Articles by Carmen I. Nussbaum-Krammer in JoVE
Other articles by Carmen I. Nussbaum-Krammer on PubMed
Spreading of a Prion Domain from Cell-to-cell by Vesicular Transport in Caenorhabditis Elegans PLoS Genetics. Mar, 2013 | Pubmed ID: 23555277 Prion proteins can adopt self-propagating alternative conformations that account for the infectious nature of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and the epigenetic inheritance of certain traits in yeast. Recent evidence suggests a similar propagation of misfolded proteins in the spreading of pathology of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. Currently there is only a limited number of animal model systems available to study the mechanisms that underlie the cell-to-cell transmission of aggregation-prone proteins. Here, we have established a new metazoan model in Caenorhabditis elegans expressing the prion domain NM of the cytosolic yeast prion protein Sup35, in which aggregation and toxicity are dependent upon the length of oligopeptide repeats in the glutamine/asparagine (Q/N)-rich N-terminus. NM forms multiple classes of highly toxic aggregate species and co-localizes to autophagy-related vesicles that transport the prion domain from the site of expression to adjacent tissues. This is associated with a profound cell autonomous and cell non-autonomous disruption of mitochondrial integrity, embryonic and larval arrest, developmental delay, widespread tissue defects, and loss of organismal proteostasis. Our results reveal that the Sup35 prion domain exhibits prion-like properties when expressed in the multicellular organism C. elegans and adapts to different requirements for propagation that involve the autophagy-lysosome pathway to transmit cytosolic aggregation-prone proteins between tissues.
Caenorhabditis Elegans As a Model System for Studying Non-cell-autonomous Mechanisms in Protein-misfolding Diseases Disease Models & Mechanisms. Jan, 2014 | Pubmed ID: 24396152 Caenorhabditis elegans has a number of distinct advantages that are useful for understanding the basis for cellular and organismal dysfunction underlying age-associated diseases of protein misfolding. Although protein aggregation, a key feature of human neurodegenerative diseases, has been typically explored in vivo at the single-cell level using cells in culture, there is now increasing evidence that proteotoxicity has a non-cell-autonomous component and is communicated between cells and tissues in a multicellular organism. These discoveries have opened up new avenues for the use of C. elegans as an ideal animal model system to study non-cell-autonomous proteotoxicity, prion-like propagation of aggregation-prone proteins, and the organismal regulation of stress responses and proteostasis. This Review focuses on recent evidence that C. elegans has mechanisms to transmit certain classes of toxic proteins between tissues and a complex stress response that integrates and coordinates signals from single cells and tissues across the organism. These findings emphasize the potential of C. elegans to provide insights into non-cell-autonomous proteotoxic mechanisms underlying age-related protein-misfolding diseases.