Friday, July 01, 2011

Bee Venom Enzyme May Help Treat Neurodegenerative Disorders Caused by Prion Peptides

Bee Venom Phospholipase A2 Prevents Prion Peptide Induced-Cell Death in Neuronal Cells
Int J Mol Med, 2011 Jun 23

Bee venom phospholipase A2 (bvPLA2) is a prototypic group III enzyme which consists of unique N-terminal and C-terminal domains and a central secretory PLA2 (sPLA2) domain. This sPLA2 domain is highly homologous with human group III sPLA2.

Current evidence suggests that group III sPLA2 may affect some neuronal functions, such as neuritogenesis, neurotransmitter release and neuronal survival. The prion diseases are neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the conversion of the normal cellular prion (PrPC) to the misfolded isoform scrapie prion protein (PrPSc).

PrPSc accumulation in the central nervous system (CNS) leads to neurotoxicity by inhibition of the PI3K/AKT pathway or activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways. In the present study, we found that bvPLA2 inhibited prion protein (PrP) fragment (106-126)-induced neuronal cell death. PrP(106-126)-mediated increase of p-p38 MAPK and cleaved caspases and decrease of p-AKT were blocked by bvPLA2 treatment.

These results indicate that increasing PLA2, including the group III sPLA2 is key to regulating PrP(106-126)-mediated neurotoxicity.

Taken together, the results of this study suggest that specific modulation of PLA2 appears to prevent neuronal cell death caused by prion peptides.

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