Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Cell and Molecular Biology
Dixie A. Blumenshine - Humboldt State University
Co-Author(s): Julie A. Moreno and Glenn C. Telling, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
Cellular prion protein (PrPC), an evolutionarily conserved membrane-bound glycoprotein most abundant in the central nervous system, is present in most mammalian cells. Over the 35+ years of investigation into cellular and molecular mechanisms behind prion propagation dynamics, PrPC is the only established factor essential for propagation of infectious prions (PrPSc), which cause fatal neurodegenerative disease in mammalian species. It is known that some cells, even with expression of PrPC, are resistant to prion disease. Additional unidentified cellular factors may regulate disease susceptibility and pathogenesis. To address this we compared the transcriptomes using RNA sequencing (RNAseq) of cells that are either susceptible (S) or resistant (R) to prion infection and identified 136 differentially expressed genes. On gene identified was the membrane-bound protein, the B-cell protein CD19, which we hypothesize has influence in cellular prion propagation. CD19 expression in comparison with PrPC was explored in both susceptible and resistant cells to confirm predicted difference in expression between the two groups, coinciding with static expression of PrPC. Expectations for expression comparisons were confirmed in two of the three groups tested. This research is ongoing, and subsequent comparisons will be made by exposing cells in each category to prions alongside controls following CD19 overexpression and knockout to determine if CD19 plays a role in allowing a cell to be resistant to prion propagation.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation REU funding, NNDSR21 funding received by the Telling lab
Faculty Advisor: Julie Moreno, email@example.com
Role: I did a large portion of the laboratory work during my 10 weeks working on this project. This includes Western blotting, tissue culture, plasmid cloning, and assisting with Fluorescence-Activated Cell Sorting and transfections. I was also present for and contributed minimally in discussions on the future of the project and approaches to solving difficulties.