Mechanism of the metal-mediated endocytosis of the prion protein

Nigel M. Hooper, David R. Taylor, Nicole T. Watt

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The cellular form of the prion protein, PrP c, is critically required for the establishment of prion diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Within the N-terminal half of PrP c are four octapeptide repeats that bind Cu 2+. Exposure of neuronal cells expressing PrP c to Cu 2+ results in the rapid endocytosis of the protein. First, PrP c translocates laterally out of detergent-resistant lipid rafts into detergent-soluble regions of the plasma membrane, then it is internalized through clathrin-coated pits. The extreme N-terminal region of PrP c is critically required for its endocytosis, as is the transmembrane LRP1 (low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1). Incubation of cells with a competitive inhibitor of LRP1 ligands, receptor-associated protein, or down-regulation of LRP1 with siRNA (short interfering RNA) reduces the endocytosis of PrP c. Zn 2+ also promotes the endocytosis of PrP c, a phenomenon that is also dependent on the octapeptide repeats and requires LRP1. © 2008 Biochemical Society.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1272-1276
    Number of pages4
    JournalBiochemical Society Transactions
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2008


    • Copper
    • Endocytosis
    • Lipid raft
    • Low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein-1 (LRP1)
    • Prion
    • Zinc

    Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

    • Dementia@Manchester


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