BACKGROUND: The doppel protein (Dpl) is a newly recognized cellular prion protein (PrP(C))-like molecule encoded by a novel gene locus, PRND, located on the same chromosomal region of the PrP(C) coding gene. Recently, Dpl was shown to be aberrantly expressed in astrocytic tumor specimens and in astrocytoma-derived cell lines, showing a peculiar cytoplasmic localization. Here, Dpl interactions with some of the prion-interacting proteins were studied. In particular, whether the tumor astrocytic environment is suitable for doppel interaction with GFAP and Grb2 proteins, as well as with the PrPC protein itself was investigated. MATERIALS AND METHODS: In order to verify our hypothesis, an innovative mammalian two-hybrid system and co-immunoprecipitation assays were employed. RESULTS: The results reported the absence of protein interactions. Our findings provided evidence that, in our astrocytoma cell-based model, Dpl does not share with PrP(C) the ability to interact with GFAP and Grb2. CONCLUSION: Identifying Dpl ligands may provide new insights into the involvement of Dpl in astrocytoma tumor progression.
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