Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Modelling prion-induced neurodegeneration in PrP transgenic Drosophila
Author: Cardova, Alzbeta
ISNI:       0000 0004 7651 5537
Awarding Body: University of Cambridge
Current Institution: University of Cambridge
Date of Award: 2019
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
The aim of my thesis was to develop and characterise PrP transgenic Drosophila melanogaster of various genotypes to study the process of prion-induced neurodegeneration in this model. Prion diseases are caused by the occurrence of an abnormally-folded form of PrP (PrPSc) protein that arises either from the environment as an acquired disease, from mutation in the PrP-coding gene as a genetic disease or sporadically from causes unknown. The PrPSc then recruits PrPC, the normal form of PrP, that is ubiquitously present in the mammalian CNS and triggers neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration that is transmissible between individuals of the same or even different species. All prion diseases are currently incurable, fatal and the mechanism of prion-induced neurodegeneration remains to be discovered. In this thesis, Drosophila transgenic for ovine (chromosome 3 and dual PrP transgenic flies), hamster, humanised murine, human and cervid PrP were characterised for expression and biochemical properties. The ultimate goal of my thesis was investigation of cell-to-cell spread of misfolded PrP in Drosophila CNS. To achieve this, a mutant form of PrP that is thought to misfold was co-expressed with the normal form PrPC that served as a substrate in the same dual PrP-transgenic fly. The process was modelled using hamster, humanised murine or ovine PrP transgenes that carry human mutations associated with the spontaneous onset of transmissible neurodegeneration in the natural host. Various approaches towards independent spatial expression of PrP in Drosophila were exploited here in both single and dual PrP expressing flies. Moreover, the ability to initiate misfolding and the impact of this on the fly phenotype was investigated. Both apparent misfolding and phenotypic changes were seen in different fly models suggesting the models were successful. To this extent, PrP transgenic Drosophila were developed to allow for relatively rapid modelling of mammalian prion disease in this invertebrate organism.
Supervisor: Bujdoso, Raymond Sponsor: BBSRC
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: prion ; Drosophila ; protein ; misfolding ; neurodegeneration ; PrP ; aging ; prion disease