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Sample records for spongiform encephalopathies prion

  1. Prions and animal transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Juntes Polona

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Background. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs or prion diseases are a unique group of neurodegenerative diseases of animals and humans, which always have a fatal outcome and are transmissible among animals of the same or different species. Scope and Approach. The aim of this work is to review some recent data about animal TSEs, with the emphasis on their causative agents and zoonotic potential, and to discuss why the surveillance and control measures over animal TSEs should remain in force. Key Findings and Conclusions. We still have incomplete knowledge of prions and prion diseases. Scrapie has been present for a very long time and controlled with varied success. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE emerged unnoticed, and spread within a few years to epidemic proportions, entailing enormous economic consequences and public concerns. Currently, the classical BSE epidemic is under control, but atypical cases do, and probably will, persist in bovine populations. The Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD of the cervids has been spreading in North America and has recently been detected in Europe. Preventive measures for the control of classical BSE remain in force, including the feed ban and removal of specified risk materials. However, active BSE surveillance has considerably decreased. In the absence of such preventive and control measures, atypical BSE cases in healthy slaughtered bovines might persist in the human food chain, and BSE prions might resurface. Moreover, other prion strains might emerge and spread undetected if the appropriate preventive and surveillance measures were to cease, leaving behind inestimable consequences.

  2. Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (Prion Diseases)

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... This research is aimed at determining how abnormal prion proteins lead to disease, at finding better tests ... This research is aimed at determining how abnormal prion proteins lead to disease, at finding better tests ...

  3. Classical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy by Transmission of H-Type Prion in Homologous Prion Protein Context

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andréoletti, Olivier; Lacroux, Caroline; Prieto, Irene; Lorenzo, Patricia; Larska, Magdalena; Baron, Thierry; Espinosa, Juan-Carlos

    2011-01-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and BSE-related disorders have been associated with a single major prion strain. Recently, 2 atypical, presumably sporadic forms of BSE have been associated with 2 distinct prion strains that are characterized mainly by distinct Western blot profiles of abnormal protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres), named high-type (BSE-H) and low-type (BSE-L), that also differed from classical BSE. We characterized 5 atypical BSE-H isolates by analyzing their molecular and neuropathologic properties during transmission in transgenic mice expressing homologous bovine prion protein. Unexpectedly, in several inoculated animals, strain features emerged that were highly similar to those of classical BSE agent. These findings demonstrate the capability of an atypical bovine prion to acquire classical BSE–like properties during propagation in a homologous bovine prion protein context and support the view that the epidemic BSE agent could have originated from such a cattle prion. PMID:21888788

  4. Classical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy by Transmission of H-Type Prion in Homologous Prion Protein Context

    OpenAIRE

    Torres, Juan-María; Andréoletti, Olivier; Lacroux, Caroline; Prieto, Irene; Lorenzo, Patricia; Larska, Magdalena; Baron, Thierry; Espinosa, Juan-Carlos

    2011-01-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and BSErelated disorders have been associated with a single major prion strain. Recently, 2 atypical, presumably sporadic forms of BSE have been associated with 2 distinct prion strains that are characterized mainly by distinct Western blot profi les of abnormal protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres), named high-type (BSE-H) and low-type (BSE-L), that also differed from classical BSE. We characterized 5 atypical BSE-H isolates by analyzing their molec...

  5. Use of bovine recombinant prion protein and real-time quaking-induced conversion to detect transmissible mink encephalopathy prions and discriminate classical and atypical L- and H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions are amyloid-forming proteins that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies through a process involving conversion from normal cellular prion protein to pathogenic misfolded conformation. This conversion has been used for in vitro assays including serial protein misfolding amplification...

  6. Guinea Pig Prion Protein Supports Rapid Propagation of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy and Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Giles, Kurt; Saltzberg, Daniel J; Dugger, Brittany N; Patel, Smita; Oehler, Abby; Bhardwaj, Sumita; Sali, Andrej; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2016-11-01

    The biochemical and neuropathological properties of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) prions are faithfully maintained upon transmission to guinea pigs. However, primary and secondary transmissions of BSE and vCJD in guinea pigs result in long incubation periods of ∼450 and ∼350 days, respectively. To determine if the incubation periods of BSE and vCJD prions could be shortened, we generated transgenic (Tg) mice expressing guinea pig prion protein (GPPrP). Inoculation of Tg(GPPrP) mice with BSE and vCJD prions resulted in mean incubation periods of 210 and 199 days, respectively, which shortened to 137 and 122 days upon serial transmission. In contrast, three different isolates of sporadic CJD prions failed to transmit disease to Tg(GPPrP) mice. Many of the strain-specified biochemical and neuropathological properties of BSE and vCJD prions, including the presence of type 2 protease-resistant PrP Sc , were preserved upon propagation in Tg(GPPrP) mice. Structural modeling revealed that two residues near the N-terminal region of α-helix 1 in GPPrP might mediate its susceptibility to BSE and vCJD prions. Our results demonstrate that expression of GPPrP in Tg mice supports the rapid propagation of BSE and vCJD prions and suggest that Tg(GPPrP) mice may serve as a useful paradigm for bioassaying these prion isolates. Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions are two of the prion strains most relevant to human health. However, propagating these strains in mice expressing human or bovine prion protein has been difficult because of prolonged incubation periods or inefficient transmission. Here, we show that transgenic mice expressing guinea pig prion protein are fully susceptible to vCJD and BSE prions but not to sporadic CJD prions. Our results suggest that the guinea pig prion protein is a better, more rapid substrate than either bovine or human prion protein for

  7. IMMUNOLOGICAL STUDY OF SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHIES

    OpenAIRE

    J. Meenupriya

    2013-01-01

    Spongiform encephalopathies, categorized as a subclass of neuro-degenerative diseases and commonly known as prion diseases, are a group of progressive conditions that affect the brain and nervous system of many animals, including humans. Prion diseases are common among cannibalistic communities; further research has revealed that the infected or malformed prion protein (named PrPsc) spreads its virulence to the normal, healthy prion protein (named PrPc) when people consume...

  8. Assessing transmissible spongiform encephalopathy species barriers with an in vitro prion protein conversion assay

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Carlson, Christina M.; Morawski, Aaron R.; Manthei, Alyson; Cashman, Neil R.

    2015-01-01

    Studies to understanding interspecies transmission of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, prion diseases) are challenging in that they typically rely upon lengthy and costly in vivo animal challenge studies. A number of in vitro assays have been developed to aid in measuring prion species barriers, thereby reducing animal use and providing quicker results than animal bioassays. Here, we present the protocol for a rapid in vitroprion conversion assay called the conversion efficiency ratio (CER) assay. In this assay cellular prion protein (PrPC) from an uninfected host brain is denatured at both pH 7.4 and 3.5 to produce two substrates. When the pH 7.4 substrate is incubated with TSE agent, the amount of PrPC that converts to a proteinase K (PK)-resistant state is modulated by the original host’s species barrier to the TSE agent. In contrast, PrPC in the pH 3.5 substrate is misfolded by any TSE agent. By comparing the amount of PK-resistant prion protein in the two substrates, an assessment of the host’s species barrier can be made. We show that the CER assay correctly predicts known prion species barriers of laboratory mice and, as an example, show some preliminary results suggesting that bobcats (Lynx rufus) may be susceptible to white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) chronic wasting disease agent.

  9. Toward unfolding the prion misfolding mystery: protein free radical chemistry in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yang Chiming

    2003-01-01

    Owing to the high oxygen-respiration in the brain of mammals, oxidative damage to prion protein has been suggested to be an additional factor. A large body of intriguing features of scrapie and prion diseases have provided multiple lines of indirect chemistry evidence, suggesting that the infectious agents may be putative forms of sequence-specific prion radicals (SSPR) and/or their immediate precursors in the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE). Here a molecular mechanism corresponding to the self-replication of scrapie protein mediated by prion free-radical processes, consonant with 'protein-only' hypotheses is proposed. This new theory may not only aid our understanding of the occurrence of prions, but also provides new insight into the possible chemistry principles underlying the neutrodegenerative disorders. It is anticipated that future studies based on this suggestion and chemistry principles of genetic diseases may allow us to determine an effective approach to stop mad cow disease and its human version, new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (v CJD)

  10. Instability of familial spongiform encephalopathy-related prion mutants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Watanabe, Yasuko; Hiraoka, Wakako; Shimoyama, Yuhei; Horiuchi, Motohiro; Kuwabara, Mikinori; Inanami, Osamu

    2008-01-01

    We examined the influence of D177N (D178N in humans) mutation on the conformational stability of the S2 region of moPrP C with varying pHs by using the SDSL-ESR technique. The ESR spectrum of D177N at pH 7.5 was narrower than that of Y161R1, referred to as WT * . The ESR spectrum of D177N did not change when pH in the solution decreased to pH 4.0. Our results suggested that the disappearance of a salt bridge (D177-R163) induced the increase in the instability of S2 region. Moreover, the line shape of the ESR spectrum obtained from H176S neighboring the salt bridge linked to the S2 region was similar to D177N. These results indicate that the protonation of H176 is strongly associated with the stability of S2 region. These findings are important for understanding the mechanism by which the disruption of the salt bridge in the S2 region forms the pathogenic PrP Sc structure in hereditary prion disease

  11. Prion Protein Devoid of the Octapeptide Repeat Region Delays Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Pathogenesis in Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hara, Hideyuki; Miyata, Hironori; Das, Nandita Rani; Chida, Junji; Yoshimochi, Tatenobu; Uchiyama, Keiji; Watanabe, Hitomi; Kondoh, Gen; Yokoyama, Takashi; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2018-01-01

    Conformational conversion of the cellular isoform of prion protein, PrP C , into the abnormally folded, amyloidogenic isoform, PrP Sc , is a key pathogenic event in prion diseases, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in animals. We previously reported that the octapeptide repeat (OR) region could be dispensable for converting PrP C into PrP Sc after infection with RML prions. We demonstrated that mice transgenically expressing mouse PrP with deletion of the OR region on the PrP knockout background, designated Tg(PrPΔOR)/ Prnp 0 / 0 mice, did not show reduced susceptibility to RML scrapie prions, with abundant accumulation of PrP Sc ΔOR in their brains. We show here that Tg(PrPΔOR)/ Prnp 0 / 0 mice were highly resistant to BSE prions, developing the disease with markedly elongated incubation times after infection with BSE prions. The conversion of PrPΔOR into PrP Sc ΔOR was markedly delayed in their brains. These results suggest that the OR region may have a crucial role in the conversion of PrP C into PrP Sc after infection with BSE prions. However, Tg(PrPΔOR)/ Prnp 0 / 0 mice remained susceptible to RML and 22L scrapie prions, developing the disease without elongated incubation times after infection with RML and 22L prions. PrP Sc ΔOR accumulated only slightly less in the brains of RML- or 22L-infected Tg(PrPΔOR)/ Prnp 0 / 0 mice than PrP Sc in control wild-type mice. Taken together, these results indicate that the OR region of PrP C could play a differential role in the pathogenesis of BSE prions and RML or 22L scrapie prions. IMPORTANCE Structure-function relationship studies of PrP C conformational conversion into PrP Sc are worthwhile to understand the mechanism of the conversion of PrP C into PrP Sc We show here that, by inoculating Tg(PrPΔOR)/ Prnp 0 / 0 mice with the three different strains of RML, 22L, and BSE prions, the OR region could play a differential role in the conversion of

  12. In vitro prion protein conversion suggests risk of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis) to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Morawski, A.R.; Carlson, C.M.; Chang, H.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) affect both domestic sheep (scrapie) and captive and free-ranging cervids (chronic wasting disease; CWD). The geographical range of bighorn sheep (Ovis canadensis; BHS) overlaps with states or provinces that have contained scrapie-positive sheep or goats and areas with present epizootics of CWD in cervids. No TSEs have been documented in BHS, but the susceptibility of this species to TSEs remains unknown. Results: We acquired a library of BHS tissues and found no evidence of preexisting TSEs in these animals. The prion protein gene (Prnp) in all BHS in our library was identical to scrapie-susceptible domestic sheep (A136R 154Q171). Using an in vitro prion protein conversion assay, which has been previously used to assess TSE species barriers and, in our study appears to recollect known species barriers in mice, we assessed the potential transmissibility of TSEs to BHS. As expected based upon Prnp genotype, we observed BHS prion protein conversion by classical scrapie agent and evidence for a species barrier between transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) and BHS. Interestingly, our data suggest that the species barrier of BHS to white-tailed deer or wapiti CWD agents is likely low. We also used protein misfolding cyclic amplification to confirm that CWD, but not TME, can template prion protein misfolding in A136R 154Q171genotype sheep. Conclusions: Our results indicate the in vitro conversion assay used in our study does mimic the species barrier of mice to the TSE agents that we tested. Based on Prnp genotype and results from conversion assays, BHS are likely to be susceptible to infection by classical scrapie. Despite mismatches in amino acids thought to modulate prion protein conversion, our data indicate that A136R154Q171 genotype sheep prion protein is misfolded by CWD agent, suggesting that these animals could be susceptible to CWD. Further investigation of TSE transmissibility to BHS, including

  13. Ultra-sensitive detection of prion protein fibrils by flow cytometry in blood from cattle affected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maas Elke

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The definite diagnosis of prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD in humans or bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE in cattle currently relies on the post mortem detection of the pathological form of the prion protein (PrPSc in brain tissue. Infectivity studies indicate that PrPSc may also be present in body fluids, even at presymptomatic stages of the disease, albeit at concentrations well below the detection limits of currently available analytical methods. Results We developed a highly sensitive method for detecting prion protein aggregates that takes advantage of kinetic differences between seeded and unseeded polymerization of prion protein monomers. Detection of the aggregates was carried out by flow cytometry. In the presence of prion seeds, the association of labelled recombinant PrP monomers in plasma and serum proceeds much more efficiently than in the absence of seeds. In a diagnostic model system, synthetic PrP aggregates were detected down to a concentration of approximately 10-8 nM [0.24 fg/ml]. A specific signal was detected in six out of six available serum samples from BSE-positive cattle. Conclusion We have developed a method based on seed-dependent PrP fibril formation that shows promising results in differentiating a small number of BSE-positive serum samples from healthy controls. This method may provide the basis for an ante mortem diagnostic test for prion diseases.

  14. Experimental Infection of Cattle With a Novel Prion Derived From Atypical H-Type Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Okada, Hiroyuki; Masujin, Kentaro; Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Iwamaru, Yoshihumi; Imamura, Morikazu; Matsuura, Yuichi; Arai, Shozo; Fukuda, Shigeo; Murayama, Yuichi; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2017-11-01

    H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (H-BSE) is an atypical form of BSE in cattle. During passaging of H-BSE in transgenic bovinized (TgBoPrP) mice, a novel phenotype of BSE, termed BSE-SW emerged and was characterized by a short incubation time and host weight loss. To investigate the biological and biochemical properties of the BSE-SW prion, a transmission study was conducted in cattle, which were inoculated intracerebrally with brain homogenate from BSE-SW-infected TgBoPrP mice. The disease incubation period was approximately 15 months. The animals showed characteristic neurological signs of dullness, and severe spongiform changes and a widespread, uniform distribution of disease-associated prion protein (PrP Sc ) were observed throughout the brain of infected cattle. Immunohistochemical PrP Sc staining of the brain revealed the presence of intraglial accumulations and plaque-like deposits. No remarkable differences were identified in vacuolar lesion scores, topographical distribution patterns, and staining types of PrP Sc in the brains of BSE-SW- vs H-BSE-infected cattle. PrP Sc deposition was detected in the ganglia, vagus nerve, spinal nerve, cauda equina, adrenal medulla, and ocular muscle. Western blot analysis revealed that the specific biochemical properties of the BSE-SW prion, with an additional 10- to 12-kDa fragment, were well maintained after transmission. These findings indicated that the BSE-SW prion has biochemical properties distinct from those of H-BSE in cattle, although clinical and pathologic features of BSW-SW in cattle are indistinguishable from those of H-BSE. The results suggest that the 2 infectious agents, BSE-SW and H-BSE, are closely related strains.

  15. Use of bovine recombinant prion protein and real-time quaking-induced conversion to detect cattle transmissible mink encephalopathy prions and discriminate classical and atypical L- and H-Type bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hwang, Soyoun; Greenlee, Justin J; Nicholson, Eric M

    2017-01-01

    Prions are amyloid-forming proteins that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies through a process involving conversion from the normal cellular prion protein to the pathogenic misfolded conformation (PrPSc). This conversion has been used for in vitro assays including serial protein misfolding amplification and real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC). RT-QuIC can be used for the detection of prions in a variety of biological tissues from humans and animals. Extensive work has been done to demonstrate that RT-QuIC is a rapid, specific, and highly sensitive prion detection assay. RT-QuIC uses recombinant prion protein to detect minute amounts of PrPSc. RT-QuIC has been successfully used to detect PrPSc from different prion diseases with a variety of substrates including hamster, human, sheep, bank vole, bovine and chimeric forms of prion protein. However, recombinant bovine prion protein has not been used to detect transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) or to differentiate types of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in samples from cattle. We evaluated whether PrPSc from TME and BSE infected cattle can be detected with RT-QuIC using recombinant bovine prion proteins, and optimized the reaction conditions to specifically detect cattle TME and to discriminate between classical and atypical BSE by conversion efficiency. We also found that substrate composed of the disease associated E211K mutant protein can be effective for the detection of TME in cattle and that wild type prion protein appears to be a practical substrate to discriminate between the different types of BSEs.

  16. Pathogenesis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in sheep

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keulen, van L.J.M.; Vromans, M.E.W.; Dolstra, C.H.; Bossers, A.; Zijderveld, van F.G.

    2008-01-01

    The pathogenesis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in sheep was studied by immunohistochemical detection of scrapie-associated prion protein (PrPSc) in the gastrointestinal, lymphoid and neural tissues following oral inoculation with BSE brain homogenate. First accumulation of PrPSc was

  17. Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy and Meat Safety

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Hester J. T.; Knight, Richard S. G.

    Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) comprise a wide-ranging group of neurodegenerative diseases found in animals and humans. They have diverse causes and geographical distributions, but have similar pathological features, transmissibility and, are ultimately, fatal. Central to all TSEs is the presence of an abnormal form of a normal host protein, namely the prion protein. Because of their potential transmissibility, these diseases have wide public health ramifications.

  18. A comparison of classical and H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy associated with E211K prion protein polymorphism in wild type and EK211 cattle following intracranial inoculation

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 2006, a case of H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE-H) was diagnosed in a cow that was associated with a heritable polymorphism in the bovine prion protein gene (PRNP) resulting in a lysine for glutamine amino acid substitution at codon 211 (called E211K) of the prion protein. Although t...

  19. Chronic wasting disease and atypical forms of bovine spongiform encephalopathy and scrapie are not transmissible to mice expressing wild-type levels of human prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Rona; Plinston, Chris; Hunter, Nora; Casalone, Cristina; Corona, Cristiano; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Suardi, Silvia; Ruggerone, Margherita; Moda, Fabio; Graziano, Silvia; Sbriccoli, Marco; Cardone, Franco; Pocchiari, Maurizio; Ingrosso, Loredana; Baron, Thierry; Richt, Juergen; Andreoletti, Olivier; Simmons, Marion; Lockey, Richard; Manson, Jean C; Barron, Rona M

    2012-07-01

    The association between bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) has demonstrated that cattle transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) can pose a risk to human health and raises the possibility that other ruminant TSEs may be transmissible to humans. In recent years, several novel TSEs in sheep, cattle and deer have been described and the risk posed to humans by these agents is currently unknown. In this study, we inoculated two forms of atypical BSE (BASE and H-type BSE), a chronic wasting disease (CWD) isolate and seven isolates of atypical scrapie into gene-targeted transgenic (Tg) mice expressing the human prion protein (PrP). Upon challenge with these ruminant TSEs, gene-targeted Tg mice expressing human PrP did not show any signs of disease pathology. These data strongly suggest the presence of a substantial transmission barrier between these recently identified ruminant TSEs and humans.

  20. Cross-seeding of prions by aggregated α-synuclein leads to transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizaveta Katorcha

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Aggregation of misfolded proteins or peptides is a common feature of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's, prion and other diseases. Recent years have witnessed a growing number of reports of overlap in neuropathological features that were once thought to be unique to only one neurodegenerative disorder. However, the origin for the overlap remains unclear. One possibility is that diseases with mixed brain pathologies might arise from cross-seeding of one amyloidogenic protein by aggregated states of unrelated proteins. In the current study we examined whether prion replication can be induced by cross-seeding by α-synuclein or Aβ peptide. We found that α-synuclein aggregates formed in cultured cells or in vitro display cross-seeding activity and trigger misfolding of the prion protein (PrPC in serial Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification reactions, producing self-replicating PrP states characterized by a short C-terminal proteinase K (PK-resistant region referred to as PrPres. Non-fibrillar α-synuclein or fibrillar Aβ failed to cross-seed misfolding of PrPC. Remarkably, PrPres triggered by aggregated α-synuclein in vitro propagated in animals and, upon serial transmission, produced PrPSc and clinical prion disease characterized by spongiosis and astrocytic gliosis. The current study demonstrates that aggregated α-synuclein is potent in cross-seeding of prion protein misfolding and aggregation in vitro, producing self-replicating states that can lead to transmissible prion diseases upon serial passaging in wild type animals. In summary, the current work documents direct cross-seeding between unrelated amyloidogenic proteins associated with different neurodegenerative diseases. This study suggests that early interaction between unrelated amyloidogenic proteins might underlie the etiology of mixed neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

  1. Advancing prion science: guidance for the National Prion Research Program

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Erdtmann, Rick; Sivitz, Laura

    2004-01-01

    ...€™s National Prion Research Program (NPRP). Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), also called prion diseases, are invariably fatal neurodegenerative infectious diseases that include bovine spongiform encephalopathy...

