Journal of chromatography. A

Prion protein-coated magnetic beads: synthesis, characterization and development of a new ligands screening method.

PMID 25576041


Prion diseases are characterized by protein aggregation and neurodegeneration. Conversion of the native prion protein (PrP(C)) into the abnormal scrapie PrP isoform (PrP(Sc)), which undergoes aggregation and can eventually form amyloid fibrils, is a critical step leading to the characteristic path morphological hallmark of these diseases. However, the mechanism of conversion remains unclear. It is known that ligands can act as cofactors or inhibitors in the conversion mechanism of PrP(C)xa0into PrP(Sc). Within this context, herein, we describe the immobilization of PrP(C) onto the surface of magnetic beads and the morphological characterization of PrP(C)-coated beads by fluorescence confocal microscopy. PrP(C)-coated magnetic beads were used to identify ligands from a mixture of compounds, which were monitored by UHPLC-ESI-MS/MS. This affinity-based method allowed the isolation of the anti-prion compound quinacrine, an inhibitor of PrP aggregation. The results indicate that this approach can be applied to not only "fish" for anti-prion compounds from complex matrixes, but also to screening for and identify possible cellular cofactors involved in the deflagration of prion diseases.