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The double life of the ribosome: When its protein folding activity supports prion propagation

Abstract : It is no longer necessary to demonstrate that ribosome is the central machinery of protein synthesis. But it is less known that it is also key player of the protein folding process through another conserved function: the protein folding activity of the ribosome (PFAR). This ribozyme activity, discovered more than 2 decades ago, depends upon the domain V of the large rRNA within the large subunit of the ribosome. Surprisingly, we discovered that anti-prion compounds are also potent PFAR inhibitors, highlighting an unexpected link between PFAR and prion propagation. In this review, we discuss the ancestral origin of PFAR in the light of the ancient RNA world hypothesis. We also consider how this ribosomal activity fits into the landscape of cellular protein chaperones involved in the appearance and propagation of prions and other amyloids in mammals. Finally, we examine how drugs targeting the protein folding activity of the ribosome could be active against mammalian prion and other protein aggregation-based diseases, making PFAR a promising therapeutic target for various human protein misfolding diseases.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, July 5, 2017 - 1:41:28 PM
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Cécile Voisset, Marc Blondel, Gary W. Jones, Gaëlle Friocourt, Guillaume Stahl, et al.. The double life of the ribosome: When its protein folding activity supports prion propagation. Prion, Taylor & Francis, 2017, 11 (2), pp.89-97. ⟨10.1080/19336896.2017.1303587⟩. ⟨hal-01517996⟩

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