  2. H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy associated with E211K prion protein polymorphism: clinical and pathologic features in wild-type and E211K cattle following intracranial inoculation

    Science.gov (United States)

    In 2006 an H-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) case was reported in an animal with an unusual polymorphism (E211K) in the prion protein gene. Although the prevalence of this polymorphism is low, cattle carrying the K211 allele are predisposed to rapid onset of H-type BSE when exposed. The ...

  3. [Human transmissible subacute spongiform encephalopathy].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dormont, D

    1994-05-01

    Human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) are rare chronic subacute degenerative diseases of the central nervous system (CNS) which include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Kuru, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), and Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI). CJD can be either inherited or sporadic. All these diseases are always fatal. Neuropathological features are mainly constituted of neuronal vacuolisation, neuronal death, gliosis with hyperastrocytosis; plaques might be evidenced in kuru and GSS. Neither inflammatory syndrome nor demyelination is detectable. No virus like structure could be identified reproducibly. Human TSE are transmissible to non human primates and rodents. Iatrogenic CJD have been described after tissue grafting (cornea, dura mater), neurosurgery, electrophysiology investigation, and treatment with pituitary derived gonadotrophins and growth hormone. Molecular biochemistry of the CNS investigation revealed that a host encoded protein, the prion protein (PrP), accumulates proportionally to the infectious titer: this abnormality is the only detectable hallmark in TSE. Infectious fractions contain no detectable specific nucleic acid, and are mainly constituted of PrP under an isoform which resists to proteinase K digestion (PrP-res). The PrP gene (PRNP) is located on chromosome 20 in humans. Several mutations of this gene have been described in all inherited TSE (CJD, GSS, and IFF). No treatment is available today. Agents inducing TSE (TSA) are not known: several authors claim that TSA are only constituted of PrP-res; others support the hypothesis of a conventional agent with a specific genetic information.

  4. Prions spread via the autonomic nervous system from the gut to the central nervous system in cattle incubating bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffmann, Christine; Ziegler, Ute; Buschmann, Anne; Weber, Artur; Kupfer, Leila; Oelschlegel, Anja; Hammerschmidt, Baerbel; Groschup, Martin H

    2007-03-01

    To elucidate the still-unknown pathogenesis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), an oral BSE challenge and sequential kill study was carried out on 56 calves. Relevant tissues belonging to the peripheral and central nervous system, as well as to the lymphoreticular tract, from necropsied animals were analysed by highly sensitive immunohistochemistry and immunoblotting techniques to reveal the presence of BSE-associated pathological prion protein (PrPSc) depositions. Our results demonstrate two routes involving the autonomic nervous system through which BSE prions spread by anterograde pathways from the gastrointestinal tract (GIT) to the central nervous system (CNS): (i) via the coeliac and mesenteric ganglion complex, splanchnic nerves and the lumbal/caudal thoracic spinal cord (representing the sympathetic GIT innervation); and (ii) via the Nervus vagus (parasympathetic GIT innervation). The dorsal root ganglia seem to be subsequently affected, so it is likely that BSE prion invasion of the non-autonomic peripheral nervous system (e.g. sciatic nerve) is a secondary retrograde event following prion replication in the CNS. Moreover, BSE-associated PrPSc was already detected in the brainstem of an animal 24 months post-infection, which is 8 months earlier than reported previously. These findings are important for the understanding of BSE pathogenesis and for the development of new diagnostic strategies for this infectious disease.

  5. Subcritical Water Hydrolysis Effectively Reduces the In Vitro Seeding Activity of PrPSc but Fails to Inactivate the Infectivity of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Prions.

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    Yuichi Murayama

    Full Text Available The global outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE has been attributed to the recycling of contaminated meat and bone meals (MBMs as feed supplements. The use of MBMs has been prohibited in many countries; however, the development of a method for inactivating BSE prions could enable the efficient and safe use of these products as an organic resource. Subcritical water (SCW, which is water heated under pressure to maintain a liquid state at temperatures below the critical temperature (374°C, exhibits strong hydrolytic activity against organic compounds. In this study, we examined the residual in vitro seeding activity of protease-resistant prion protein (PrPSc and the infectivity of BSE prions after SCW treatments. Spinal cord homogenates prepared from BSE-infected cows were treated with SCW at 230-280°C for 5-7.5 min and used to intracerebrally inoculate transgenic mice overexpressing bovine prion protein. Serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA analysis detected no PrPSc in the SCW-treated homogenates, and the mice treated with these samples survived for more than 700 days without any signs of disease. However, sPMCA analyses detected PrPSc accumulation in the brains of all inoculated mice. Furthermore, secondary passage mice, which inoculated with brain homogenates derived from a western blotting (WB-positive primary passage mouse, died after an average of 240 days, similar to mice inoculated with untreated BSE-infected spinal cord homogenates. The PrPSc accumulation and vacuolation typically observed in the brains of BSE-infected mice were confirmed in these secondary passage mice, suggesting that the BSE prions maintained their infectivity after SCW treatment. One late-onset case, as well as asymptomatic but sPMCA-positive cases, were also recognized in secondary passage mice inoculated with brain homogenates from WB-negative but sPMCA-positive primary passage mice. These results indicated that SCW

  6. Quantitative Risk Assessment of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsutsui, Toshiyuki; Kasuga, Fumiko

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a progressive neurological disease of cattle affecting the central nervous system and was first diagnosed in the United Kingdom (UK) in 1986 (Wells et al., 1987). This disease is one of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) which includes Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans and scrapie in sheep. The causative agent of TSE is considered to be an abnormal form of prion protein. However, the details of its pathogenic mechanism have not been fully identified. Scrapie, which causes neurological symptoms in sheep and goats, has existed in the UK for 200 years (Hoinville, 1996) and spread across the rest of the world in the 1900s (Detwiler & Baylis, 2003). There has been no report so far that scrapie can be transmitted to humans. Initially, BSE was also considered as a disease affecting only animals. However, a variant type of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) was first reported in the UK, and exposure to a BSE agent was suspected (Collinge, Sidle, Meads, Ironside, & Hill, 1996). vCJD is clinically and pathologically different from the sporadic type of CJD, and age at clinical onset of vCJD is younger than sporadic type (Will et al., 1996). Since the UK government announced the possible association between BSE and vCJD in 1996, BSE has become a huge public health concern all over the world. Of particular concern about vCJD, the fatal disease in younger age, distorted consumer confidence in beef safety, and as a result reduced beef consumption has been seen in many BSE-affected countries.

  7. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy: Atypical Pros and Cons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are fatal neurologic diseases that affect several mammalian species including human beings. Four animal TSE agents have been reported: scrapie of sheep and goats; chronic wasting disease (CWD) of deer, elk, and moose; transmissible mink encephalopath...

  8. Pathogenesis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in sheep.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Keulen, L J M; Vromans, M E W; Dolstra, C H; Bossers, A; van Zijderveld, F G

    2008-01-01

    The pathogenesis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in sheep was studied by immunohistochemical detection of scrapie-associated prion protein (PrP(Sc)) in the gastrointestinal, lymphoid and neural tissues following oral inoculation with BSE brain homogenate. First accumulation of PrP(Sc) was detected after 6 months in the tonsil and the ileal Peyer's patches. At 9 months postinfection, PrP(Sc) accumulation involved all gut-associated lymphoid tissues and lymph nodes as well as the spleen. At this time point, PrP(Sc) accumulation in the peripheral neural tissues was first seen in the enteric nervous system of the caudal jejunum and ileum and in the coeliac-mesenteric ganglion. In the central nervous system, PrP(Sc) was first detected in the dorsal motor nucleus of the nervus Vagus in the medulla oblongata and in the intermediolateral column in the spinal cord segments T7-L1. At subsequent time points, PrP(Sc) was seen to spread within the lymphoid system to also involve all non-gut-associated lymphoid tissues. In the enteric nervous system, further spread of PrP(Sc) involved the neural plexi along the entire gastrointestinal tract and in the CNS the complete neuraxis. These findings indicate a spread of the BSE agent in sheep from the enteric nervous system through parasympathetic and sympathetic nerves to the medulla oblongata and the spinal cord.

  9. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... the CDC Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease Note: Javascript is disabled or is not ... spongiform encephalopathy) is a progressive neurological disorder of cattle that results from infection by an unusual transmissible ...

  10. Removal of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy prion from large volumes of cell culture media supplemented with fetal bovine serum by using hollow fiber anion-exchange membrane chromatography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chou, Ming Li; Bailey, Andy; Avory, Tiffany; Tanimoto, Junji; Burnouf, Thierry

    2015-01-01

    Cases of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in people who had consumed contaminated meat products from cattle with bovine spongiform encephalopathy emphasize the need for measures aimed at preventing the transmission of the pathogenic prion protein (PrPSc) from materials derived from cattle. Highly stringent scrutiny is required for fetal bovine serum (FBS), a growth-medium supplement used in the production of parenteral vaccines and therapeutic recombinant proteins and in the ex vivo expansion of stem cells for transplantation. One such approach is the implementation of manufacturing steps dedicated to removing PrPSc from materials containing FBS. We evaluated the use of the QyuSpeed D (QSD) adsorbent hollow-fiber anion-exchange chromatographic column (Asahi Kasei Medical, Tokyo, Japan) for the removal of PrPSc from cell culture media supplemented with FBS. We first established that QSD filtration had no adverse effect on the chemical composition of various types of culture media supplemented with 10% FBS or the growth and viability characteristics of human embryonic kidney (HEK293) cells, baby hamster kidney (BHK-21) cells, African green monkey kidney (Vero) cells, and Chinese hamster ovary (CHO-k1) cells propagated in the various culture-medium filtrates. We used a 0.6-mL QSD column for removing PrPSc from up to 1000 mL of Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium containing 10% FBS previously spiked with the 263K strain of hamster-adapted scrapie. The Western blot analysis, validated alongside an infectivity assay, revealed that the level of PrPSc in the initial 200mL flow-through was reduced by 2.5 to > 3 log10, compared with that of the starting material. These results indicate that QSD filtration removes PrPSc from cell culture media containing 10% FBS, and demonstrate the ease with which QSD filtration can be implemented in at industrial-scale to improve the safety of vaccines, therapeutic recombinant proteins, and ex vivo expanded stem cells produced using growth

  11. Encephalopathy for prions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Colegial, Carlos; Silva, Federico; Perez, Carlos

    1999-01-01

    The encephalopathy spongyform for prions are neuro degenerative illness that can be sporadic or transferable, for infectious or hereditary mechanisms. Their investigation has outlined enormous challenges and in the historical journey in search of its cause two doctors have received the Nobel prize of medicine Carleton Gajdusek, for its works in New Guinea where it described the infectious transmission for cannibalistic rites that it took to studies of experimental transmission in chimpanzees and to its theory of the slow virus; later on, Stanley Prusiner developed its experimental works in hamsters, throwing to the neurobiology the prion concept (particles infectious proteinaceous not viral). The paper narrates the history of a patient that died in the San Juan de Dios of Bogota Hospital by cause of this prionic illness and clinical and pathological aspects are discussed

  12. Human transmissible spongiform encephalopathy: Case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Duque Velásquez, Camilo

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available We report the case of a 64 year-old woman with motor and cognitive deterioration that progressed rapidly during eight months. She was unsuccessfully treated with quinacrine, and died in a terminal status, by septic shock secondary to bronchopneumonia by broncho-aspiration. The brain was donated for research and the histopathological analysis showed spongiform changes, astrogliosis and prion protein (PrPRes deposits, confirmed by Western blot (WB. These features are considered characteristic of prion diseases, which are uncommon in Colombia. We highlight that its diagnosis was made for the first time in this country by the simultaneous use of immunohistochemistry and Western blot.

  13. Detection of PrP(Sc) in peripheral tissues of clinically affected cattle after oral challenge with bovine spongiform encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a fatal neurodegenerative prion disease that affects cattle and can be transmitted to human beings as new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD). A protease-resistant, disease-associated isoform of the prion protein (PrP**Sc) accumulates in the central ner...

  14. Origin and implications of bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Narang, H

    1996-04-01

    All spongiform encephalopathies in animals, including humans, are slow developing infectious diseases. The current working theory links the origin of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to the feeding of cattle with meat and bone meal prepared from scrapie-infected sheep remains. Recycling of cattle meat and bones (MBM) essentially resulted in the selection of a single strain from the "wild type", a mixture of 20 strains. The BSE agent is easily transmitted through ingestion, with some evidence of vertical transmission. Paradoxically, cattle have selected a major new strain which appears to be more virulent than an unselected strain found in scrapie sheep. The same strain of BSE agent is implicated in the occurrence of spongiform encephalopathy in domestic cats, tiger, and some exotic species of ruminants in zoos. The properties of BSE and its spread into cattle are still disputed. Since our understanding of the disease and its transmissibility in humans must await observations that will be made over some years to come, it is important to keep a reasonable perspective and ensure that any speculative comment is consistent with fact. In risk assessment in such circumstances, it is tempting give too much credence to persuasive parallels when direct relevant information is not available. On the other hand, it would also not be wise to assume that the disease will die by itself and will have no effect on humans.

  15. High-Throughput Screening of Compounds for Anti-Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Activity Using Cell-Culture and Cell-Free Models and Infected Animals

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Caughey, Byron

    2004-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are fatal untreatable neurodegenerative diseases associated with the accumulation of a disease-specific form of prion protein (prp(expSc)) in the brain...

  16. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE, Mad Cow Disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. K. Bruckner

    1997-07-01

    Full Text Available Mad Cow Disease or BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy became a household name internationally and also in South Africa. International hysteria resulted following reports of a possible link between a disease diagnosed in cattle in Britain and a variant of the disease diagnosed in humans after the presumed ingestion or contact with meat from infected cattle. The European Union instituted a ban on the importation of beef from the United Kingdom during March 1996 that had a severe effect on the beef industry in the UK and also resulted in a world wide consumer resistance against beef consumption.

  17. Control of bovine spongiform encephalopathy by genetic engineering: possible approaches and regulatory considerations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gavora, J.S.; Kochhar, H.P.S.; Gifford, G.A.

    2005-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) include bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), scrapie in sheep and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. A new CJD variant (nvCJD) is believed to be related to consumption of meat from BSE cattle. In TSE individuals, prion proteins (PrP) with approximately 250 amino acids convert to the pathogenic prion PrP Sc , leading to a dysfunction of the central neural system. Research elsewhere with mice has indicated a possible genetic engineering approach to the introduction of BSE resistance: individuals with amino acid substitutions at positions 167 or 218, inoculated with a pathogenic prion protein, did not support PrP Sc replication. This raises the possibility of producing prion-resistant cattle with a single PrP amino acid substitution. Since prion-resistant animals might still harbour acquired prion infectivity, regulatory assessment of the engineered animals would need to ascertain that such possible 'carriers' do not result in a threat to animal and human health. (author)

  18. Sheep-passaged bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent exhibits altered pathobiological properties in bovine-PrP transgenic mice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Espinosa, J.C.; Andreoletti, O.; Castilla, J.; Herva, M.E.; Morales, M.; Alamillo, E.; San-Segundo, F.D.; Lacroux, C.; Lugan, S.; Salguero, F.J.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Torres, J.M.

    2007-01-01

    Sheep can be experimentally infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and the ensuing disease is similar to scrapie in terms of pathogenesis and clinical signs. BSE infection in sheep is an animal and human health concern. In this study, the transmission in BoPrP-Tg110 mice of prions

  19. Generation of a persistently infected MDBK cell line with natural bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dongseob Tark

    Full Text Available Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE is a zoonotic transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE thought to be caused by the same prion strain as variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD. Unlike scrapie and chronic wasting disease there is no cell culture model allowing the replication of proteinase K resistant BSE (PrPBSE and the further in vitro study of this disease. We have generated a cell line based on the Madin-Darby Bovine Kidney (MDBK cell line over-expressing the bovine prion protein. After exposure to naturally BSE-infected bovine brain homogenate this cell line has shown to replicate and accumulate PrPBSE and maintain infection up to passage 83 after initial challenge. Collectively, we demonstrate, for the first time, that the BSE agent can infect cell lines over-expressing the bovine prion protein similar to other prion diseases. These BSE infected cells will provide a useful tool to facilitate the study of potential therapeutic agents and the diagnosis of BSE.

  20. Clinical features in prion protein-deficient and wild-type cattle inoculated with transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background: Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are caused by the propagation of a misfolded form (PrP**d) of the normal cellular prion protein, PrP**c. Recently, we have reported the generation and characterization of PrP**C-deficient cattle (PrP-/-) produced by a seq...

  1. 77 FR 29914 - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Importation of Bovines and Bovine Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-05-21

    ... Spongiform Encephalopathy; Importation of Bovines and Bovine Products AGENCY: Animal and Plant Health... derived from bovines with regard to bovine spongiform encephalopathy. This action will allow interested... importation of live bovines and products derived from bovines with regard to bovine spongiform encephalopathy...

  2. Protecting effect of PrP codons M142 and K222 in goats orally challenged with bovine spongiform encephalopathy prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fast, C; Goldmann, W; Berthon, P; Tauscher, K; Andréoletti, O; Lantier, I; Rossignol, C; Bossers, A; Jacobs, J G; Hunter, N; Groschup, M H; Lantier, F; Langeveld, J P M

    2017-09-19

    Breeding towards genetic resistance to prion disease is effective in eliminating scrapie. In sheep, classical forms of scrapie have been eradicated almost completely in several countries by breeding programs using a prion protein (PrP) gene (PRNP) amino acid polymorphism. For goats, field and experimental studies have provided evidence for several amino acid polymorphisms that are associated with resistance to scrapie, but only limited data are available concerning the susceptibility of caprine PRNP genotypes to BSE. In this study, goat kids representing five PRNP genotypes based on three polymorphisms (M142, Q211 and K222 and the wild type I142, R211 and Q222) were orally challenged with bovine or goat BSE. Wild type goats were killed with clinical signs between 24-28 months post inoculation (mpi) to both challenges, and goats with genotype R/Q211 succumbed between 29-36 mpi. I/M142 goats developed clinical signs at 44-45 mpi and M/M142 goats remained healthy until euthanasia at 48 mpi. None of the Q/K222 goats showed definite clinical signs. Taken together the highest attack ratios were seen in wild type and R/Q211 goats, and the lowest in I/M142, M/M142 and Q/K222. In all genotype groups, one or more goats remained healthy within the incubation period in both challenges and without detectable PrP deposition in the tissues. Our data show that both the K222 and M142 polymorphisms lengthen the incubation period significantly compared to wild type animals, but only K222 was associated with a significant increase in resistance to BSE infection after oral exposure to both BSE sources.

  3. Laboratory examinations of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in Denmark during 2016

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Tim Kåre

    The aim of this report is to give detailed information on the diagnostic examination on trans-missible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) performed in Denmark during 2016. The present annual report is the 21st on this topic published by the National Veterinary Institute, Technical University...

  4. Effect of Q211 and K222 PRNP polymorphic variants in the susceptibility of goats to oral infections with Goat Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Aguilar-Calvo, Patricia; Fast, C.; Tauscher, Kerstin; Espinosa, J.C.; Groschup, M.H.; Muhammad, Nadeem; Goldmann, W.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Bossers, A.; Andreoletti, O.

    2015-01-01

    Background. The prion protein-encoding gene (PRNP) is one of the major determinants for scrapie occurrence in sheep and goats. However, its effect on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) transmission to goats is not clear.

