Prion protein protects against renal ischemia/reperfusion injury

Bo Zhang, Daniel Cowden, Fan Zhang, Jue Yuan, Sandra Siedlak, Mai Abouelsaad, Liang Zeng, Xuefeng Zhou, John OToole, Alvin S. Das, Diane Kofskey, Miriam Warren, Zehua Bian, Yuqi Cui, Tao Tan, Adam Kresak, Robert E. Wyza, Robert B. Petersen, Gong Xian Wang, Qingzhong KongXinglong Wang, John Sedor, Xiongwei Zhu, Hua Zhu, Wen Quan Zou

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18 Scopus citations


The cellular prion protein (PrPC), a protein most noted for its link to prion diseases, has been found to play a protective role in ischemic brain injury. To investigate the role of PrPCin the kidney, an organ highly prone to ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury, we examined wildtype (WT) and PrPCknockout (KO) mice that were subjected to 30-min of renal ischemia followed by 1, 2, or 3 days of reperfusion. Renal dysfunction and structural damage was more severe in KO than in WT mice. While PrP was undetectable in KO kidneys, Western blotting revealed an increase in PrP in IR-injured WT kidneys compared to sham-treated kidneys. Compared to WT, KO kidneys exhibited increases in oxidative stress markers heme oxygenase-1, nitrotyrosine, and Nε-(carboxymethyl)lysine, and decreases in mito-chondrial complexes I and III. Notably, phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (pERK) staining was predominantly observed in tubular cells from KO mice following 2 days of reperfusion, a time at which significant differences in renal dysfunction, histological changes, oxidative stress, and mitochondrial complexes between WT and KO mice were observed. Our study provides the first evidence that PrPCmay play a protective role in renal IR injury, likely through its effects on mitochondria and ERK signaling pathways.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0136923
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


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