• Integrating omics in prion diseases as a model to explore the strain paradigm in neurodegenerative diseases
  • Tarozzi, Martina <1993>


  • MED/26 Neurologia


  • This project aims at deepening the understanding of the molecular basis of the phenotypic heterogeneity of prion diseases. Prion diseases represent the first and clearest example of “protein misfolding diseases”, that are all the neurodegenerative diseases caused by the accumulation of misfolded proteins in the central nervous system. In the field of protein misfolding diseases, the term “strain” describes the heterogeneity observed among the same disease in the clinical and pathologic progression, biochemical features of the aggregated protein, conformational memory and pattern of lesions. In this work, the two most common strains of Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD), named MM1 and VV2, were analyzed. This thesis investigates the strain paradigm with the production of new multi omic data, and, on such data, appropriate computational analysis combining bioinformatics, data science and statistical approaches was performed. In this work, genomic and transcriptomic profiling allowed an improved characterization of the molecular features of the two most common strains of CJD, identifying multiple possible genetic contributors to the disease and finding several shared impaired pathways between the VV2 strain and Parkinson Disease. On the epigenomic level, the tridimensional chromatin folding in peripheral immune cells of CJD patients at onset and of healthy controls was investigated with Hi-C. While being the first application of this very advanced technology in prion diseases and one of the first in general in neurobiology, this work found a significant and diffuse loss of genomic interactions in immune cells of CJD patients at disease onset, particularly in the PRNP locus, suggesting a possible impairment of chromatin conformation in the disease. The results of this project represent a novelty in the state of the art in this field, both from a biomedical and technological point of view.


  • 2022-06-20


  • Doctoral Thesis
  • PeerReviewed


  • application/pdf



Tarozzi, Martina (2022) Integrating omics in prion diseases as a model to explore the strain paradigm in neurodegenerative diseases, [Dissertation thesis], Alma Mater Studiorum Università di Bologna. Dottorato di ricerca in Scienze e tecnologie della salute , 34 Ciclo. DOI 10.48676/unibo/amsdottorato/10204.