    Methods. Goats harboring wild-type, R/Q211 or Q/K222 PRNP

  5. Infectivity in skeletal muscle of cattle with atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suardi, Silvia; Vimercati, Chiara; Casalone, Cristina; Gelmetti, Daniela; Corona, Cristiano; Iulini, Barbara; Mazza, Maria; Lombardi, Guerino; Moda, Fabio; Ruggerone, Margherita; Campagnani, Ilaria; Piccoli, Elena; Catania, Marcella; Groschup, Martin H; Balkema-Buschmann, Anne; Caramelli, Maria; Monaco, Salvatore; Zanusso, Gianluigi; Tagliavini, Fabrizio

    2012-01-01

    The amyloidotic form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) termed BASE is caused by a prion strain whose biological properties differ from those of typical BSE, resulting in a clinically and pathologically distinct phenotype. Whether peripheral tissues of BASE-affected cattle contain infectivity is unknown. This is a critical issue since the BASE prion is readily transmissible to a variety of hosts including primates, suggesting that humans may be susceptible. We carried out bioassays in transgenic mice overexpressing bovine PrP (Tgbov XV) and found infectivity in a variety of skeletal muscles from cattle with natural and experimental BASE. Noteworthy, all BASE muscles used for inoculation transmitted disease, although the attack rate differed between experimental and natural cases (∼70% versus ∼10%, respectively). This difference was likely related to different prion titers, possibly due to different stages of disease in the two conditions, i.e. terminal stage in experimental BASE and pre-symptomatic stage in natural BASE. The neuropathological phenotype and PrP(res) type were consistent in all affected mice and matched those of Tgbov XV mice infected with brain homogenate from natural BASE. The immunohistochemical analysis of skeletal muscles from cattle with natural and experimental BASE showed the presence of abnormal prion protein deposits within muscle fibers. Conversely, Tgbov XV mice challenged with lymphoid tissue and kidney from natural and experimental BASE did not develop disease. The novel information on the neuromuscular tropism of the BASE strain, efficiently overcoming species barriers, underlines the relevance of maintaining an active surveillance.

  6. Possible case of maternal transmission of feline spongiform encephalopathy in a captive cheetah.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anna Bencsik

    Full Text Available Feline spongiform encephalopathy (FSE is considered to be related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE and has been reported in domestic cats as well as in captive wild cats including cheetahs, first in the United Kingdom (UK and then in other European countries. In France, several cases were described in cheetahs either imported from UK or born in France. Here we report details of two other FSE cases in captive cheetah including a 2(nd case of FSE in a cheetah born in France, most likely due to maternal transmission. Complete prion protein immunohistochemical study on both brains and peripheral organs showed the close likeness between the two cases. In addition, transmission studies to the TgOvPrP4 mouse line were also performed, for comparison with the transmission of cattle BSE. The TgOvPrP4 mouse brains infected with cattle BSE and cheetah FSE revealed similar vacuolar lesion profiles, PrP(d brain mapping with occurrence of typical florid plaques. Collectively, these data indicate that they harbor the same strain of agent as the cattle BSE agent. This new observation may have some impact on our knowledge of vertical transmission of BSE agent-linked TSEs such as in housecat FSE, or vCJD.

  7. Heart rate variability analysis in sheep affected by transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konold Timm

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The function of the autonomic nervous system can be assessed by determining heart rate variability (HRV, which is impaired in some brainstem diseases in humans. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs in sheep are diseases characterised by accumulation of disease-associated prion protein in the brainstem, including nuclei of the parasympathetic nervous system. This study was undertaken to assess whether analysis of HRV can be used as an aid in the diagnosis of TSEs in clinically affected, naturally or experimentally infected sheep. Findings When HRV indices were compared between 41 clinical TSE cases (18 sheep infected with scrapie and 23 sheep infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, 11 control sheep and six sheep reported as scrapie suspects or dosed with BSE brain homogenate, which were not confirmed as TSE cases by postmortem tests, no significant differences were found between the groups. Median heart rate was significantly different but only when sheep were grouped by gender: it was higher in female TSE cases than in control sheep and higher in female than castrated male ovine classical BSE cases. Conclusions HRV analysis was not useful as a diagnostic aid for TSEs of sheep.

  8. Laboratory Examinations of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies in Denmark during 2013

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Tim Kåre

    of Denmark (DTU-VET). The report is made to fulfil the demands given by the EU Commission (Regulation No 999/2001 of the European Parliament and the Council of 22. May 2001) and the Office Inter-national des Epizooties (OIE) (Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Ani-mals, 5th edition 2008......, Chapter 2.4.6 and Chapter 2.7.13) regarding diagnostic examinations. The DTU-VET is the national reference laboratory of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and TSE/Scrapie, and therefore the results of all neuropathological examinations on BSE and Scrapie in Denmark are given in the present report...

  9. Laboratory Examinations of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies in Denmark during 2014

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Tim Kåre

    of Denmark (DTU-VET). The report is made to fulfil the demands given by the EU Commission (Regulation No 999/2001 of the European Parliament and the Council of 22. May 2001) and the Office Inter-national des Epizooties (OIE) (Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Animals, 5th edition 2008......, Chapter 2.4.6 and Chapter 2.7.13) regarding diagnostic examinations. The DTU-VET is the national reference laboratory of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and TSE/Scrapie, and therefore the results of all neuropathological examinations on BSE and Scrapie in Denmark are given in the present report...

  10. Laboratory Examinations of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies in Denmark during 2012

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jensen, Tim Kåre

    of Denmark (DTU-VET). The report is made to fulfil the demands given by the EU Commission (Regulation No 999/2001 of the European Parliament and the Council of 22. May 2001) and the Office Inter-national des Epizooties (OIE) (Manual of Diagnostic Tests and Vaccines for Terrestrial Ani-mals, 5th edition 2008......, Chapter 2.4.6 and Chapter 2.7.13) regarding diagnostic examinations. The DTU-VET is the national reference laboratory of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and TSE/Scrapie, and therefore the results of all neuropathological examinations on BSE and Scrapie in Denmark are given in the present report...

  11. Cattle traceability system in Japan for bovine spongiform encephalopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsuaki Sugiura

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available To promote consumer confidence in the safety of beef and to ensure the proper implementation of eradication measures against bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, the Cattle Traceability Law was approved by the Diet in June 2003 and a cattle traceability system has been in operation in Japan since December 2003. The system enables tracing the cohort and offspring animals of a BSE case within 24 h of its detection. The traceability database system also provides distributors, restaurants and consumers with information on the cattle from which the beef that they sell, serve and consume originate.

  12. Recombinant PrP and Its Contribution to Research on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charco, Jorge M; Eraña, Hasier; Venegas, Vanessa; García-Martínez, Sandra; López-Moreno, Rafael; González-Miranda, Ezequiel; Pérez-Castro, Miguel Ángel; Castilla, Joaquín

    2017-12-14

    The misfolding of the cellular prion protein (PrP C ) into the disease-associated isoform (PrP Sc ) and its accumulation as amyloid fibrils in the central nervous system is one of the central events in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Due to the proteinaceous nature of the causal agent the molecular mechanisms of misfolding, interspecies transmission, neurotoxicity and strain phenomenon remain mostly ill-defined or unknown. Significant advances were made using in vivo and in cellula models, but the limitations of these, primarily due to their inherent complexity and the small amounts of PrP Sc that can be obtained, gave rise to the necessity of new model systems. The production of recombinant PrP using E. coli and subsequent induction of misfolding to the aberrant isoform using different techniques paved the way for the development of cell-free systems that complement the previous models. The generation of the first infectious recombinant prion proteins with identical properties of brain-derived PrP Sc increased the value of cell-free systems for research on TSEs. The versatility and ease of implementation of these models have made them invaluable for the study of the molecular mechanisms of prion formation and propagation, and have enabled improvements in diagnosis, high-throughput screening of putative anti-prion compounds and the design of novel therapeutic strategies. Here, we provide an overview of the resultant advances in the prion field due to the development of recombinant PrP and its use in cell-free systems.

  13. Studies of the transmissibility of the agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy to the domestic chicken

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Moore Jo

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Transmission of the prion disease bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE occurred accidentally to cattle and several other mammalian species via feed supplemented with meat and bone meal contaminated with infected bovine tissue. Prior to United Kingdom controls in 1996 on the feeding of mammalian meat and bone meal to farmed animals, the domestic chicken was potentially exposed to feed contaminated with the causal agent of BSE. Although confirmed prion diseases are unrecorded in avian species a study was undertaken to transmit BSE to the domestic chicken by parenteral and oral inoculations. Transmissibility was assessed by clinical monitoring, histopathological examinations, detection of a putative disease form of an avian prion protein (PrP in recipient tissues and by mouse bioassay of tissues. Occurrence of a progressive neurological syndrome in the primary transmission study was investigated by sub-passage experiments. Results No clinical, pathological or bioassay evidence of transmission of BSE to the chicken was obtained in the primary or sub-passage experiments. Survival data showed no significant differences between control and treatment groups. Neurological signs observed, not previously described in the domestic chicken, were not associated with significant pathology. The diagnostic techniques applied failed to detect a disease associated form of PrP. Conclusion Important from a risk assessment perspective, the present study has established that the domestic chicken does not develop a prion disease after large parenteral exposures to the BSE agent or after oral exposures equivalent to previous exposures via commercial diets. Future investigations into the potential susceptibility of avian species to mammalian prion diseases require species-specific immunochemical techniques and more refined experimental models.

  14. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy and spatial analysis of the feed industry.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Mathilde; Abrial, David; Jarrige, Nathalie; Rican, Stéphane; Garrido, Myriam; Calavas, Didier; Ducrot, Christian

    2007-06-01

    In France, despite the ban of meat-and-bone meal (MBM) in cattle feed, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) was detected in hundreds of cattle born after the ban. To study the role of MBM, animal fat, and dicalcium phosphate on the risk for BSE after the feed ban, we conducted a spatial analysis of the feed industry. We used data from 629 BSE cases as well as data on use of each byproduct and market area of the feed factories. We mapped risk for BSE in 951 areas supplied by the same factories and connection with use of byproducts. A disease map of BSE with covariates was built with the hierarchical Bayesian modeling methods, based on Poisson distribution with spatial smoothing. Only use of MBM was spatially linked to risk for BSE, which highlights cross-contamination as the most probable source of infection after the feed ban.

  15. Encefalopatías espongiformes transmisibles Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge E Delgado-Hachmeister

    2002-01-01

    Full Text Available Las encefalopatías espongiformes transmisibles (EET han cobrado gran importancia en los últimos años. Principalmente por el surgimiento de la encefalopatía espongiforme del bovino (EEB y la nueva variante de la ermedad de Creutzfeldt-Jakob (nvECJ, esta última probablemente adquirida por la ingesta de carne de bovino contaminada. Hasta la fecha se ha informado de 109 casos de la nvECJ en el humano y la gran mayoría de los casos ha ocurrido en el Reino Unido. No se sabe la magnitud real que podrán tener las EET en el humano, sin embargo algunos piensan que nos encontramos en el principio de una pandemia de la nvECJ. En el presente artículo se discuten varios aspectos de las EET y métodos para la prevención de la transmisión de estas enfermedades, tanto en rumiantes como en el humano.Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE are a group of diseases which have received a lot of attention in recent years. The interest on these diseases has been stimulated by the appearance of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE and the new variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (nvCJD; the latter is likely to be acquired by ingesting contaminated beef. Until now 109 cases of nvCJD have been reported, most of them occurring in the United Kingdom. Some experts think that this is the beginning of a nvCJD pandemic. Deep knowledge of the mechanisms of transmission of TSE is needed to prevent the emergence of a TSE pandemic in humans.We address various aspects of TSE and discuss prevention methods of TSE in ruminants and humans.

  16. Human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in eleven countries: Diagnostic pattern across time, 1993-2002

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    J. de Pedro-Cuesta (Jesús); M. Glatzel (Markus); J. Almazán (Javier); K. Stoeck (Katharina); V. Mellina (Vittorio); M. Puopolo (Maria); M. Pocchiari (Maurizio); I. Zerr (Inga); H.A. Kretszchmar (Hans); J-P. Brandel (Jean-Philippe); N. Delasnerie-Laupretre (Nicole); A. Alperovitch (Annick); C.M. van Duijn (Cornelia); P. Sanchez-Juan (Pascual); S.J. Collins (Steven); V. Lewis (Victoria); G.H. Jansen (Gerard); M.B. Coulthart (Michael); E. Gelpi (Ellen); H. Budka (Herbert); E. Mitrová (Eva)

    2006-01-01

    textabstractBackground: The objective of this study was to describe the diagnostic panorama of human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies across 11 countries. Methods: From data collected for surveillance purposes, we describe annual proportions of deaths due to different human transmissible

  17. Advancing prion science: guidance for the National Prion Research Program

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Erdtmann, Rick; Sivitz, Laura

    2004-01-01

    In Advancing Prion Science , the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies Assessment of Relevant Science recommends priorities for research and investment to the Department of Defenseâ...

  18. Protective Effect of Val129-PrP against Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy but not Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Espinosa, Juan Carlos; Marín-Moreno, Alba; Aguilar-Calvo, Patricia; Asante, Emmanuel A; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Mohri, Shirou; Andréoletti, Olivier; Torres, Juan María

    2017-09-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is the only known zoonotic prion that causes variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans. The major risk determinant for this disease is the polymorphic codon 129 of the human prion protein (Hu-PrP), where either methionine (Met 129 ) or valine (Val 129 ) can be encoded. To date, all clinical and neuropathologically confirmed vCJD cases have been Met 129 homozygous, with the exception of 1 recently reported Met/Val heterozygous case. Here, we found that transgenic mice homozygous for Val 129 Hu-PrP show severely restricted propagation of the BSE prion strain, but this constraint can be partially overcome by adaptation of the BSE agent to the Met 129 Hu-PrP. In addition, the transmission of vCJD to transgenic mice homozygous for Val 129 Hu-PrP resulted in a prion with distinct strain features. These observations may indicate increased risk for vCJD secondary transmission in Val 129 Hu-PrP-positive humans with the emergence of new strain features.

  19. 9 CFR 96.2 - Prohibition of casings due to African swine fever and bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 9 Animals and Animal Products 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false Prohibition of casings due to African swine fever and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. 96.2 Section 96.2 Animals and Animal Products ANIMAL... spongiform encephalopathy. (a) Swine casings. The importation of swine casings that originated in or were...

  20. Transmissibility of H-Type Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy to Hamster PrP Transgenic Mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hiroyuki Okada

    Full Text Available Two distinct forms of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathies (H-BSE and L-BSE can be distinguished from classical (C- BSE found in cattle based on biochemical signatures of disease-associated prion protein (PrPSc. H-BSE is transmissible to wild-type mice-with infected mice showing a long survival period that is close to their normal lifespan-but not to hamsters. Therefore, rodent-adapted H-BSE with a short survival period would be useful for analyzing H-BSE characteristics. In this study, we investigated the transmissibility of H-BSE to hamster prion protein transgenic (TgHaNSE mice with long survival periods. Although none of the TgHaNSE mice manifested the disease during their lifespan, PrPSc accumulation was observed in some areas of the brain after the first passage. With subsequent passages, TgHaNSE mice developed the disease with a mean survival period of 220 days. The molecular characteristics of proteinase K-resistant PrPSc (PrPres in the brain were identical to those observed in first-passage mice. The distribution of immunolabeled PrPSc in the brains of TgHaNSE mice differed between those infected with H-BSE as compared to C-BSE or L-BSE, and the molecular properties of PrPres in TgHaNSE mice infected with H-BSE differed from those of the original isolate. The strain-specific electromobility, glycoform profiles, and proteolytic cleavage sites of H-BSE in TgHaNSE mice were indistinguishable from those of C-BSE, in which the diglycosylated form was predominant. These findings indicate that strain-specific pathogenic characteristics and molecular features of PrPres in the brain are altered during cross-species transmission. Typical H-BSE features were restored after back passage from TgHaNSE to bovinized transgenic mice, indicating that the H-BSE strain was propagated in TgHaNSE mice. This could result from the overexpression of the hamster prion protein.

  1. Reflections on a half-century in the field of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Paul

    2009-01-01

    The subject of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy may properly be said to have begun with the experimental transmission of scrapie by Cuillé and Chelle in 1936, although Creutzfeldt and Jakob had described the disease that bears their names in 1920-21. Thirty more years passed before the human disease was also shown to be transmissible, in 1966, and the following half century has seen the field move from classical biology to molecular biology and genetics, and from 'slow virus' to host-encoded 'prion' protein. Because nothing is more important to the research scientist than the process of seeing a problem and devising ways of solving it, and because we live and die by our publications, as much care should be given to these vehicles of our work and reputations as to the research itself. Four aspects have been chosen for comment: authorship, abbreviations, data presentation, and references. In addition to the 'science of research' there are several 'para-scientific' activities that may be categorized as 'the politics of research', which include administrative duties, committees (e.g., scientific meetings, grant organizations), journal/book editing, peer reviewing, and public relations Many young scientists are either unaware or dismissive of the importance of these 'scientific distractions', but their potential for influencing the direction of a field of research becomes increasingly evident as careers unfold. They are subject to uses and abuses, and some guidance and examples are given by way of illustration, particular attention being paid to the process of manuscript review which, because of its anonymity, is the most vulnerable to abuse. As public and government interest in prions wanes in parallel with the disappearance of iatrogenic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the flow of money to sustain research is in evident jeopardy. With an uncertain future, it nevertheless seems possible that one of two things may breathe new life into the field: either

  2. Immunohistochemical distinction between preclinical bovine spongiform encephalopathy and scrapie infection in sheep

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thuring, C.M.A.; Keulen, van L.J.M.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Vromans, M.E.W.; Zijderveld, van F.G.; Sweeney, T.

    2005-01-01

    Sheep are susceptible experimentally to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), the clinical signs being indistinguishable from those of scrapie. Because of the possibility of natural ovine BSE infection, laboratory tests are needed to distinguish between scrapie and BSE infection. The objectives of

  3. Monitoring and analysis of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) testing in Denmark using statistical models

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paisley, Larry

    2002-01-01

    The evolution of monitoring and surveillance for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) from the phase of passive surveillance that began in the United Kingdom in 1988 until the present is described. Currently, surveillance for BSE in Europe consists of mass testing of cattle slaughtered for human...

  4. Comparative aspects of bovine spongiform encephalopathy isolates found in the U.S.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) can be subdivided into at least three groups: classical, H-type, and L-type. The latter 2 designations are based on higher or lower apparent molecular mass profiles of the unglycosylated PrP**Sc band in a western blot and are collectively referred to as atypica...

  5. EU-approved rapid tests might underestimate bovine spongiform encephalopathy infection in goats

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meloni, Daniela; Bozzetta, Elena; Langeveld, Jan P.M.; Groschup, Martin H.; Goldmann, Wilfred; Andrèoletti, Olivier; Lantier, Isabelle; Keulen, Van Lucien; Bossers, Alex; Pitardi, Danilo; Nonno, Romolo; Sklaviadis, Theodoros; Ingravalle, Francesco; Peletto, Simone; Colussi, Silvia; Acutis, Pier Luigi

    2017-01-01

    We report the diagnostic sensitivity of 3 EU-approved rapid tests (ELISAs; 1 from IDEXX and 2 from Bio-Rad) for the detection of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy diseases in goats. Ninety-eight goat brainstem samples were tested. All the rapid tests had 100% specificity and ≥80% sensitivity,

  6. Quantitative analysis of wet-heat inactivation in bovine spongiform encephalopathy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matsuura, Yuichi; Ishikawa, Yukiko; Bo, Xiao; Murayama, Yuichi; Yokoyama, Takashi; Somerville, Robert A.; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Mohri, Shirou

    2013-01-01

    Highlights: ► We quantitatively analyzed wet-heat inactivation of the BSE agent. ► Infectivity of the BSE macerate did not survive 155 °C wet-heat treatment. ► Once the sample was dehydrated, infectivity was observed even at 170 °C. ► A quantitative PMCA assay was used to evaluate the degree of BSE inactivation. - Abstract: The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent is resistant to conventional microbial inactivation procedures and thus threatens the safety of cattle products and by-products. To obtain information necessary to assess BSE inactivation, we performed quantitative analysis of wet-heat inactivation of infectivity in BSE-infected cattle spinal cords. Using a highly sensitive bioassay, we found that infectivity in BSE cattle macerates fell with increase in temperatures from 133 °C to 150 °C and was not detected in the samples subjected to temperatures above 155 °C. In dry cattle tissues, infectivity was detected even at 170 °C. Thus, BSE infectivity reduces with increase in wet-heat temperatures but is less affected when tissues are dehydrated prior to the wet-heat treatment. The results of the quantitative protein misfolding cyclic amplification assay also demonstrated that the level of the protease-resistant prion protein fell below the bioassay detection limit by wet-heat at 155 °C and higher and could help assess BSE inactivation. Our results show that BSE infectivity is strongly resistant to wet-heat inactivation and that it is necessary to pay attention to BSE decontamination in recycled cattle by-products

  7. Quantitative analysis of wet-heat inactivation in bovine spongiform encephalopathy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matsuura, Yuichi; Ishikawa, Yukiko; Bo, Xiao; Murayama, Yuichi; Yokoyama, Takashi [Prion Disease Research Center, National Institute of Animal Health, 3-1-5 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0856 (Japan); Somerville, Robert A. [The Roslin Institute and Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies, Roslin, Midlothian, EH25 9PS (United Kingdom); Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki [Division of CJD Science and Technology, Department of Prion Research, Center for Translational and Advanced Animal Research on Human Diseases, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-1 Seiryo, Aoba, Sendai 980-8575 (Japan); Mohri, Shirou, E-mail: shirou@affrc.go.jp [Prion Disease Research Center, National Institute of Animal Health, 3-1-5 Kannondai, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0856 (Japan)

    2013-03-01

    Highlights: ► We quantitatively analyzed wet-heat inactivation of the BSE agent. ► Infectivity of the BSE macerate did not survive 155 °C wet-heat treatment. ► Once the sample was dehydrated, infectivity was observed even at 170 °C. ► A quantitative PMCA assay was used to evaluate the degree of BSE inactivation. - Abstract: The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent is resistant to conventional microbial inactivation procedures and thus threatens the safety of cattle products and by-products. To obtain information necessary to assess BSE inactivation, we performed quantitative analysis of wet-heat inactivation of infectivity in BSE-infected cattle spinal cords. Using a highly sensitive bioassay, we found that infectivity in BSE cattle macerates fell with increase in temperatures from 133 °C to 150 °C and was not detected in the samples subjected to temperatures above 155 °C. In dry cattle tissues, infectivity was detected even at 170 °C. Thus, BSE infectivity reduces with increase in wet-heat temperatures but is less affected when tissues are dehydrated prior to the wet-heat treatment. The results of the quantitative protein misfolding cyclic amplification assay also demonstrated that the level of the protease-resistant prion protein fell below the bioassay detection limit by wet-heat at 155 °C and higher and could help assess BSE inactivation. Our results show that BSE infectivity is strongly resistant to wet-heat inactivation and that it is necessary to pay attention to BSE decontamination in recycled cattle by-products.

