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Role of Ctm-PrP and Dpl in ion metabolism

We participated to a work with a Japanese group were copper was quantified using Zeeman graphite furnace atomic absorption spectroscopy, in immortalised PrP gene (Prnp)-deficient neuronal cells transfected with Prnp and/or Prnd, which encodes PrP-like protein (PrPLP/Dpl), in the presence or absence of oxidative stress induced by serum deprivation. In the presence of serum, copper levels were not significantly affected by the expression of PrP and/or PrPLP/Dpl, whereas serum deprivation induced a decrease in copper levels that was inhibited by PrP but not by PrPLP/Dpl. The inhibitory effect of PrP on the decrease of copper levels was prevented by overexpression of PrPLP/Dpl. These findings indicate that PrP specifically stabilises copper homeostasis, which is perturbed under oxidative conditions, while PrPLP/Dpl overexpression prevents PrP function in copper homeostasis, suggesting an interaction of PrP and PrPLP/Dpl and distinct functions between PrP and PrPLP/Dpl on metal homeostasis. Taken together, these results strongly suggest that PrP, in addition to its antioxidant properties, plays a role in stabilising cellular copper homeostasis under oxidative conditions.

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