 10, 723.

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