  8. PrP-C1 fragment in cattle brains reveals features of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathy associated PrPsc.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Serra, Fabienne; Müller, Joachim; Gray, John; Lüthi, Ramona; Dudas, Sandor; Czub, Stefanie; Seuberlich, Torsten

    2017-03-15

    Three different types of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) are known and supposedly caused by distinct prion strains: the classical (C-) BSE type that was typically found during the BSE epidemic, and two relatively rare atypical BSE types, termed H-BSE and L-BSE. The three BSE types differ in the molecular phenotype of the disease associated prion protein, namely the N-terminally truncated proteinase K (PK) resistant prion protein fragment (PrP res ). In this study, we report and analyze yet another PrP res type (PrP res-2011 ), which was found in severely autolytic brain samples of two cows in the framework of disease surveillance in Switzerland in 2011. Analysis of brain tissues from these animals by PK titration and PK inhibitor assays ruled out the process of autolysis as the cause for the aberrant PrP res profile. Immunochemical characterization of the PrP fragments present in the 2011 cases by epitope mapping indicated that PrP res-2011 corresponds in its primary sequence to the physiologically occurring PrP-C1 fragment. However, high speed centrifugation, sucrose gradient assay and NaPTA precipitation revealed biochemical similarities between PrP res-2011 and the disease-associated prion protein found in BSE affected cattle in terms of detergent insolubility, PK resistance and PrP aggregation. Although it remains to be established whether PrP res-2011 is associated with a transmissible disease, our results point out the need of further research on the role the PrP-C1 aggregation and misfolding in health and disease. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  9. Prion Protein Self Interactions; a gateway to novel therapeutic strategies?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rigter, A.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Zijderveld, van F.G.; Bossers, A.

    2010-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders and include among others Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in humans, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, and scrapie in sheep. The central event in disease development in TSEs is the

  10. Trends in scientific activity addressing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies: a bibliometric study covering the period 1973–2002

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iribarren-Maestro Isabel

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The purpose of this study is to analyse the trends in scientific research on transmissible spongiform encephalopathies by applying bibliometric tools to the scientific literature published between 1973 and 2002. Methods The data for the study were obtained from Medline database, in order to determine the volume of scientific output in the above period, the countries involved, the type of document and the trends in the subject matters addressed. The period 1973–2002 was divided in three sub-periods. Results We observed a significant growth in scientific production. The percentage of increase is 871.7 from 1973 to 2002. This is more evident since 1991 and particularly in the 1996–2001 period. The countries found to have the highest output were the United States, the United Kingdom, Japan, France and Germany. The evolution in the subject matters was almost constant in the three sub-periods in which the study was divided. In the first and second sub-periods, the subject matters of greatest interest were more general, i.e Nervous system or Nervous system diseases, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Scrapie, and Chemicals and Drugs, but in the last sub-period, some changes were observed because the Prion-related matters had the greatest presence. Collaboration among authors is small from 1973 to 1992, but increases notably in the third sub-period, and also the number of authors and clusters formed. Some of the authors, like Gajdusek or Prusiner, appear in the whole period. Conclusion The study reveals a very high increase in scientific production. It is related also with the beginnings of research on bovine spongiform encephalopathy and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, with the establishment of progressive collaboration relationships and a reflection of public health concerns about this problem.

  11. Prion protein and scrapie susceptibility

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smits, M.A.; Bossers, A.; Schreuder, B.E.C.

    1997-01-01

    This article presents briefly current views on the role of prion protein (PrP) in Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies or prion diseases and the effect of PrP polymoryhisms on the susceptibility to these diseases, with special emphasis on sheep scrapie. The PrP genotype of sheep apears to be a

  12. Risk analysis of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies in animals: state-of-the-art

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paisley, Larry; de Koeijer, Aline; Hagenaars, Thomas J.

    2008-01-01

    The Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) crisis of the last two decades has shown that proper interaction of risk assessment, risk management and risk communication is essential. Mathematical models and risk assessments have been used as a basis for BSE risk management options and much...... of the legislation regarding the control and eradication of BSE. Much uncertainty regarding important input parameters remains a major constraint in risk assessment. Uncertainty is one of the most critical and most difficult aspects of communication of risks about Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs......). Nevertheless, the decline in the BSE epidemic in the UK and most European countries demonstrates that management has been, for the most part, sucessful. Literature pertaining to the three inter-related facets of risk analysis: risk assessment, risk management and risk communication of TSE's of animal origin...

  13. Quantifying the relative amounts of PrP polymorphisms present in prions isolated from heterozygous prion-infected animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions cause protein misfolding diseases, such as transmissible spongiform encephalopathy. They propagate infections by converting a normal cellular prion protein into a prion (PrPSc). PrPC and PrPSc are isosequential and differ only in their respective conformations. PrPC is monomeric and sensit...

  14. Resistance to chronic wasting disease in transgenic mice expressing a naturally occurring allelic variant of deer prion protein

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meade-White, K.; Race, B.; Trifilo, M.; Bossers, A.; Favara, C.; Lacasse, R.; Miller, M.; Williams, E.; Oldstone, M.; Race, R.; Chesebro, B.

    2007-01-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is a required factor for susceptibility to transmissible spongiform encephalopathy or prion diseases. In transgenic mice, expression of prion protein (PrP) from another species often confers susceptibility to prion disease from that donor species. For example, expression of deer

  15. Individual factors associated with L- and H-type Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sala Carole

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Cattle with L-type (L-BSE and H-type (H-BSE atypical Bovine Spongiform encephalopathy (BSE were identified in 2003 in Italy and France respectively before being identified in other countries worldwide. As of December 2011, around 60 atypical BSE cases have currently been reported in 13 countries, with over one third in France. While the epidemiology of classical BSE (C-BSE has been widely described, atypical BSEs are still poorly documented, but appear to differ from C-BSE. We analysed the epidemiological characteristics of the 12 cases of L-BSE and 11 cases of H-BSE detected in France from January 2001 to late 2009 and looked for individual risk factors. As L-BSE cases did not appear to be homogeneously distributed throughout the country, two complementary methods were used: spatial analysis and regression modelling. L-BSE and H-BSE were studied separately as both the biochemical properties of their pathological prion protein and their features differ in animal models. Results The median age at detection for L-BSE and H-BSE cases was 12.4 (range 8.4-18.7 and 12.5 (8.3-18.2 years respectively, with no significant difference between the two distributions. However, this median age differed significantly from that of classical BSE (7.0 (range 3.5-15.4 years. A significant geographical cluster was detected for L-BSE. Among animals over eight years of age, we showed that the risk of being detected as a L-BSE case increased with age at death. This was not the case for H-BSE. Conclusion To the best of our knowledge this is the first study to describe the epidemiology of the two types of atypical BSE. The geographical cluster detected for L-BSE could be partly due to the age structure of the background-tested bovine population. Our regression analyses, which adjusted for the effect of age and birth cohort showed an age effect for L-BSE and the descriptive analysis showed a particular age structure in the area where the cluster was

  16. The Prion Concept and Synthetic Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Legname, Giuseppe; Moda, Fabio

    2017-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases caused by unconventional infectious agents, known as prions (PrP Sc ). Prions derive from a conformational conversion of the normally folded prion protein (PrP C ), which acquires pathological and infectious features. Moreover, PrP Sc is able to transmit the pathological conformation to PrP C through a mechanism that is still not well understood. The generation of synthetic prions, which behave like natural prions, is of fundamental importance to study the process of PrP C conversion and to assess the efficacy of therapeutic strategies to interfere with this process. Moreover, the ability of synthetic prions to induce pathology in animals confirms that the pathological properties of the prion strains are all enciphered in abnormal conformations, characterizing these infectious agents. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Absence of Evidence for a Causal Link between Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Strain Variant L-BSE and Known Forms of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease in Human PrP Transgenic Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jaumain, Emilie; Quadrio, Isabelle; Herzog, Laetitia; Reine, Fabienne; Rezaei, Human; Andréoletti, Olivier; Laude, Hubert; Perret-Liaudet, Armand; Haïk, Stéphane; Béringue, Vincent

    2016-12-01

    Prions are proteinaceous pathogens responsible for subacute spongiform encephalopathies in animals and humans. The prions responsible for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) are zoonotic agents, causing variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. The transfer of prions between species is limited by a species barrier, which is thought to reflect structural incompatibilities between the host cellular prion protein (PrP C ) and the infecting pathological PrP assemblies (PrP Sc ) constituting the prion. A BSE strain variant, designated L-BSE and responsible for atypical, supposedly spontaneous forms of prion diseases in aged cattle, demonstrates zoonotic potential, as evidenced by its capacity to propagate more easily than classical BSE in transgenic mice expressing human PrP C and in nonhuman primates. In humanized mice, L-BSE propagates without any apparent species barrier and shares similar biochemical PrP Sc signatures with the CJD subtype designated MM2-cortical, thus opening the possibility that certain CJD cases classified as sporadic may actually originate from L-type BSE cross-transmission. To address this issue, we compared the biological properties of L-BSE and those of a panel of CJD subtypes representative of the human prion strain diversity using standard strain-typing criteria in human PrP transgenic mice. We found no evidence that L-BSE causes a known form of sporadic CJD. Since the quasi-extinction of classical BSE, atypical BSE forms are the sole BSE variants circulating in cattle worldwide. They are observed in rare cases of old cattle, making them difficult to detect. Extrapolation of our results suggests that L-BSE may propagate in humans as an unrecognized form of CJD, and we urge both the continued utilization of precautionary measures to eliminate these agents from the human food chain and active surveillance for CJD phenotypes in the general population. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  18. Human prion diseases in The Netherlands : clinico-pathological, genetic and molecular aspects

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Jansen, C.

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorders that can be sporadic, inherited or acquired by infection. In humans, TSEs comprise three major groups showing a wide phenotypic heterogeneity: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD),

  19. Mapping of possible prion protein self interaction domains using peptide arrays

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rigter, A.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Timmers-Parohi, D.; Jacobs, J.G.; Moonen, P.L.J.M.; Bossers, A.

    2007-01-01

    Background The common event in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases is the conversion of host-encoded protease sensitive cellular prion protein (PrPC) into strain dependent isoforms of scrapie associated protease resistant isoform (PrPSc) of prion protein (PrP). These

  20. Prion Infectivity in Fat of Deer with Chronic Wasting Disease▿

    OpenAIRE

    Race, Brent; Meade-White, Kimberly; Race, Richard; Chesebro, Bruce

    2009-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a neurodegenerative prion disease of cervids. Some animal prion diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, can infect humans; however, human susceptibility to CWD is unknown. In ruminants, prion infectivity is found in central nervous system and lymphoid tissues, with smaller amounts in intestine and muscle. In mice, prion infectivity was recently detected in fat. Since ruminant fat is consumed by humans and fed to animals, we determined infectivity t...

  1. Effect of Q211 and K222 PRNP Polymorphic Variants in the Susceptibility of Goats to Oral Infection With Goat Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguilar-Calvo, Patricia; Fast, Christine; Tauscher, Kerstin; Espinosa, Juan-Carlos; Groschup, Martin H; Nadeem, Muhammad; Goldmann, Wilfred; Langeveld, Jan; Bossers, Alex; Andreoletti, Olivier; Torres, Juan-María

    2015-08-15

    The prion protein-encoding gene (PRNP) is one of the major determinants for scrapie occurrence in sheep and goats. However, its effect on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) transmission to goats is not clear. Goats harboring wild-type, R/Q211 or Q/K222 PRNP genotypes were orally inoculated with a goat-BSE isolate to assess their relative susceptibility to BSE infection. Goats were killed at different time points during the incubation period and after the onset of clinical signs, and their brains as well as several peripheral tissues were analyzed for the accumulation of pathological prion protein (PrP(Sc)) and prion infectivity by mouse bioassay. R/Q211 goats displayed delayed clinical signs compared with wild-type goats. Deposits of PrP(Sc) were detected only in brain, whereas infectivity was present in peripheral tissues too. In contrast, none of the Q/K222 goats showed any evidence of clinical prion disease. No PrP(Sc) accumulation was observed in their brains or peripheral tissues, but very low infectivity was detected in some tissues very long after inoculation (44-45 months). These results demonstrate that transmission of goat BSE is genotype dependent, and they highlight the pivotal protective effect of the K222 PRNP variant in the oral susceptibility of goats to BSE. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  2. Control methods for cattle feedstuffs aimed at prevention of Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nešić Ksenija

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available In the course of the last decades of the twentieth century, more than 30 new diseases were determined for the first time in history. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or "mad cow disease" is one of them. The disease implies the subacute neurodegenerative transmission of spongiform encephalopathy and it was diagnosed and described for the first time in Great Britain in 1986. A theory has been established that BSE is spread through feedstuffs, more precisely, meat-bone flour which contains infective proteins of ruminants, and legislature has been passed throughout the world with the objective of preventing the entry of meat-bone flour into the food chain. The complete ban of the use of meat-bone flour for all farm animals (with the exception of fish flour for non-ruminants and an adequate thermal treatment in the production of meat-bone flour (133ºC, 3 bar, 20 min are the elements on which the European Union (EU legislature is based. The regulations in our country include a ban on the use of meat-bone flour in cattle feedstuffs and a ban on imports of beef proteins. The implementation of this legislature throughout the world requires the corresponding analytical means. At the present time, there are several available possibilities: optic microscopy, PCR, immunoprobes, spectroscopic methods, and several others which are still being examined for use for this purpose. All the analytical methods are being applied with the objective of controlling the implementation of the current regulations, but also in order to discover possible cross contamination that could take place in factories of animal feedstuffs, during transportation, storage, or on farms, in particular when there are no separate lines for feedstuffs that contains meat-bone flour and others in which even its traces are banned. In order to secure the successful control and prevention of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in our country, as well as to secure the unhindered continuation of

  3. Prion protein immunocytochemistry helps to establish the true incidence of prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lantos, P L; McGill, I S; Janota, I; Doey, L J; Collinge, J; Bruce, M T; Whatley, S A; Anderton, B H; Clinton, J; Roberts, G W

    1992-11-23

    Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and Gerstmann-Strüssler-Scheinker disease (GSSD) are transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases affecting man. It has been reported that prion diseases may occur without the histological hallmarks of spongiform encephalopathies: vacuolation of the cerebral grey matter, neuronal loss and astrocytosis. These cases without characteristic neuropathology may go undiagnosed and consequently the true incidence of transmissible dementias is likely to have been under-estimated. Immunocytochemistry using antibodies to prion protein gives positive staining of these cases, albeit the pattern of immunostaining differs from that seen in typical forms. Accumulation of prion protein is a molecular hallmark of prion diseases, and thus a reproducible, speedy and cost-efficient immunocytochemical screening of unusual dementias may help to establish the true incidence of prion diseases.

  4. Animal feed controls implemented in Japan for the eradication of bovine spongiform encephalopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katsuaki Sugiura

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available After the detection of the first case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE in Japan in September 2001, the Japanese government introduced a series of animal feed control measures to reduce the risk of the spread of the disease from a feed source. To ensure the proper implementation of these measures, the Food and Agricultural Materials Inspection Centre conducted audit inspections of feed importers, producers, distributors and end-users. The audit inspections include on-site inspection of the feed plants, warehouses, farms and other related premises and the laboratory analysis of feed samples taken from these premises to check for the presence of animal protein. The results of inspections conducted in recent years indicate good compliance with the feed control measures.

  5. Detection and partial discrimination of atypical and classical bovine spongiform encephalopathies in cattle and primates using real-time quaking-induced conversion assay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Levavasseur, Etienne; Biacabe, Anne-Gaëlle; Comoy, Emmanuel; Culeux, Audrey; Grznarova, Katarina; Privat, Nicolas; Simoneau, Steve; Flan, Benoit; Sazdovitch, Véronique; Seilhean, Danielle; Baron, Thierry; Haïk, Stéphane

    2017-01-01

    The transmission of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (C-BSE) through contaminated meat product consumption is responsible for variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans. More recent and atypical forms of BSE (L-BSE and H-BSE) have been identified in cattle since the C-BSE epidemic. Their low incidence and advanced age of onset are compatible with a sporadic origin, as are most cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. Transmissions studies in primates and transgenic mice expressing a human prion protein (PrP) indicated that atypical forms of BSE may be associated with a higher zoonotic potential than classical BSE, and require particular attention for public health. Recently, methods designed to amplify misfolded forms of PrP have emerged as promising tools to detect prion strains and to study their diversity. Here, we validated real-time quaking-induced conversion assay for the discrimination of atypical and classical BSE strains using a large series of bovine samples encompassing all the atypical BSE cases detected by the French Centre of Reference during 10 years of exhaustive active surveillance. We obtained a 100% sensitivity and specificity for atypical BSE detection. In addition, the assay was able to discriminate atypical and classical BSE in non-human primates, and also sporadic CJD and vCJD in humans. The RT-QuIC assay appears as a practical means for a reliable detection of atypical BSE strains in a homologous or heterologous PrP context.

  6. Comparative evidence for a link between Peyer's patch development and susceptibility to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rhind Susan M

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Epidemiological analyses indicate that the age distribution of natural cases of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs reflect age-related risk of infection, however, the underlying mechanisms remain poorly understood. Using a comparative approach, we tested the hypothesis that, there is a significant correlation between risk of infection for scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE and variant CJD (vCJD, and the development of lymphoid tissue in the gut. Methods Using anatomical data and estimates of risk of infection in mathematical models (which included results from previously published studies for sheep, cattle and humans, we calculated the Spearman's rank correlation coefficient, rs, between available measures of Peyer's patch (PP development and the estimated risk of infection for an individual of the corresponding age. Results There was a significant correlation between the measures of PP development and the estimated risk of TSE infection; the two age-related distributions peaked in the same age groups. This result was obtained for each of the three host species: for sheep, surface area of ileal PP tissue vs risk of infection, rs = 0.913 (n = 19, P s = 0.933 (n = 19, P s = 0.693 (n = 94, P s = 0.384 (n = 46, P = 0.008. In addition, when changes in exposure associated with BSE-contaminated meat were accounted for, the two age-related patterns for humans remained concordant: rs = 0.360 (n = 46, P = 0.014. Conclusion Our findings suggest that, for sheep, cattle and humans alike there is an association between PP development (or a correlate of PP development and susceptibility to natural TSE infection. This association may explain changes in susceptibility with host age, and differences in the age-susceptibility relationship between host species.

  7. Prion protein self-interaction in prion disease therapy approaches

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rigter, A.; Priem, J.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Bossers, A.

    2011-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are unique disorders that are not caused by infectious micro-organisms (bacteria or fungi), viruses or parasites, but rather seem to be the result of an infectious protein. TSEs are comprised of fatal neurodegenerative disorders

  8. Sheep scrapie susceptibility-linked polymorphisms do not modulate the initial binding of cellular to disease-associated prion protein prior to conversion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rigter, A.; Bossers, A.

