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Journal Articles Microbial Cell Year : 2020

Hiding in plain sight: vesicle-mediated export and transmission of prion-like proteins

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Abstract

Infectious proteins or prions are non-native confor-mations of proteins that are the causative agents of devastating neurodegenerative diseases in humans and heritable traits in filamentous fungi and yeasts. Prion proteins form highly ordered self-perpetuating fibrillar aggregates that traffic vertically and horizontally from cell to cell. The spreading of these infectious entities relies on different mechanisms, among which the extracellular vesicles (EV)-mediated traffic. The prion form of the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae Sup35p translation terminator causes the [PSI + ] nonsense suppression phenotype. This fascinating biological model helped us shape our understanding of the mechanisms of formation, propagation and elimination of infectious protein aggregates. We discovered that Sup35p is exported via EV, both in its soluble and aggregated infectious states. We recently reported that high amounts of Sup35p prion particles are exported to the yeast periplasm via periplasmic vesicles (PV) in glucose-starved cells. EV and PV are different in terms of size and protein content, and their export is inversely regulated by glucose availability in the growth medium. We believe these are important observations that should make us revise our current view on the way yeast prions propagate. Hence, I propose several hypotheses as to the significance of these observations for the transmission of yeast prions. I also discuss how yeast could be used as a powerful tracta-ble biological model to investigate the molecular mechanisms of vesicle-mediated export of pathological protein aggregates implicated in neurodegenerative diseases.
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Dates and versions

cea-02748279 , version 1 (03-06-2020)

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  • HAL Id : cea-02748279 , version 1

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Mehdi Kabani. Hiding in plain sight: vesicle-mediated export and transmission of prion-like proteins. Microbial Cell , 2020, 7 (7), pp.199-201. ⟨cea-02748279⟩
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