Enhanced stability of human prion proteins with two disulfide bridges.

Abstract

We compare the folding equilibrium of the globular domain of the human prion protein with two variants of this domain, for which an additional disulfide bond was introduced into the location where it is found in the naturally occurring doppel protein. We find that the unfolding transition midpoint of the variants is shifted toward higher denaturant concentration, indicating that the engineered disulfide bond significantly stabilizes the global protein structure. Our results further reveal that the two-disulfide variant proteins, while possessing the same global fold as the wild-type, display marked differences in their folding pathway-in particular, the absence of a characteristic alpha-helix to beta-sheet transition, which is a fundamental feature associated with misfolding of proteins into amyloid fibrils, especially in the context of prion diseases. These surprising characteristics of disulfide mutant prion proteins have important implications for the understanding of the generic aberrant processes leading to amyloid fibril formation and protein aggregation, as well as providing insight into possible therapeutic strategies.

Cite this paper

@article{Knowles2006EnhancedSO, title={Enhanced stability of human prion proteins with two disulfide bridges.}, author={Tuomas P J Knowles and Ralph Zahn}, journal={Biophysical journal}, year={2006}, volume={91 4}, pages={1494-500} }