    2005-01-01

    Conversion of the host-encoded protease-sensitive cellular prion protein (PrPC) into the scrapie-associated protease-resistant isoform (PrPSc) of prion protein (PrP) is the central event in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. Differences in transmissibility and

  9. Biosafety of Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bistaffa, Edoardo; Rossi, Martina; De Luca, Chiara M G; Moda, Fabio

    2017-01-01

    Prions are the infectious agents that cause devastating and untreatable disorders known as Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs). The pathologic events and the infectious nature of these transmissible agents are not completely understood yet. Due to the difficulties in inactivating prions, working with them requires specific recommendations and precautions. Moreover, with the advent of innovative technologies, such as the Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification (PMCA) and the Real Time Quaking-Induced Conversion (RT-QuIC), prions could be amplified in vitro and the infectious features of the amplified products need to be carefully assessed. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  10. Population-Level Retrospective Study of Neurologically Expressed Disorders in Ruminants before the Onset of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in Belgium, a BSE Risk III Country

    OpenAIRE

    Saegerman, C.; Berkvens, D.; Claes, L.; Dewaele, A.; Coignoul, F.; Ducatelle, R.; Cassart, D.; Brochier, B.; Costy, F.; Roels, S.; Deluyker, H.; Vanopdenbosch, E.; Thiry, E.

    2005-01-01

    A retrospective epidemiological study (n = 7,875) of neurologically expressed disorders (NED) in ruminants before the onset of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy epidemic (years studied, 1980 to 1997) was carried out in Belgium. The archives of all veterinary laboratories and rabies and transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) epidemiosurveillance networks were consulted. For all species, a significantly higher number of NED with virological causes (rabies) was reported south of the Sa...

  11. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy: the effect of oral exposure dose on attack rate and incubation period in cattle ? an update

    OpenAIRE

    Konold, Timm; Arnold, Mark E; Austin, Anthony R; Cawthraw, Saira; Hawkins, Steve AC; Stack, Michael J; Simmons, Marion M; Sayers, A Robin; Dawson, Michael; Wilesmith, John W; Wells, Gerald AH

    2012-01-01

    Abstract Background To provide information on dose–response and aid in modelling the exposure dynamics of the BSE epidemic in the United Kingdom groups of cattle were exposed orally to a range of different doses of brainstem homogenate of known infectious titre from clinical cases of classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Interim data from this study was published in 2007. This communication documents additional BSE cases, which occurred subsequently, examines possible influence of...

  12. Human prion diseases: surgical lessons learned from iatrogenic prion transmission.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonda, David J; Manjila, Sunil; Mehndiratta, Prachi; Khan, Fahd; Miller, Benjamin R; Onwuzulike, Kaine; Puoti, Gianfranco; Cohen, Mark L; Schonberger, Lawrence B; Cali, Ignazio

    2016-07-01

    The human prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, have captivated our imaginations since their discovery in the Fore linguistic group in Papua New Guinea in the 1950s. The mysterious and poorly understood "infectious protein" has become somewhat of a household name in many regions across the globe. From bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), commonly identified as mad cow disease, to endocannibalism, media outlets have capitalized on these devastatingly fatal neurological conditions. Interestingly, since their discovery, there have been more than 492 incidents of iatrogenic transmission of prion diseases, largely resulting from prion-contaminated growth hormone and dura mater grafts. Although fewer than 9 cases of probable iatrogenic neurosurgical cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) have been reported worldwide, the likelihood of some missed cases and the potential for prion transmission by neurosurgery create considerable concern. Laboratory studies indicate that standard decontamination and sterilization procedures may be insufficient to completely remove infectivity from prion-contaminated instruments. In this unfortunate event, the instruments may transmit the prion disease to others. Much caution therefore should be taken in the absence of strong evidence against the presence of a prion disease in a neurosurgical patient. While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have devised risk assessment and decontamination protocols for the prevention of iatrogenic transmission of the prion diseases, incidents of possible exposure to prions have unfortunately occurred in the United States. In this article, the authors outline the historical discoveries that led from kuru to the identification and isolation of the pathological prion proteins in addition to providing a brief description of human prion diseases and iatrogenic forms of CJD, a brief history of prion disease nosocomial transmission

  13. L-Arginine ethylester enhances in vitro amplification of PrP(Sc) in macaques with atypical L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy and enables presymptomatic detection of PrP(Sc) in the bodily fluids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murayama, Y; Ono, F; Shimozaki, N; Shibata, H

    2016-02-12

    Protease-resistant, misfolded isoforms (PrP(Sc)) of a normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) in the bodily fluids, including blood, urine, and saliva, are expected to be useful diagnostic markers of prion diseases, and nonhuman primate models are suited for performing valid diagnostic tests for human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). We developed an effective amplification method for PrP(Sc) derived from macaques infected with the atypical L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (L-BSE) prion by using mouse brain homogenate as a substrate in the presence of polyanions and L-arginine ethylester. This method was highly sensitive and detected PrP(Sc) in infected brain homogenate diluted up to 10(10) by sequential amplification. This method in combination with PrP(Sc) precipitation by sodium phosphotungstic acid is capable of amplifying very small amounts of PrP(Sc) contained in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), saliva, urine, and plasma of macaques that have been intracerebrally inoculated with the L-BSE prion. Furthermore, PrP(Sc) was detectable in the saliva or urine samples as well as CSF samples obtained at the preclinical phases of the disease. Thus, our novel method may be useful for furthering the understanding of bodily fluid leakage of PrP(Sc) in nonhuman primate models. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  14. Atypical scrapie prions from sheep and lack of disease in transgenic mice overexpressing human prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Joiner, Susan; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Balkema-Buschmann, Anne; Spiropoulos, John; Simmons, Marion M; Griffiths, Peter C; Groschup, Martin H; Hope, James; Brandner, Sebastian; Asante, Emmanuel A; Collinge, John

    2013-11-01

    Public and animal health controls to limit human exposure to animal prions are focused on bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), but other prion strains in ruminants may also have zoonotic potential. One example is atypical/Nor98 scrapie, which evaded statutory diagnostic methods worldwide until the early 2000s. To investigate whether sheep infected with scrapie prions could be another source of infection, we inoculated transgenic mice that overexpressed human prion protein with brain tissue from sheep with natural field cases of classical and atypical scrapie, sheep with experimental BSE, and cattle with BSE. We found that these mice were susceptible to BSE prions, but disease did not develop after prolonged postinoculation periods when mice were inoculated with classical or atypical scrapie prions. These data are consistent with the conclusion that prion disease is less likely to develop in humans after exposure to naturally occurring prions of sheep than after exposure to epizootic BSE prions of ruminants.

  15. The evolution of risk perceptions related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy--Canadian consumer and producer behavior.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Jun; Goddard, Ellen

    2011-01-01

    In this study the dynamics of risk perceptions related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) held by Canadian consumers and cow-calf producers were evaluated. Since the first domestic case of BSE in 2003, Canadian consumers and cow-calf producers have needed to make decisions on whether or not their purchasing/production behavior should change. Such changes in their behavior may relate to their levels of risk perceptions about BSE, risk perceptions that may be evolving over time and be affected by BSE media information available. An econometric analysis of the behavior of consumers and cow-calf producers might identify the impacts of evolving BSE risk perceptions. Risk perceptions related to BSE are evaluated through observed market behavior, an approach that differs from traditional stated preference approaches to eliciting risk perceptions at a particular point in time. BSE risk perceptions may be specified following a Social Amplification of Risk Framework (SARF) derived from sociology, psychology, and economics. Based on the SARF, various quality and quantity indices related to BSE media information are used as explanatory variables in risk perception equations. Risk perceptions are approximated using a predictive difference approach as defined by Liu et al. (1998). Results showed that Canadian consumer and cow-calf producer risk perceptions related to BSE have been amplified or attenuated by both quantity and quality of BSE media information. Government policies on risk communications need to address the different roles of BSE information in Canadian consumers' and cow-calf producers' behavior.

  16. Surveillance for transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in scavengers of white-tailed deer carcasses in the chronic wasting disease area of wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennelle, C.S.; Samuel, M.D.; Nolden, C.A.; Keane, D.P.; Barr, D.J.; Johnson, Chad; Vanderloo, J.P.; Aiken, Judd M.; Hamir, A.N.; Hoover, E.A.

    2009-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a class of neurodegenerative transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) occurring in cervids, is found in a number of states and provinces across North America. Misfolded prions, the infectious agents of CWD, are deposited in the environment via carcass remains and excreta, and pose a threat of cross-species transmission. In this study tissues were tested from 812 representative mammalian scavengers, collected in the CWD-affected area of Wisconsin, for TSE infection using the IDEXX HerdChek enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). Only four of the collected mammals tested positive using the ELISA, but these were negative when tested by Western blot. While our sample sizes permitted high probabilities of detecting TSE assuming 1% population prevalence in several common scavengers (93%, 87%, and 87% for raccoons, opossums, and coyotes, respectively), insufficient sample sizes for other species precluded similar conclusions. One cannot rule out successful cross-species TSE transmission to scavengers, but the results suggest that such transmission is not frequent in the CWD-affected area of Wisconsin. The need for further surveillance of scavenger species, especially those known to be susceptible to TSE (e.g., cat, American mink, raccoon), is highlighted in both a field and laboratory setting.

  17. The structural core of prion disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boshuizen, R.S.

    2010-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are serious neurological ailments, in which the brain tissue deteriorates by progressive loss of brain cells which results in the loss of a wide variety of brain functions, including memory, speech and locomotion. Similar conditions

  18. Effect of autolysis on the specificity of bovine spongiform encephalopathy rapid tests

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caramelli Maria

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Routine rapid testing for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE has highlighted some problems with BSE rapid test performance, the most significant being the number of initially reactive samples and the false positive results on autolyzed tissue. This point is important for BSE active surveillance in risk populations, because tissue autolysis is often unavoidable in routine cases. A robust test suitable for use on field material is therefore needed. To date, very limited information regarding the effect of autolysis on the robustness of rapid tests has been documented; therefore, the National Reference Centre for Animal Encephalopathies (CEA rapid test laboratory selected 450 autolyzed and negative brain stem samples from fallen stock bovines older than 24 months to assess the specificity of four tests approved for BSE active surveillance: Biorad TeSeE, Enfer TSE version 2.0, Prionics® Check LIA, and IDEXX Herd Check BSE Antigen Kit EIA. The samples were graded according to the degree of autolysis and then dissected into five portions, four of which randomly assigned to processing by rapid tests and one to be available for confirmatory Western blot analysis. Findings The specificity of the four systems was 100% for all three grades of autolysis, while the percentage of initially reactive results was 0.00 (95%CI 0.00-0.82, 0.22 (95%CI 0.006-1.23, 0.44 (95%CI 0.05-1.60, and 0.89 (95%CI 0.24-2.26 for the Biorad TeSeE, the Prionics® Check LIA, the IDEXX Herd Check BSE and the Enfer TSE tests, respectively. No association with the degree of autolysis could be drawn. Conclusions The present study demonstrates that the four rapid tests can be considered well-running diagnostic tools regardless of tissue quality; nevertheless, the number of initial reactive samples reported for some systems must not be underestimated in routine testing. Furthermore the compliance with the reported performance can be guaranteed only when an ongoing

  19. Survey of laboratory findings in suspected cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in Denmark from 1990 to 2000

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Agerholm, J.S.; Tegtmeier, C.L.; Nielsen, T.K.

    2002-01-01

    A survey of the laboratory findings in suspected cases of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Denmark from I June 1990 to '31 December 2000 is presented. During this period BSE was a notifiable disease, and the heads of suspected cases were submitted according to the legislation on BSE....... A total of 176 submissions were made, mostly from bovines with neurological disorders and mainly during the last 3 years of this period. Lesions or other laboratory findings consistent with severe neurological disorders were found in 115 cases. The most frequent diagnosis was encephalic 41 p listeriosis...

  20. Detection of RNA in the Plasma of Patients with Sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease, Gerstmann–Straüssler Syndrome and Other Non-Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Brain Disorders

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kazuo Tsukui

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The infectious agent of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE was assumed to be the aggregate of abnormal prion protein isoform (PrPsc. We observed that lowering the pH of 3% SDS-inoculated plasma or brain homogenate after PK digestion to 4.5 (acidic SDS condition enabled to precipitate proteinase K-resistant prion protein (PrPres in plasma as well as PrPres in the brain with synthetic poly-A RNA as affinity aggregate. Therefore, we determined if RNA molecules could be used for discriminating TSE patients from healthy individuals. We also examined the plasma of patients with classical Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD and other brain disorders who were not diagnosed with TSE. The results indicated that RNA approximately 1.5–2.0 kb in length was commonly observed in the plasma of patients with brain disorders but was not detected in the plasma of healthy volunteers. Enhanced expression of RNA and its protection from endogenous nucleases might occur in the former group of patients. Moreover, we speculate that the non-transmissible neuronal disorders overlap with prion diseases.

  1. Disease-associated prion protein in neural and lymphoid tissues of mink (Mustela vison) inoculated with transmissible mink encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schneider, D A; Harrington, R D; Zhuang, D; Yan, H; Truscott, T C; Dassanayake, R P; O'Rourke, K I

    2012-11-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are diagnosed by immunodetection of disease-associated prion protein (PrP(d)). The distribution of PrP(d) within the body varies with the time-course of infection and between species, during interspecies transmission, as well as with prion strain. Mink are susceptible to a form of TSE known as transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME), presumed to arise due to consumption of feed contaminated with a single prion strain of ruminant origin. After extended passage of TME isolates in hamsters, two strains emerge, HY and DY, each of which is associated with unique structural isoforms of PrP(TME) and of which only the HY strain is associated with accumulation of PrP(TME) in lymphoid tissues. Information on the structural nature and lymphoid accumulation of PrP(TME) in mink is limited. In this study, 13 mink were challenged by intracerebral inoculation using late passage TME inoculum, after which brain and lymphoid tissues were collected at preclinical and clinical time points. The distribution and molecular nature of PrP(TME) was investigated by techniques including blotting of paraffin wax-embedded tissue and epitope mapping by western blotting. PrP(TME) was detected readily in the brain and retropharyngeal lymph node during preclinical infection, with delayed progression of accumulation within other lymphoid tissues. For comparison, three mink were inoculated by the oral route and examined during clinical disease. Accumulation of PrP(TME) in these mink was greater and more widespread, including follicles of rectoanal mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue. Western blot analyses revealed that PrP(TME) accumulating in the brain of mink is structurally most similar to that accumulating in the brain of hamsters infected with the DY strain. Collectively, the results of extended passage in mink are consistent with the presence of only a single strain of TME, the DY strain, capable of inducing accumulation of PrP(TME) in the lymphoid

  2. Evidence for more cost-effective surveillance options for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and scrapie in Great Britain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wall, Ben A; Arnold, Mark E; Radia, Devi; Gilbert, Will; Ortiz-Pelaez, Angel; Stärk, Katharina Dc; Van Klink, Ed; Guitian, Javier

    2017-08-10

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are an important public health concern. Since the emergence of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) during the 1980s and its link with human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, active surveillance has been a key element of the European Union's TSE control strategy. Success of this strategy means that now, very few cases are detected compared with the number of animals tested. Refining surveillance strategies would enable resources to be redirected towards other public health priorities. Cost-effectiveness analysis was performed on several alternative strategies involving reducing the number of animals tested for BSE and scrapie in Great Britain and, for scrapie, varying the ratio of sheep sampled in the abattoir to fallen stock (which died on the farm). The most cost-effective strategy modelled for BSE involved reducing the proportion of fallen stock tested from 100% to 75%, producing a cost saving of ca GBP 700,000 per annum. If 50% of fallen stock were tested, a saving of ca GBP 1.4 million per annum could be achieved. However, these reductions are predicted to increase the period before surveillance can detect an outbreak. For scrapie, reducing the proportion of abattoir samples was the most cost-effective strategy modelled, with limited impact on surveillance effectiveness. This article is copyright of The Authors, 2017.

  3. Intraperitoneal Infection of Wild-Type Mice with Synthetically Generated Mammalian Prion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xinhe Wang

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The prion hypothesis postulates that the infectious agent in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs is an unorthodox protein conformation based agent. Recent successes in generating mammalian prions in vitro with bacterially expressed recombinant prion protein provide strong support for the hypothesis. However, whether the pathogenic properties of synthetically generated prion (rec-Prion recapitulate those of naturally occurring prions remains unresolved. Using end-point titration assay, we showed that the in vitro prepared rec-Prions have infectious titers of around 104 LD50/μg. In addition, intraperitoneal (i.p. inoculation of wild-type mice with rec-Prion caused prion disease with an average survival time of 210-220 days post inoculation. Detailed pathological analyses revealed that the nature of rec-Prion induced lesions, including spongiform change, disease specific prion protein accumulation (PrP-d and the PrP-d dissemination amongst lymphoid and peripheral nervous system tissues, the route and mechanisms of neuroinvasion were all typical of classical rodent prions. Our results revealed that, similar to naturally occurring prions, the rec-Prion has a titratable infectivity and is capable of causing prion disease via routes other than direct intra-cerebral challenge. More importantly, our results established that the rec-Prion caused disease is pathogenically and pathologically identical to naturally occurring contagious TSEs, supporting the concept that a conformationally altered protein agent is responsible for the infectivity in TSEs.

  4. Amidation and structure relaxation abolish the neurotoxicity of the prion peptide PrP106-126 in vivo and in vitro

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergstrøm, Linda Alice; Hvass, Henriette Cordes; Zsurger, N.

    2005-01-01

    One of the major pathological hallmarks of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) is the accumulation of a pathogenic (scrapie) isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) primarily in the central nervous system. The synthetic prion peptide PrP106-126 shares many characteristics...

  5. Evaluation of the effectiveness of selected measures against Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) in Switzerland by use of the basic reproduction ratio R0

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schwermer, H.; Brülisauer, F.; Koeijer, de A.A.; Heim, D.

    2007-01-01

    The effectiveness of two measures against Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE), the compulsory processing of animal by products to meat and bone mea (MBM) at 133 °C under 3 bars of pressure for 20 minutes in February 1993 and the exclusion offallen stock, heads with eyes and spinal cord of cattle

  6. New insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benetti, Federico; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-01-01

    Prions are the etiological agent of fatal neurodegenerative diseases called prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious disorders. Prions are due to post-translational modifications of the cellular prion protein leading to the formation of a β-sheet enriched conformer with altered biochemical properties. The molecular events causing prion formation in sporadic prion diseases are still elusive. Recently, we published a research elucidating the contribution of major structural determinants and environmental factors in prion protein folding and stability. Our study highlighted the crucial role of octarepeats in stabilizing prion protein; the presence of a highly enthalpically stable intermediate state in prion-susceptible species; and the role of disulfide bridge in preserving native fold thus avoiding the misfolding to a β-sheet enriched isoform. Taking advantage from these findings, in this work we present new insights into structural determinants of prion protein folding and stability.

  7. Current and future molecular diagnostics for prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lehto, Marty T; Peery, Harry E; Cashman, Neil R

    2006-07-01

    It is now widely held that the infectious agents underlying the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are prions, which are primarily composed of a misfolded, protease-resistant isoform of the host prion protein. Untreatable prion disorders include some human diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and diseases of economically important animals, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (cattle) and chronic wasting disease (deer and elk). Detection and diagnosis of prion disease (and presymptomatic incubation) is contingent upon developing novel assays, which exploit properties uniquely possessed by this misfolded protein complex, rather than targeting an agent-specific nucleic acid. This review highlights some of the conventional and disruptive technologies developed to respond to this challenge.

  8. Prion remains infectious after passage through digestive system of American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kurt C VerCauteren

    Full Text Available Avian scavengers, such as American crows (Corvus brachyrhynchos, have potential to translocate infectious agents (prions of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE diseases including chronic wasting disease, scrapie, and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. We inoculated mice with fecal extracts obtained from 20 American crows that were force-fed material infected with RML-strain scrapie prions. These mice all evinced severe neurological dysfunction 196-231 d postinoculation (x =198; 95% CI: 210-216 and tested positive for prion disease. Our results suggest a large proportion of crows that consume prion-positive tissue are capable of passing infectious prions in their feces (ˆp=1.0; 95% CI: 0.8-1.0. Therefore, this common, migratory North American scavenger could play a role in the geographic spread of TSE diseases.

  9. Bovine spongiform encephalopathy: is it time to relax BSE-related measures in the context of international trade?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, D; Adkin, A

    2011-04-01

    Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) has presented serious challenges to both the World Organisation for Animal Health and national governments, in defining and implementing appropriate national control measures, and in agreeing trade rules that permit safe trade in cattle and bovine products. Precautionary trade rules were initially necessary, based upon the science of sheep scrapie, but research into BSE later enabled BSE-specific trade rules to be developed. As a result, current rules on trade are underpinned by a sound body of knowledge on BSE. Declining epidemics in most affected countries confirm the appropriateness of current precautions. Nevertheless, risk is primarily dependent on the prevalence of infection with BSE. In the face of low prevalence scenarios, certain precautionary measures in the Terrestrial Animal Health Code may now be considered excessive. A thorough review is therefore deemed appropriate.

