The prion protein PrP has a key role in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies but its biological function remains largely unknown. Recently, a related protein, Shadoo, was discovered. Its biological properties and brain distribution partially overlap that of PrP. We report that the Shadoo-encoding gene knockdown in PrP-knockout mouse embryos results in a lethal phenotype, occurring between E8 and E11, not observed on the wild-type genetic background. It reveals that these two proteins play a shared, crucial role in mammalian embryogenesis, explaining the lack of severe phenotype in PrP-knockout mammals, an appreciable step towards deciphering the biological role of this protein family. © 2009 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.
Young, R., Passet, B., Vilotte, M., Cribiu, E. P., Béringue, V., Le Provost, F., … Vilotte, J. L. (2009). The prion or the related Shadoo protein is required for early mouse embryogenesis. FEBS Letters, 583(19), 3296–3300. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.febslet.2009.09.027