  10. An overview of tests for animal tissues in feeds applied in response to public health concerns regarding bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gizzi, G; van Raamsdonk, L W D; Baeten, V; Murray, I; Berben, G; Brambilla, G; von Holst, C

    2003-04-01

    Enforcing the ban on meat-and-bone meal in feed for farmed animals, and especially ruminants, is considered an important measure to prevent the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. The authors describe current analytical methods for the detection and identification of animal tissues in feed. In addition, recently approved requirements, such as the ban of intra-species recycling (practice of feeding an animal species with proteins derived from the bodies, or parts of bodies, of the same species) are described. In principle, four different approaches are currently applied, i.e. microscopic analysis, polymerase chain reaction, immunoassay analysis and near infrared spectroscopy or microscopy. The principal performance characteristics of these methods are presented and compared, and their specific advantages and disadvantages described. Special emphasis is also placed on the impact of rendering conditions, particularly high temperatures and on the use of molecular biology techniques.

  11. Prions, prion-like prionoids, and neurodegenerative disordersVacancy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ashok Verma

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterized by the aggregation and deposition of the misfolded prion protein in the brain. α-synuclein (α-syn-associated multiple system atrophy has been recently shown to be caused by a bona fide α-syn prion strain. Several other misfolded native proteins such as β-amyloid, tau and TDP-43 share some aspects of prions although none of them is shown to be transmissible in nature or in experimental animals. However, these prion-like “prionoids” are causal to a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The remarkable recent discovery of at least two new α-syn prion strains and their transmissibility in transgenic mice and in vitro cell models raises a distinct question as to whether some specific strain of other prionoids could have the capability of disease transmission in a manner similar to prions. In this overview, we briefly describe human and other mammalian prion diseases and comment on certain similarities between prion and prionoid and the possibility of prion-like transmissibility of some prionoid strains.

  12. Prion protein in milk.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicola Franscini

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Prions are known to cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE after accumulation in the central nervous system. There is increasing evidence that prions are also present in body fluids and that prion infection by blood transmission is possible. The low concentration of the proteinaceous agent in body fluids and its long incubation time complicate epidemiologic analysis and estimation of spreading and thus the risk of human infection. This situation is particularly unsatisfactory for food and pharmaceutical industries, given the lack of sensitive tools for monitoring the infectious agent. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We have developed an adsorption matrix, Alicon PrioTrap, which binds with high affinity and specificity to prion proteins. Thus we were able to identify prion protein (PrP(C--the precursor of prions (PrP(Sc--in milk from humans, cows, sheep, and goats. The absolute amount of PrP(C differs between the species (from microg/l range in sheep to ng/l range in human milk. PrP(C is also found in homogenised and pasteurised off-the-shelf milk, and even ultrahigh temperature treatment only partially diminishes endogenous PrP(C concentration. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: In view of a recent study showing evidence of prion replication occurring in the mammary gland of scrapie infected sheep suffering from mastitis, the appearance of PrP(C in milk implies the possibility that milk of TSE-infected animals serves as source for PrP(Sc.

  13. Primary transmission of chronic wasting disease versus scrapie prions from small ruminants to transgenic mice expressing ovine and cervid prion protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Identifying transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) reservoirs that could lead to disease re-emergence is imperative to U.S. scrapie eradication efforts. Transgenic mice expressing the cervid (TgElk) or ovine (Tg338) prion protein have aided characterization of chronic wasting disease (CWD) an...

  14. Prion Protein Self-Interactions: a gateway to novel therapeutic strategies?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rigter, A.

    2011-01-01

    Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) or prion diseases are unique disorders that are not caused by infectious micro-organisms (bacteria or fungi), viruses or parasites, but rather seems to be the result of an infectious protein. TSEs are comprised of fatal neurodegenerative disorders

  15. Differential effects of divalent cations on elk prion protein fibril formation and stability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Misfolding of the normally folded prion protein of mammals (PrPC) into infectious fibrils causes a variety of different diseases, from scrapie in sheep to bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle to chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and elk. The misfolded form of PrPC, termed PrPSc, or in this...

  16. Protein nutrition for ruminants in European countries, in the light of animal feeding regulations linked to bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sellier, P

    2003-04-01

    The outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and the discovery of the central role played by meat-and-bone meal (MBM) as the vehicle of infection resulted, from the late 1980s onwards, in the implementation of new regulations on the incorporation of animal proteins, and then of most fats of animal origin, into diets fed to ruminants and other farmed animals. The BSE-related feed ban, which has gradually been reinforced over time, has led to the investigation of cost-effective routes for adequately replacing MBM and tallow by new sources of dietary proteins, minerals and lipids in the formulation of manufactured concentrates. As far as the technical fulfilment of the nutritive requirements of growing and lactating ruminants is concerned, efficient alternative solutions, based principally on recourse to food materials from vegetals already exist or hopefully will soon be available in most of the situations prevailing in Europe. However, related aspects, such as animal feed-processing, availability and traceability of certain food materials, quality of animal products, environmental constraints or disposal of animal waste from the meat industry give cause for concern. The expected consequences of the BSE-related feeding regulations on the organisational and economic framework of animal and crop production sectors throughout Europe and at world level must also be evaluated.

  17. Immunohistochemical study of PrPSc distribution in neural and extraneural tissues of two cats with feline spongiform encephalopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wunderlin Sabina S

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Two domestic shorthair cats presenting with progressive hind-limb ataxia and increased aggressiveness were necropsied and a post mortem diagnosis of Feline Spongiform Encephalopathy (FSE was made. A wide spectrum of tissue samples was collected and evaluated histologically and immunohistologically for the presence of PrPSc. Results Histopathological examination revealed a diffuse vacuolation of the grey matter neuropil with the following areas being most severely affected: corpus geniculatum medialis, thalamus, gyrus dentatus of the hippocampus, corpus striatum, and deep layers of the cerebral and cerebellar cortex as well as in the brain stem. In addition, a diffuse glial reaction involving astrocytes and microglia and intraneuronal vacuolation in a few neurons in the brain stem was present. Heavy PrPSc immunostaining was detected in brain, retina, optic nerve, pars nervosa of the pituitary gland, trigeminal ganglia and small amounts in the myenteric plexus of the small intestine (duodenum, jejunum and slightly in the medulla of the adrenal gland. Conclusion The PrPSc distribution within the brain was consistent with that described in other FSE-affected cats. The pattern of abnormal PrP in the retina corresponded to that found in a captive cheetah with FSE, in sheep with scrapie and was similar to nvCJD in humans.

  18. EU-approved rapid tests for bovine spongiform encephalopathy detect atypical forms: a study for their sensitivities.

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    Daniela Meloni

    Full Text Available Since 2004 it become clear that atypical bovine spongiform encephalopthies (BSEs exist in cattle. Whenever their detection has relied on active surveillance plans implemented in Europe since 2001 by rapid tests, the overall and inter-laboratory performance of these diagnostic systems in the detection of the atypical strains has not been studied thoroughly to date. To fill this gap, the present study reports on the analytical sensitivity of the EU-approved rapid tests for atypical L- and H-type and classical BSE in parallel. Each test was challenged with two dilution series, one created from a positive pool of the three BSE forms according to the EURL standard method of homogenate preparation (50% w/v and the other as per the test kit manufacturer's instructions. Multilevel logistic models and simple logistic models with the rapid test as the only covariate were fitted for each BSE form analyzed as directed by the test manufacturer's dilution protocol. The same schemes, but excluding the BSE type, were then applied to compare test performance under the manufacturer's versus the water protocol. The IDEXX HerdChek ® BSE-scrapie short protocol test showed the highest sensitivity for all BSE forms. The IDEXX® HerdChek BSE-scrapie ultra short protocol, the Prionics®--Check WESTERN and the AJ Roboscreen® BetaPrion tests showed similar sensitivities, followed by the Roche® PrionScreen, the Bio-Rad® TeSeE™ SAP and the Prionics®--Check PrioSTRIP in descending order of analytical sensitivity. Despite these differences, the limit of detection of all seven rapid tests against the different classes of material set within a 2 log(10 range of the best-performing test, thus meeting the European Food Safety Authority requirement for BSE surveillance purposes. These findings indicate that not many atypical cases would have been missed surveillance since 2001 which is important for further epidemiological interpretations of the sporadic character of

  19. Neurotoxic Antibodies against the Prion Protein Do Not Trigger Prion Replication.

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    Karl Frontzek

    Full Text Available Prions are the infectious agents causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE, progressive, inexorably lethal neurological diseases. Antibodies targeting the globular domain (GD of the cellular prion protein PrPC trigger a neurotoxic syndrome morphologically and molecularly similar to prion disease. This phenomenon raises the question whether such antibodies induce infectious prions de novo. Here we exposed cerebellar organotypic cultured slices (COCS to the neurotoxic antibody, POM1. We then inoculated COCS homogenates into tga20 mice, which overexpress PrPC and are commonly utilized as sensitive indicators of prion infectivity. None of the mice inoculated with COCS-derived lysates developed any signs of disease, and all mice survived for at least 200 days post-inoculation. In contrast, all mice inoculated with bona fide prions succumbed to TSE after 55-95 days. Post-mortem analyses did not reveal any signs of prion pathology in mice inoculated with POM1-COCS lysates. Also, lysates from POM1-exposed COCS were unable to convert PrP by quaking. Hence, anti-GD antibodies do not catalyze the generation of prion infectivity. These data indicate that prion replication can be separated from prion toxicity, and suggest that anti-GD antibodies exert toxicity by acting downstream of prion replication.

  20. Cellular Aspects of Prion Replication In Vitro

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grassmann, Andrea; Wolf, Hanna; Hofmann, Julia; Graham, James; Vorberg, Ina

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are fatal neurodegenerative disorders in mammals that are caused by unconventional agents predominantly composed of aggregated misfolded prion protein (PrP). Prions self-propagate by recruitment of host-encoded PrP into highly ordered β-sheet rich aggregates. Prion strains differ in their clinical, pathological and biochemical characteristics and are likely to be the consequence of distinct abnormal prion protein conformers that stably replicate their alternate states in the host cell. Understanding prion cell biology is fundamental for identifying potential drug targets for disease intervention. The development of permissive cell culture models has greatly enhanced our knowledge on entry, propagation and dissemination of TSE agents. However, despite extensive research, the precise mechanism of prion infection and potential strain effects remain enigmatic. This review summarizes our current knowledge of the cell biology and propagation of prions derived from cell culture experiments. We discuss recent findings on the trafficking of cellular and pathologic PrP, the potential sites of abnormal prion protein synthesis and potential co-factors involved in prion entry and propagation. PMID:23340381

  1. A closer look at prion strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solforosi, Laura; Milani, Michela; Mancini, Nicasio; Clementi, Massimo; Burioni, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins that are responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and consist primarily of scrapie prion protein (PrPSc), a pathogenic isoform of the host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrPC). The absence of nucleic acids as essential components of the infectious prions is the most striking feature associated to these diseases. Additionally, different prion strains have been isolated from animal diseases despite the lack of DNA or RNA molecules. Mounting evidence suggests that prion-strain-specific features segregate with different PrPSc conformational and aggregation states. Strains are of practical relevance in prion diseases as they can drastically differ in many aspects, such as incubation period, PrPSc biochemical profile (e.g., electrophoretic mobility and glycoform ratio) and distribution of brain lesions. Importantly, such different features are maintained after inoculation of a prion strain into genetically identical hosts and are relatively stable across serial passages. This review focuses on the characterization of prion strains and on the wide range of important implications that the study of prion strains involves. PMID:23357828

  2. [A case of Creutzfeldt-Jakob in the Mexican north-east and review of current concepts on prion disease].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calderón-Garcidueñas, A L; Sagastegui-Rodríguez, J A; Canales-Ibarra, C; Farías-García, R

    2001-01-01

    The case reported here is that of a 50-year-old man from Saltillo, Coahuila, Mexico, who during the previous 15 months developed a demential syndrome and myoclonia. The brain biopsy led to establish a diagnosis of spongiform encephalopathy. The EEG showed periodic sharp wave complexes over the right hemisphere. A review on about prion diseases is included.

  3. Inhibition of protease-resistant prion protein formation in a transformed deer cell line infected with chronic wasting disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Raymond, G.J.; Olsen, E.A.; Lee, K.S.; Raymond, L.D.; Bryant, P.K.; Baron, G.S.; Caughey, W.S.; Kocisko, D.A.; McHolland, L.E.; Favara, C.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Zijderveld, van F.G.; Mayer, R.T.; Miller, M.W.; Williams, E.S.; Caughey, B.

    2006-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an emerging transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (prion disease) of North American cervids, i.e., mule deer, white-tailed deer, and elk (wapiti). To facilitate in vitro studies of CWD, we have developed a transformed deer cell line that is persistently infected

  4. Inactivation of animal and human prions by hydrogen peroxide gas plasma sterilization.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogez-Kreuz, C; Yousfi, R; Soufflet, C; Quadrio, I; Yan, Z-X; Huyot, V; Aubenque, C; Destrez, P; Roth, K; Roberts, C; Favero, M; Clayette, P

    2009-08-01

    Prions cause various transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. They are highly resistant to the chemical and physical decontamination and sterilization procedures routinely used in healthcare facilities. The decontamination procedures recommended for the inactivation of prions are often incompatible with the materials used in medical devices. In this study, we evaluated the use of low-temperature hydrogen peroxide gas plasma sterilization systems and other instrument-processing procedures for inactivating human and animal prions. We provide new data concerning the efficacy of hydrogen peroxide against prions from in vitro or in vivo tests, focusing on the following: the efficiency of hydrogen peroxide sterilization and possible interactions with enzymatic or alkaline detergents, differences in the efficiency of this treatment against different prion strains, and the influence of contaminating lipids. We found that gaseous hydrogen peroxide decreased the infectivity of prions and/or the level of the protease-resistant form of the prion protein on different surface materials. However, the efficiency of this treatment depended strongly on the concentration of hydrogen peroxide and the delivery system used in medical devices, because these effects were more pronounced for the new generation of Sterrad technology. The Sterrad NX sterilizer is 100% efficient (0% transmission and no protease-resistant form of the prion protein signal detected on the surface of the material for the mouse-adapted bovine spongiform encephalopathy 6PB1 strain and a variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease strain). Thus, gaseous or vaporized hydrogen peroxide efficiently inactivates prions on the surfaces of medical devices.

  5. Gene knockout of tau expression does not contribute to the pathogenesis of prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lawson, Victoria A; Klemm, Helen M; Welton, Jeremy M; Masters, Colin L; Crouch, Peter; Cappai, Roberto; Ciccotosto, Giuseppe D

    2011-11-01

    Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are a group of fatal and transmissible disorders affecting the central nervous system of humans and animals. The principal agent of prion disease transmission and pathogenesis is proposed to be an abnormal protease-resistant isoform of the normal cellular prion protein. The microtubule-associated protein tau is elevated in patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. To determine whether tau expression contributes to prion disease pathogenesis, tau knockout and control wild-type mice were infected with the M1000 strain of mouse-adapted human prions. Immunohistochemical analysis for total tau expression in prion-infected wild-type mice indicated tau aggregation in the cytoplasm of a subpopulation of neurons in regions associated with spongiform change. Western immunoblot analysis of brain homogenates revealed a decrease in total tau immunoreactivity and epitope-specific changes in tau phosphorylation. No significant difference in incubation period or other disease features were observed between tau knockout and wild-type mice with clinical prion disease. These results demonstrate that, in this model of prion disease, tau does not contribute to the pathogenesis of prion disease and that changes in the tau protein profile observed in mice with clinical prion disease occurs as a consequence of the prion-induced pathogenesis.

  6. Molecular Modeling of Prion Transmission to Humans

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Etienne Levavasseur

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Using different prion strains, such as the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agent and the atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy agents, and using transgenic mice expressing human or bovine prion protein, we assessed the reliability of protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA to model interspecies and genetic barriers to prion transmission. We compared our PMCA results with in vivo transmission data characterized by attack rates, i.e., the percentage of inoculated mice that developed the disease. Using 19 seed/substrate combinations, we observed that a significant PMCA amplification was only obtained when the mouse line used as substrate is susceptible to the corresponding strain. Our results suggest that PMCA provides a useful tool to study genetic barriers to transmission and to study the zoonotic potential of emerging prion strains.

  7. Protein Misfolding Cyclic Amplification of Infectious Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moda, Fabio

    2017-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases, are a group of incurable disorders caused by the accumulation of an abnormally folded prion protein (PrP Sc ) in the brain. According to the "protein-only" hypothesis, PrP Sc is the infectious agent able to propagate the disease by acting as a template for the conversion of the correctly folded prion protein (PrP C ) into the pathological isoform. Recently, the mechanism of PrP C conversion has been mimicked in vitro using an innovative technique named protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA). This technology represents a great tool for studying diverse aspects of prion biology in the field of basic research and diagnosis. Moreover, PMCA can be expanded for the study of the misfolding process associated to other neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  8. Treatment with a non-toxic, self-replicating anti-prion delays or prevents prion disease in vivo.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diaz-Espinoza, R; Morales, R; Concha-Marambio, L; Moreno-Gonzalez, I; Moda, F; Soto, C

    2018-03-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are fatal neurological disorders caused by prions, which are composed of a misfolded protein (PrP Sc ) that self-propagates in the brain of infected individuals by converting the normal prion protein (PrP C ) into the pathological isoform. Here, we report a novel experimental strategy for preventing prion disease based on producing a self-replicating, but innocuous PrP Sc -like form, termed anti-prion, which can compete with the replication of pathogenic prions. Our results show that a prophylactic inoculation of prion-infected animals with an anti-prion delays the onset of the disease and in some animals completely prevents the development of clinical symptoms and brain damage. The data indicate that a single injection of the anti-prion eliminated ~99% of the infectivity associated to pathogenic prions. Furthermore, this treatment caused significant changes in the profile of regional PrP Sc deposition in the brains of animals that were treated, but still succumbed to the disease. Our findings provide new insights for a mechanistic understanding of prion replication and support the concept that prion replication can be separated from toxicity, providing a novel target for therapeutic intervention.

  9. Enhanced detection of infectious prions by direct ELISA from the brains of asymptomatic animals using DRM2-118 monoclonal antibody and Gdn-HCl

    Science.gov (United States)

    In this report we describe improved methods for the detection of infectious prions by immunoassay for the diagnosis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) from asymptomatic animals. Tissue samples obtained as part of ongoing TSE surveillance efforts are often unsuitable for histopathol...

  10. Prion diseases: immunotargets and therapy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Burchell JT

    2016-06-01

    adaptive immune response. Although more research into mechanisms and safety is required, these immunotherapies offer novel therapeutic targets for prion diseases. Keywords: neurodegeneration, immunization, spongiform encephalopathies, PrPC, PrPSc, tansmissible spongiform encephalopathies Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease, dendritice cells, Alzheimer disease

  11. Prions: Beyond a Single Protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Alvin S.

    2016-01-01

    SUMMARY Since the term protein was first coined in 1838 and protein was discovered to be the essential component of fibrin and albumin, all cellular proteins were presumed to play beneficial roles in plants and mammals. However, in 1967, Griffith proposed that proteins could be infectious pathogens and postulated their involvement in scrapie, a universally fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy in goats and sheep. Nevertheless, this novel hypothesis had not been evidenced until 1982, when Prusiner and coworkers purified infectious particles from scrapie-infected hamster brains and demonstrated that they consisted of a specific protein that he called a “prion.” Unprecedentedly, the infectious prion pathogen is actually derived from its endogenous cellular form in the central nervous system. Unlike other infectious agents, such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, prions do not contain genetic materials such as DNA or RNA. The unique traits and genetic information of prions are believed to be encoded within the conformational structure and posttranslational modifications of the proteins. Remarkably, prion-like behavior has been recently observed in other cellular proteins—not only in pathogenic roles but also serving physiological functions. The significance of these fascinating developments in prion biology is far beyond the scope of a single cellular protein and its related disease. PMID:27226089

  12. Molecular modeling of the conformational dynamics of the cellular prion protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nguyen, Charles; Colling, Ian; Bartz, Jason; Soto, Patricia

    2014-03-01

    Prions are infectious agents responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), a type of fatal neurodegenerative disease in mammals. Prions propagate biological information by conversion of the non-pathological version of the prion protein to the infectious conformation, PrPSc. A wealth of knowledge has shed light on the nature and mechanism of prion protein conversion. In spite of the significance of this problem, we are far from fully understanding the conformational dynamics of the cellular isoform. To remedy this situation we employ multiple biomolecular modeling techniques such as docking and molecular dynamics simulations to map the free energy landscape and determine what specific regions of the prion protein are most conductive to binding. The overall goal is to characterize the conformational dynamics of the cell form of the prion protein, PrPc, to gain insight into inhibition pathways against misfolding. NE EPSCoR FIRST Award to Patricia Soto.

  13. A closer look at prion strains: characterization and important implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solforosi, Laura; Milani, Michela; Mancini, Nicasio; Clementi, Massimo; Burioni, Roberto

    2013-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins that are responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and consist primarily of scrapie prion protein (PrP (Sc) ), a pathogenic isoform of the host-encoded cellular prion protein (PrP (C) ). The absence of nucleic acids as essential components of the infectious prions is the most striking feature associated to these diseases. Additionally, different prion strains have been isolated from animal diseases despite the lack of DNA or RNA molecules. Mounting evidence suggests that prion-strain-specific features segregate with different PrP (Sc) conformational and aggregation states. Strains are of practical relevance in prion diseases as they can drastically differ in many aspects, such as incubation period, PrP (Sc) biochemical profile (e.g., electrophoretic mobility and glycoform ratio) and distribution of brain lesions. Importantly, such different features are maintained after inoculation of a prion strain into genetically identical hosts and are relatively stable across serial passages. This review focuses on the characterization of prion strains and on the wide range of important implications that the study of prion strains involves.

  14. Population-level retrospective study of neurologically expressed disorders in ruminants before the onset of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Belgium, a BSE risk III country.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saegerman, C; Berkvens, D; Claes, L; Dewaele, A; Coignoul, F; Ducatelle, R; Cassart, D; Brochier, B; Costy, F; Roels, S; Deluyker, H; Vanopdenbosch, E; Thiry, E

    2005-02-01

    A retrospective epidemiological study (n = 7,875) of neurologically expressed disorders (NED) in ruminants before the onset of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy epidemic (years studied, 1980 to 1997) was carried out in Belgium. The archives of all veterinary laboratories and rabies and transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) epidemiosurveillance networks were consulted. For all species, a significantly higher number of NED with virological causes (rabies) was reported south of the Sambre-Meuse Valley. During the period 1992 to 1997, for which the data were complete, (i) the predicted annual incidence of NED varied significantly as a function of species and area (higher numbers in areas where rabies was present) but was always above 100 cases per million, and (ii) the mean incidence of suspected TSE cases and, among them, those investigated by histopathological examination varied significantly as a function of species and area. The positive predictive value of a presumptive clinical diagnosis of NED ranged from 0.13 (game) to 0.63 (sheep). Knowledge of the positive predictive value permits the definition of a reference point before certain actions (e.g., awareness and training campaigns) are undertaken. It also shows the usefulness of a systematic necropsy or complementary laboratory tests to establish an etiological diagnosis. TSE analysis of a small, targeted historical sampling (n = 48) permitted the confirmation of one case and uncovered another case of scrapie. The results of the present study help to develop and maintain the quality of the worldwide clinical epidemiological networks for TSE, especially in countries that in the past imported live animals, animal products, and feedstuffs from countries with TSE cases.

  15. Protease resistance of infectious prions is suppressed by removal of a single atom in the cellular prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leske, Henning; Hornemann, Simone; Herrmann, Uli Simon; Zhu, Caihong; Dametto, Paolo; Li, Bei; Laferriere, Florent; Polymenidou, Magdalini; Pelczar, Pawel; Reimann, Regina Rose; Schwarz, Petra; Rushing, Elisabeth Jane; Wüthrich, Kurt; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2017-01-01

    Resistance to proteolytic digestion has long been considered a defining trait of prions in tissues of organisms suffering from transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Detection of proteinase K-resistant prion protein (PrPSc) still represents the diagnostic gold standard for prion diseases in humans, sheep and cattle. However, it has become increasingly apparent that the accumulation of PrPSc does not always accompany prion infections: high titers of prion infectivity can be reached also in the absence of protease resistant PrPSc. Here, we describe a structural basis for the phenomenon of protease-sensitive prion infectivity. We studied the effect on proteinase K (PK) resistance of the amino acid substitution Y169F, which removes a single oxygen atom from the β2-α2 loop of the cellular prion protein (PrPC). When infected with RML or the 263K strain of prions, transgenic mice lacking wild-type (wt) PrPC but expressing MoPrP169F generated prion infectivity at levels comparable to wt mice. The newly generated MoPrP169F prions were biologically indistinguishable from those recovered from prion-infected wt mice, and elicited similar pathologies in vivo. Surprisingly, MoPrP169F prions showed greatly reduced PK resistance and density gradient analyses showed a significant reduction in high-density aggregates. Passage of MoPrP169F prions into mice expressing wt MoPrP led to full recovery of protease resistance, indicating that no strain shift had taken place. We conclude that a subtle structural variation in the β2-α2 loop of PrPC affects the sensitivity of PrPSc to protease but does not impact prion replication and infectivity. With these findings a specific structural feature of PrPC can be linked to a physicochemical property of the corresponding PrPSc.

  16. A brief history of prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zabel, Mark D.; Reid, Crystal

    2015-01-01

    Proteins were described as distinct biological molecules and their significance in cellular processes was recognized as early as the 18th century. At the same time, Spanish shepherds observed a disease that compelled their Merino sheep to pathologically scrape against fences, a defining clinical sign that led to the disease being named scrapie. In the late 19th century, Robert Koch published his postulates for defining causative agents of disease. In the early 20th century, pathologists Creutzfeldt and Jakob described a neurodegenerative disease that would later be included with scrapie into a group of diseases known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Later that century, mounting evidence compelled a handful of scientists to betray the prevailing biological dogma governing pathogen replication that Watson and Crick so convincingly explained by cracking the genetic code just two decades earlier. Because TSEs seemed to defy these new rules, J.S. Griffith theorized mechanisms by which a pathogenic protein could encipher its own replication blueprint without a genetic code. Stanley Prusiner called this proteinaceous infectious pathogen a prion. Here we offer a concise account of the discovery of prions, the causative agent of TSEs, in the wider context of protein biochemistry and infectious disease. We highlight the discovery of prions in yeast and discuss the implication of prions as epigenomic carriers of biological and pathological information. We also consider expanding the prion hypothesis to include other proteins whose alternate isoforms confer new biological or pathological properties. PMID:26449713

  17. Insights into mechanisms of transmission and pathogenesis from transgenic mouse models of prion diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, Julie A.; Telling, Glenn C.

    2018-01-01

    Prions represent a new paradigm of protein-mediated information transfer. In the case of mammals, prions are the cause of fatal, transmissible neurodegenerative diseases, sometimes referred to as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE’s), which frequently occur as epidemics. An increasing body of evidence indicates that the canonical mechanism of conformational corruption of cellular prion protein (PrPC) by the pathogenic isoform (PrPSc) that is the basis of prion formation in TSE’s, is common to a spectrum of proteins associated with various additional human neurodegenerative disorders, including the more common Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The peerless infectious properties of TSE prions, and the unparalleled tools for their study, therefore enable elucidation of mechanisms of template-mediated conformational propagation that are generally applicable to these related disease states. Many unresolved issues remain including the exact molecular nature of the prion, the detailed cellular and molecular mechanisms of prion propagation, and the means by which prion diseases can be both genetic and infectious. In addition, we know little about the mechanism by which neurons degenerate during prion diseases. Tied to this, the physiological role of the normal form of the prion protein remains unclear and it is uncertain whether or not loss of this function contributes to prion pathogenesis. The factors governing the transmission of prions between species remain unclear, in particular the means by which prion strains and PrP primary structure interact to affect inter-species prion transmission. Despite all these unknowns, advances in our understanding of prions have occurred because of their transmissibility to experimental animals and the development of transgenic (Tg) mouse models has done much to further our understanding about various aspects of prion biology. In this review we will focus on advances in our understanding of prion biology that

  18. Prions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Bodemer

    2016-09-01

    BSE is always unknown. Telemetry revealed a shift in sleep–wake cycles early on, long before behavioral changes or clinical symptoms appeared. Pathology confirmed non-neuronal tissue as hidden places where prions exist. The rhesus model also allowed first comparative studies of epigenetic modifications on RNA in peripheral blood and brain tissue collected from uninfected and prion-infected animals. To conclude, our studies clearly demonstrated that this model is valid since progression to disease is almost identical to human CJD.

  19. The Structural Stability of Wild-type Horse Prion Protein - Molecular Dynamics Studies

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Jiapu

    2011-01-01

    Prion diseases {\\it (e.g. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), variant CJD (vCJD), Gerstmann-Str$\\ddot{\\text{a}}$ussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI) and Kuru in humans, scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or `mad-cow' disease) and chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cattles)} are invariably fatal and highly infectious neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and animals. However, by now there have not been some effective therapeutic approaches or med...

  20. Theoretical Modeling of Molecular Mechanisms, Time Scales and Strains in Prion Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-01-01

    106 46 (Lou Gehrig’s (20% of cases) stress all ALS) disease)53 Type II diabetes54 IAPP ? High ( obesity 14 106 per year (U.S.) 40 trigger...and in enhancing conversion kinetics for inherited forms of the disease and explain resistance (for canines ) involving hypothesized coupling to...bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions in England through contaminated protein supplements, canines , cervids, and pigs appear to have escaped

  1. Ultraviolet-ozone treatment reduces levels of disease-associated prion protein and prion infectivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, C.J.; Gilbert, P.; McKenzie, D.; Pedersen, J.A.; Aiken, Judd M.

    2009-01-01

    Background. Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases caused by novel infectious agents referred to as prions. Prions appear to be composed primarily, if not exclusively, of a misfolded isoform of the cellular prion protein. TSE infectivity is remarkably stable and can resist many aggressive decontamination procedures, increasing human, livestock and wildlife exposure to TSEs. Findings. We tested the hypothesis that UV-ozone treatment reduces levels of the pathogenic prion protein and inactivates the infectious agent. We found that UV-ozone treatment decreased the carbon and prion protein content in infected brain homogenate to levels undetectable by dry-ashing carbon analysis or immunoblotting, respectively. After 8 weeks of ashing, UV-ozone treatment reduced the infectious titer of treated material by a factor of at least 105. A small amount of infectivity, however, persisted despite UV-ozone treatment. When bound to either montmorillonite clay or quartz surfaces, PrPTSE was still susceptible to degradation by UV-ozone. Conclusion. Our findings strongly suggest that UV-ozone treatment can degrade pathogenic prion protein and inactivate prions, even when the agent is associated with surfaces. Using larger UV-ozone doses or combining UV-ozone treatment with other decontaminant methods may allow the sterilization of TSE-contaminated materials. ?? 2009 Aiken et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

  2. Experimental sheep BSE prions generate the vCJD phenotype when serially passaged in transgenic mice expressing human prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joiner, Susan; Asante, Emmanuel A; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Brock, Lara; Brandner, Sebastian; Bellworthy, Susan J; Simmons, Marion M; Hope, James; Collinge, John; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F

    2018-03-15

    The epizootic prion disease of cattle, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), causes variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) in humans following dietary exposure. While it is assumed that all cases of vCJD attributed to a dietary aetiology are related to cattle BSE, sheep and goats are susceptible to experimental oral challenge with cattle BSE prions and farmed animals in the UK were undoubtedly exposed to BSE-contaminated meat and bone meal during the late 1980s and early 1990s. Although no natural field cases of sheep BSE have been identified, it cannot be excluded that some BSE-infected sheep might have entered the European human food chain. Evaluation of the zoonotic potential of sheep BSE prions has been addressed by examining the transmission properties of experimental brain isolates in transgenic mice that express human prion protein, however to-date there have been relatively few studies. Here we report that serial passage of experimental sheep BSE prions in transgenic mice expressing human prion protein with methionine at residue 129 produces the vCJD phenotype that mirrors that seen when the same mice are challenged with vCJD prions from patient brain. These findings are congruent with those reported previously by another laboratory, and thereby strongly reinforce the view that sheep BSE prions could have acted as a causal agent of vCJD within Europe. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  3. Distinct transmissibility features of TSE sources derived from ruminant prion diseases by the oral route in a transgenic mouse model (TgOvPrP4 overexpressing the ovine prion protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-Noël Arsac

    Full Text Available Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases associated with a misfolded form of host-encoded prion protein (PrP. Some of them, such as classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle (BSE, transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME, kuru and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans, are acquired by the oral route exposure to infected tissues. We investigated the possible transmission by the oral route of a panel of strains derived from ruminant prion diseases in a transgenic mouse model (TgOvPrP4 overexpressing the ovine prion protein (A136R154Q171 under the control of the neuron-specific enolase promoter. Sources derived from Nor98, CH1641 or 87V scrapie sources, as well as sources derived from L-type BSE or cattle-passaged TME, failed to transmit by the oral route, whereas those derived from classical BSE and classical scrapie were successfully transmitted. Apart from a possible effect of passage history of the TSE agent in the inocula, this implied the occurrence of subtle molecular changes in the protease-resistant prion protein (PrPres following oral transmission that can raises concerns about our ability to correctly identify sheep that might be orally infected by the BSE agent in the field. Our results provide proof of principle that transgenic mouse models can be used to examine the transmissibility of TSE agents by the oral route, providing novel insights regarding the pathogenesis of prion diseases.

  4. Genetic Predictions of Prion Disease Susceptibility in Carnivore Species Based on Variability of the Prion Gene Coding Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stewart, Paula; Campbell, Lauren; Skogtvedt, Susan; Griffin, Karen A.; Arnemo, Jon M.; Tryland, Morten; Girling, Simon; Miller, Michael W.; Tranulis, Michael A.; Goldmann, Wilfred

    2012-01-01

    Mammalian species vary widely in their apparent susceptibility to prion diseases. For example, several felid species developed prion disease (feline spongiform encephalopathy or FSE) during the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic in the United Kingdom, whereas no canine BSE cases were detected. Whether either of these or other groups of carnivore species can contract other prion diseases (e.g. chronic wasting disease or CWD) remains an open question. Variation in the host-encoded prion protein (PrPC) largely explains observed disease susceptibility patterns within ruminant species, and may explain interspecies differences in susceptibility as well. We sequenced and compared the open reading frame of the PRNP gene encoding PrPC protein from 609 animal samples comprising 29 species from 22 genera of the Order Carnivora; amongst these samples were 15 FSE cases. Our analysis revealed that FSE cases did not encode an identifiable disease-associated PrP polymorphism. However, all canid PrPs contained aspartic acid or glutamic acid at codon 163 which we propose provides a genetic basis for observed susceptibility differences between canids and felids. Among other carnivores studied, wolverine (Gulo gulo) and pine marten (Martes martes) were the only non-canid species to also express PrP-Asp163, which may impact on their prion diseases susceptibility. Populations of black bear (Ursus americanus) and mountain lion (Puma concolor) from Colorado showed little genetic variation in the PrP protein and no variants likely to be highly resistant to prions in general, suggesting that strain differences between BSE and CWD prions also may contribute to the limited apparent host range of the latter. PMID:23236380

  5. Genetic predictions of prion disease susceptibility in carnivore species based on variability of the prion gene coding region.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula Stewart

    Full Text Available Mammalian species vary widely in their apparent susceptibility to prion diseases. For example, several felid species developed prion disease (feline spongiform encephalopathy or FSE during the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE epidemic in the United Kingdom, whereas no canine BSE cases were detected. Whether either of these or other groups of carnivore species can contract other prion diseases (e.g. chronic wasting disease or CWD remains an open question. Variation in the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C largely explains observed disease susceptibility patterns within ruminant species, and may explain interspecies differences in susceptibility as well. We sequenced and compared the open reading frame of the PRNP gene encoding PrP(C protein from 609 animal samples comprising 29 species from 22 genera of the Order Carnivora; amongst these samples were 15 FSE cases. Our analysis revealed that FSE cases did not encode an identifiable disease-associated PrP polymorphism. However, all canid PrPs contained aspartic acid or glutamic acid at codon 163 which we propose provides a genetic basis for observed susceptibility differences between canids and felids. Among other carnivores studied, wolverine (Gulo gulo and pine marten (Martes martes were the only non-canid species to also express PrP-Asp163, which may impact on their prion diseases susceptibility. Populations of black bear (Ursus americanus and mountain lion (Puma concolor from Colorado showed little genetic variation in the PrP protein and no variants likely to be highly resistant to prions in general, suggesting that strain differences between BSE and CWD prions also may contribute to the limited apparent host range of the latter.

  6. A naturally occurring variant of the human prion protein completely prevents prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asante, Emmanuel A; Smidak, Michelle; Grimshaw, Andrew; Houghton, Richard; Tomlinson, Andrew; Jeelani, Asif; Jakubcova, Tatiana; Hamdan, Shyma; Richard-Londt, Angela; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Brandner, Sebastian; Alpers, Michael; Whitfield, Jerome; Mead, Simon; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Collinge, John

    2015-06-25

    Mammalian prions, transmissible agents causing lethal neurodegenerative diseases, are composed of assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP). A novel PrP variant, G127V, was under positive evolutionary selection during the epidemic of kuru--an acquired prion disease epidemic of the Fore population in Papua New Guinea--and appeared to provide strong protection against disease in the heterozygous state. Here we have investigated the protective role of this variant and its interaction with the common, worldwide M129V PrP polymorphism. V127 was seen exclusively on a M129 PRNP allele. We demonstrate that transgenic mice expressing both variant and wild-type human PrP are completely resistant to both kuru and classical Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) prions (which are closely similar) but can be infected with variant CJD prions, a human prion strain resulting from exposure to bovine spongiform encephalopathy prions to which the Fore were not exposed. Notably, mice expressing only PrP V127 were completely resistant to all prion strains, demonstrating a different molecular mechanism to M129V, which provides its relative protection against classical CJD and kuru in the heterozygous state. Indeed, this single amino acid substitution (G→V) at a residue invariant in vertebrate evolution is as protective as deletion of the protein. Further study in transgenic mice expressing different ratios of variant and wild-type PrP indicates that not only is PrP V127 completely refractory to prion conversion but acts as a potent dose-dependent inhibitor of wild-type prion propagation.

  7. In-situ spectroscopic investigation of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies: application of Fourier-transform infrared spectroscopy to a scrapie-hamster model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneipp, Janina; Lasch, Peter; Beekes, Michael; Naumann, Dieter

    2002-03-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), such as BSE in cattle, scrapie in sheep and goats, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in man are a group of fatal infectious diseases of the central nervous system that are far from being fully understood. Presuming the pathological changes to originate from small disease-specific compositional and structural modifications at the molecular level, Fourier-transform infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy can be used to achieve insight into biochemical parameters underlying pathogenesis. We have developed an FTIR microspectroscopy-based strategy which, as a combination of image reconstruction and multivariate pattern recognition methods, permitted the comparison of identical substructures in the cerebellum of healthy and TSE-infected Syrian hamsters in the terminal stage of the disease. Here we present FTIR data about the pathological changes of scrapie-infected and normal tissue of the gray matter structures stratum granulosum and stratum moleculare. IR spectroscopy was also applied to tissue pieces of the medulla oblongata of infected and control Syrian hamsters. Mapping data were analyzed with cluster analysis and imaging methods. We found variations in the spectra of the infected tissue, which are due to changes in carbohydrates, nucleic acids, phospholipids, and proteins.

  8. Thermodynamic Stabilization of the Folded Domain of Prion Protein Inhibits Prion Infection in Vivo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingzhong Kong

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, are associated with the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, into a protease-resistant form, PrPSc. Here, we show that mutation-induced thermodynamic stabilization of the folded, α-helical domain of PrPC has a dramatic inhibitory effect on the conformational conversion of prion protein in vitro, as well as on the propagation of TSE disease in vivo. Transgenic mice expressing a human prion protein variant with increased thermodynamic stability were found to be much more resistant to infection with the TSE agent than those expressing wild-type human prion protein, in both the primary passage and three subsequent subpassages. These findings not only provide a line of evidence in support of the protein-only model of TSEs but also yield insight into the molecular nature of the PrPC→PrPSc conformational transition, and they suggest an approach to the treatment of prion diseases.

  9. Estimating Prion Adsorption Capacity of Soil by BioAssay of Subtracted Infectivity from Complex Solutions (BASICS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyckoff, A. Christy; Lockwood, Krista L.; Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Michel, Brady A.; Bender, Heather; VerCauteren, Kurt C.; Zabel, Mark D.

    2013-01-01

    Prions, the infectious agent of scrapie, chronic wasting disease and other transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, are misfolded proteins that are highly stable and resistant to degradation. Prions are known to associate with clay and other soil components, enhancing their persistence and surprisingly, transmissibility. Currently, few detection and quantification methods exist for prions in soil, hindering an understanding of prion persistence and infectivity in the environment. Variability in apparent infectious titers of prions when bound to soil has complicated attempts to quantify the binding capacity of soil for prion infectivity. Here, we quantify the prion adsorption capacity of whole, sandy loam soil (SLS) typically found in CWD endemic areas in Colorado; and purified montmorillonite clay (Mte), previously shown to bind prions, by BioAssay of Subtracted Infectivity in Complex Solutions (BASICS). We incubated prion positive 10% brain homogenate from terminally sick mice infected with the Rocky Mountain Lab strain of mouse-adapted prions (RML) with 10% SLS or Mte. After 24 hours samples were centrifuged five minutes at 200×g and soil-free supernatant was intracerebrally inoculated into prion susceptible indicator mice. We used the number of days post inoculation to clinical disease to calculate the infectious titer remaining in the supernatant, which we subtracted from the starting titer to determine the infectious prion binding capacity of SLS and Mte. BASICS indicated SLS bound and removed ≥ 95% of infectivity. Mte bound and removed lethal doses (99.98%) of prions from inocula, effectively preventing disease in the mice. Our data reveal significant prion-binding capacity of soil and the utility of BASICS to estimate prion loads and investigate persistence and decomposition in the environment. Additionally, since Mte successfully rescued the mice from prion disease, Mte might be used for remediation and decontamination protocols. PMID:23484043

  10. Humic substances interfere with detection of pathogenic prion protein

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Christen B.; Booth, Clarissa J.; Wadzinski, Tyler J.; Legname, Giuseppe; Chappell, Rick; Johnson, Christopher J.; Pedersen, Joel A.

    2014-01-01

    Studies examining the persistence of prions (the etiological agent of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies) in soil require accurate quantification of pathogenic prion protein (PrPTSE) extracted from or in the presence of soil particles. Here, we demonstrate that natural organic matter (NOM) in soil impacts PrPTSE detection by immunoblotting. Methods commonly used to extract PrPTSE from soils release substantial amounts of NOM, and NOM inhibited PrPTSE immunoblot signal. The degree of immunoblot interference increased with increasing NOM concentration and decreasing NOM polarity. Humic substances affected immunoblot detection of prion protein from both deer and hamsters. We also establish that after interaction with humic acid, PrPTSE remains infectious to hamsters inoculated intracerebrally, and humic acid appeared to slow disease progression. These results provide evidence for interactions between PrPTSE and humic substances that influence both accurate measurement of PrPTSE in soil and disease transmission.

  11. Persistence of pathogenic prion protein during simulated wastewater treatment processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinckley, G.T.; Johnson, C.J.; Jacobson, K.H.; Bartholomay, C.; Mcmahon, K.D.; McKenzie, D.; Aiken, Judd M.; Pedersen, J.A.

    2008-01-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, prion diseases) are a class of fatal neurodegenerative diseases affecting a variety of mammalian species including humans. A misfolded form of the prion protein (PrP TSE) is the major, if not sole, component of the infectious agent. Prions are highly resistant to degradation and to many disinfection procedures suggesting that, if prions enter wastewater treatment systems through sewers and/or septic systems (e.g., from slaughterhouses, necropsy laboratories, rural meat processors, private game dressing) or through leachate from landfills that have received TSE-contaminated material, prions could survive conventional wastewater treatment Here, we report the results of experiments examining the partitioning and persistence of PrPTSE during simulated wastewater treatment processes including activated and mesophilic anaerobic sludge digestion. Incubation with activated sludge did not result in significant PrPTSE degradation. PrPTSE and prion infectivity partitioned strongly to activated sludge solids and are expected to enter biosolids treatment processes. A large fraction of PrPTSE survived simulated mesophilic anaerobic sludge digestion. The small reduction in recoverable PrPTSE after 20-d anaerobic sludge digestion appeared attributable to a combination of declining extractability with time and microbial degradation. Our results suggest that if prions were to enter municipal wastewater treatment systems, most would partition to activated sludge solids, survive mesophilic anaerobic digestion, and be present in treated biosolids. ?? 2008 American Chemical Society.

  12. Infectious prion diseases in humans: cannibalism, iatrogenicity and zoonoses.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haïk, Stéphane; Brandel, Jean-Philippe

    2014-08-01

    In contrast with other neurodegenerative disorders associated to protein misfolding, human prion diseases include infectious forms (also called transmitted forms) such as kuru, iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. The transmissible agent is thought to be solely composed of the abnormal isoform (PrP(Sc)) of the host-encoded prion protein that accumulated in the central nervous system of affected individuals. Compared to its normal counterpart, PrP(Sc) is β-sheet enriched and aggregated and its propagation is based on an autocatalytic conversion process. Increasing evidence supports the view that conformational variations of PrP(Sc) encoded the biological properties of the various prion strains that have been isolated by transmission studies in experimental models. Infectious forms of human prion diseases played a pivotal role in the emergence of the prion concept and in the characterization of the very unconventional properties of prions. They provide a unique model to understand how prion strains are selected and propagate in humans. Here, we review and discuss how genetic factors interplay with strain properties and route of transmission to influence disease susceptibility, incubation period and phenotypic expression in the light of the kuru epidemics due to ritual endocannibalism, the various series iatrogenic diseases secondary to extractive growth hormone treatment or dura mater graft and the epidemics of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease linked to dietary exposure to the agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Aerosols transmit prions to immunocompetent and immunodeficient mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johannes Haybaeck

    Full Text Available Prions, the agents causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, colonize the brain of hosts after oral, parenteral, intralingual, or even transdermal uptake. However, prions are not generally considered to be airborne. Here we report that inbred and crossbred wild-type mice, as well as tga20 transgenic mice overexpressing PrP(C, efficiently develop scrapie upon exposure to aerosolized prions. NSE-PrP transgenic mice, which express PrP(C selectively in neurons, were also susceptible to airborne prions. Aerogenic infection occurred also in mice lacking B- and T-lymphocytes, NK-cells, follicular dendritic cells or complement components. Brains of diseased mice contained PrP(Sc and transmitted scrapie when inoculated into further mice. We conclude that aerogenic exposure to prions is very efficacious and can lead to direct invasion of neural pathways without an obligatory replicative phase in lymphoid organs. This previously unappreciated risk for airborne prion transmission may warrant re-thinking on prion biosafety guidelines in research and diagnostic laboratories.

  14. The non-octarepeat copper binding site of the prion protein is a key regulator of prion conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giachin, Gabriele; Mai, Phuong Thao; Tran, Thanh Hoa; Salzano, Giulia; Benetti, Federico; Migliorati, Valentina; Arcovito, Alessandro; Longa, Stefano Della; Mancini, Giordano; D'Angelo, Paola; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-10-01

    The conversion of the prion protein (PrPC) into prions plays a key role in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Despite the importance for pathogenesis, the mechanism of prion formation has escaped detailed characterization due to the insoluble nature of prions. PrPC interacts with copper through octarepeat and non-octarepeat binding sites. Copper coordination to the non-octarepeat region has garnered interest due to the possibility that this interaction may impact prion conversion. We used X-ray absorption spectroscopy to study copper coordination at pH 5.5 and 7.0 in human PrPC constructs, either wild-type (WT) or carrying pathological mutations. We show that mutations and pH cause modifications of copper coordination in the non-octarepeat region. In the WT at pH 5.5, copper is anchored to His96 and His111, while at pH 7 it is coordinated by His111. Pathological point mutations alter the copper coordination at acidic conditions where the metal is anchored to His111. By using in vitro approaches, cell-based and computational techniques, we propose a model whereby PrPC coordinating copper with one His in the non-octarepeat region converts to prions at acidic condition. Thus, the non-octarepeat region may act as the long-sought-after prion switch, critical for disease onset and propagation.

  15. Oxidation reduces the fibrillation but not the neurotoxicity of the prion peptide PrP106-126

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergstrøm, Linda Alice; Chabry, J.; Bastholm, L.

    2007-01-01

    There is increasing evidence that soluble oligomers of misfolded protein may play a role in the pathogenesis of protein misfolding diseases including the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) where the protein involved is the prion protein, PrP. The effect of oxidation on fibrillation...... tendency and neurotoxicity of different molecular variants of the prion peptide PrP106-126 was investigated. It was found that methionine oxidation significantly reduced amyloid fibril formation and proteinase K resistance, but it did not reduce (but rather increase slightly) the neurotoxicity...

  16. Experimental H-type and L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle: observation of two clinical syndromes and diagnostic challenges

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konold Timm

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The majority of atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE cases so far identified worldwide have been detected by active surveillance. Consequently the volume and quality of material available for detailed characterisation is very limiting. Here we report on a small transmission study of both atypical forms, H- and L-type BSE, in cattle to provide tissue for test evaluation and research, and to generate clinical, molecular and pathological data in a standardised way to enable more robust comparison of the two variants with particular reference to those aspects most relevant to case ascertainment and confirmatory diagnosis within existing regulated surveillance programmes. Results Two groups of four cattle, intracerebrally inoculated with L-type or H-type BSE, all presented with a nervous disease form with some similarities to classical BSE, which progressed to a more dull form in one animal from each group. Difficulty rising was a consistent feature of both disease forms and not seen in two BSE-free, non-inoculated cattle that served as controls. The pathology and molecular characteristics were distinct from classical BSE, and broadly consistent with published data, but with some variation in the pathological characteristics. Both atypical BSE types were readily detectable as BSE by current confirmatory methods using the medulla brain region at the obex, but making a clear diagnostic distinction between the forms was not consistently straightforward in this brain region. Cerebellum proved a more reliable sample for discrimination when using immunohistochemistry. Conclusions The prominent feature of difficulty rising in atypical BSE cases may explain the detection of naturally occurring cases in emergency slaughter cattle and fallen stock. Current confirmatory diagnostic methods are effective for the detection of such atypical cases, but consistently and correctly identifying the variant forms may require modifications to

  17. Comparison of the clinical course of Japanese MM1-type sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease between subacute spongiform encephalopathy and panencephalopathic-type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwasaki, Yasushi; Tatsumi, Shinsui; Mimuro, Maya; Kitamoto, Tetsuyuki; Yoshida, Mari

    2014-06-01

    Approximately half of Japanese sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) cases show panencephalopathic-type (PE-type) pathology, which is a rare subtype in North Americans and Europeans. Until now, the differences in the clinical course between subacute spongiform encephalopathy (SSE) cases and PE-type cases have been unclear. To investigate the clinical course of both subtypes, clinical findings from 42 Japanese MM1-type sCJD cases (20 SSE cases and 22 PE-type cases) were retrospectively evaluated by statistical analysis. No significant differences could be found regarding age at disease onset, the period between disease onset and first observation of myoclonus, the period between disease onset and the first observation of periodic sharp-wave complexes on electroencephalogram, or the period between disease onset and progression to the akinetic mutism state - whereas total disease duration and the period between the akinetic mutism state and death were significantly longer in PE-type cases. The prolonged disease duration was induced by the extended survival period in the akinetic mutism state. There was a statistically significant difference between the two series regarding performance of tube-feeding, but no statistically significant difference regarding performance of tracheotomy or gastrostomy. None of the cases received mechanical ventilation. We speculate that the most crucial factor of the prolonged survival period of Japanese sCJD cases, particularly in the PE-type, is that the introduction of tube-feeding in the akinetic mutism state leads to the stabilization of the patient's general condition. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. Prion Replication Elicits Cytopathic Changes in Differentiated Neurosphere Cultures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Takenouchi, Takato; Imamura, Morikazu; Shimizu, Yoshihisa; Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Mohri, Shirou; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2013-01-01

    The molecular mechanisms of prion-induced cytotoxicity remain largely obscure. Currently, only a few cell culture models have exhibited the cytopathic changes associated with prion infection. In this study, we introduced a cell culture model based on differentiated neurosphere cultures isolated from the brains of neonatal prion protein (PrP)-null mice and transgenic mice expressing murine PrP (dNP0 and dNP20 cultures). Upon exposure to mouse Chandler prions, dNP20 cultures supported the de novo formation of abnormal PrP and the resulting infectivity, as assessed by bioassays. Furthermore, this culture was susceptible to various prion strains, including mouse-adapted scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome prions. Importantly, a subset of the cells in the infected culture that was mainly composed of astrocyte lineage cells consistently displayed late-occurring, progressive signs of cytotoxicity as evidenced by morphological alterations, decreased cell viability, and increased lactate dehydrogenase release. These signs of cytotoxicity were not observed in infected dNP0 cultures, suggesting the requirement of endogenous PrP expression for prion-induced cytotoxicity. Degenerated cells positive for glial fibrillary acidic protein accumulated abnormal PrP and exhibited features of apoptotic death as assessed by active caspase-3 and terminal deoxynucleotidyltransferase nick-end staining. Furthermore, caspase inhibition provided partial protection from prion-mediated cell death. These results suggest that differentiated neurosphere cultures can provide an in vitro bioassay for mouse prions and permit the study of the molecular basis for prion-induced cytotoxicity at the cellular level. PMID:23740992

  19. Low copper and high manganese levels in prion protein plaques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher J.; Gilbert, P.U.P.A.; Abrecth, Mike; Baldwin, Katherine L.; Russell, Robin E.; Pedersen, Joel A.; McKenzie, Debbie

    2013-01-01

    Accumulation of aggregates rich in an abnormally folded form of the prion protein characterize the neurodegeneration caused by transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The molecular triggers of plaque formation and neurodegeneration remain unknown, but analyses of TSE-infected brain homogenates and preparations enriched for abnormal prion protein suggest that reduced levels of copper and increased levels of manganese are associated with disease. The objectives of this study were to: (1) assess copper and manganese levels in healthy and TSE-infected Syrian hamster brain homogenates; (2) determine if the distribution of these metals can be mapped in TSE-infected brain tissue using X-ray photoelectron emission microscopy (X-PEEM) with synchrotron radiation; and (3) use X-PEEM to assess the relative amounts of copper and manganese in prion plaques in situ. In agreement with studies of other TSEs and species, we found reduced brain levels of copper and increased levels of manganese associated with disease in our hamster model. We also found that the in situ levels of these metals in brainstem were sufficient to image by X-PEEM. Using immunolabeled prion plaques in directly adjacent tissue sections to identify regions to image by X-PEEM, we found a statistically significant relationship of copper-manganese dysregulation in prion plaques: copper was depleted whereas manganese was enriched. These data provide evidence for prion plaques altering local transition metal distribution in the TSE-infected central nervous system.

  20. Meat and bone meal and mineral feed additives may increase the risk of oral prion disease transmission

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Christopher J.; McKenzie, Debbie; Pedersen, Joel A.; Aiken, Judd M.

    2011-01-01

    Ingestion of prion-contaminated materials is postulated to be a primary route of prion disease transmission. Binding of prions to soil (micro)particles dramatically enhances peroral disease transmission relative to unbound prions, and it was hypothesized that micrometer-sized particles present in other consumed materials may affect prion disease transmission via the oral route of exposure. Small, insoluble particles are present in many substances, including soil, human foods, pharmaceuticals, and animal feeds. It is known that meat and bone meal (MBM), a feed additive believed responsible for the spread of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), contains particles smaller than 20 μm and that the pathogenic prion protein binds to MBM. The potentiation of disease transmission via the oral route by exposure to MBM or three micrometer-sized mineral feed additives was determined. Data showed that when the disease agent was bound to any of the tested materials, the penetrance of disease was increased compared to unbound prions. Our data suggest that in feed or other prion-contaminated substances consumed by animals or, potentially, humans, the addition of MBM or the presence of microparticles could heighten risks of prion disease acquisition.

  1. Disease Transmission by Misfolded Prion-Protein Isoforms, Prion-Like Amyloids, Functional Amyloids and the Central Dogma.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daus, Martin L

    2016-01-04

    In 1982, the term "prions" (proteinaceous infectious particles) was coined to specify a new principle of infection. A misfolded isoform of a cellular protein has been described as the causative agent of a fatal neurodegenerative disease. At the beginning of prion research scientists assumed that the infectious agent causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) was a virus, but some unconventional properties of these pathogens were difficult to bring in line with the prevailing viral model. The discovery that prions (obviously devoid of any coding nucleic acid) can store and transmit information similarly to DNA was initially even denoted as being "heretical" but is nowadays mainly accepted by the scientific community. This review describes, from a historical point of view, how the "protein-only hypothesis" expands the Central Dogma. Definition of both, the prion principle and the Central Dogma, have been essential steps to understand information storage and transfer within and among cells and organisms. Furthermore, the current understanding of the infectivity of prion-proteins after misfolding is summarized succinctly. Finally, prion-like amyloids and functional amyloids, as found in yeast and bacteria, will be discussed.

  2. Prion infected meat-and-bone meal is still infectious after biodiesel production.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cathrin E Bruederle

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available The epidemic of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE has led to a world-wide drop in the market for beef by-products, such as Meat-and-Bone Meal (MBM, a fat-containing but mainly proteinaceaous product traditionally used as an animal feed supplement. While normal rendering is insufficient, the production of biodiesel from MBM has been suggested to destroy infectivity from transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs. In addition to producing fuel, this method simultaneously generates a nutritious solid residue. In our study we produced biodiesel from MBM under defined conditions using a modified form of alkaline methanolysis. We evaluated the presence of prion in the three resulting phases of the biodiesel reaction (Biodiesel, Glycerol and Solid Residue in vitro and in vivo. Analysis of the reaction products from 263K scrapie infected MBM led to no detectable immunoreactivity by Western Blot. Importantly, and in contrast to the biochemical results the solid MBM residue from the reaction retained infectivity when tested in an animal bioassay. Histochemical analysis of hamster brains inoculated with the solid residue showed typical spongiform degeneration and vacuolation. Re-inoculation of these brains into a new cohort of hamsters led to onset of clinical scrapie symptoms within 75 days, suggesting that the specific infectivity of the prion protein was not changed during the biodiesel process. The biodiesel reaction cannot be considered a viable prion decontamination method for MBM, although we observed increased survival time of hamsters and reduced infectivity greater than 6 log orders in the solid MBM residue. Furthermore, results from our study compare for the first time prion detection by Western Blot versus an infectivity bioassay for analysis of biodiesel reaction products. We could show that biochemical analysis alone is insufficient for detection of prion infectivity after a biodiesel process.

  3. The human prion diseases. A review with special emphasis on new variant CJD and comments on surveillance.

    LENUS (Irish Health Repository)

    Keohane, C

    2012-02-03

    The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases represent a new group of diseases with unique clinical and neuropathological features, the transmission of which is both genetic and infectious. The responsible agent is unconventional and appears to be largely composed of a glycoprotein, the prion protein PrP. This is normally present on different cells. In prion diseases, it becomes converted to the pathogenic form PrPres which is resistant to proteinase and accumulates within the brain and this process is accompanied by the development of spongiform change, gliosis and neuronal loss. The human prion diseases include Kuru a progressive cerebellar degeneration with late dementia affecting Fore tribes in New-Guinea, now almost extinct, regarded as being related to cannibalism. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is the more frequent human prion disease. Its incidence is approximately one case per million per year. Four variants are now recognized: sporadic, familial, iatrogenic and the new variant. The latter represents a distinct clinico-pathological entity. It is now widely accepted that it is due to the same agent responsible for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy in cattle. Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease is a very rare inherited disorder due to a number of different mutations in the PRP gene, characterized by abundant deposits of plaque PrPres in the cerebral grey matter. Fatal familial insomnia is another inherited disorder due to a mutation at codon 178 of the PRP gene associated with methionine on codon 129 of the mutant allele. The main neuropathological change is neuronal loss in the thalamus with little or no spongiosis and usually no PrPres deposition. Following the emergence of new variant CJD in 1996, surveillance of all forms of prion diseases has been now been actively introduced in many European nations in order to determine the true incidence and geographic distribution of these rare disorders in humans.

  4. The expanding universe of prion diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Prions cause fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative disease. These etiological infectious agents are formed in greater part from a misfolded cell-surface protein called PrP(C. Several mammalian species are affected by the diseases, and in the case of "mad cow disease" (BSE the agent has a tropism for humans, with negative consequences for agribusiness and public health. Unfortunately, the known universe of prion diseases is expanding. At least four novel prion diseases-including human diseases variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD and sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI, bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy (BASE, and Nor98 of sheep-have been identified in the last ten years, and chronic wasting disease (CWD of North American deer (Odocoileus Specis and Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni is undergoing a dramatic spread across North America. While amplification (BSE and dissemination (CWD, commercial sourcing of cervids from the wild and movement of farmed elk can be attributed to human activity, the origins of emergent prion diseases cannot always be laid at the door of humankind. Instead, the continued appearance of new outbreaks in the form of "sporadic" disease may be an inevitable outcome in a situation where the replicating pathogen is host-encoded.

  5. The expanding universe of prion diseases.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel C Watts

    2006-03-01

    Full Text Available Prions cause fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative disease. These etiological infectious agents are formed in greater part from a misfolded cell-surface protein called PrP(C. Several mammalian species are affected by the diseases, and in the case of "mad cow disease" (BSE the agent has a tropism for humans, with negative consequences for agribusiness and public health. Unfortunately, the known universe of prion diseases is expanding. At least four novel prion diseases--including human diseases variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD and sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI, bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy (BASE, and Nor98 of sheep--have been identified in the last ten years, and chronic wasting disease (CWD of North American deer (Odocoileus Specis and Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni is undergoing a dramatic spread across North America. While amplification (BSE and dissemination (CWD, commercial sourcing of cervids from the wild and movement of farmed elk can be attributed to human activity, the origins of emergent prion diseases cannot always be laid at the door of humankind. Instead, the continued appearance of new outbreaks in the form of "sporadic" disease may be an inevitable outcome in a situation where the replicating pathogen is host-encoded.

  6. The expanding universe of prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Balachandran, Aru; Westaway, David

    2006-03-01

    Prions cause fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative disease. These etiological infectious agents are formed in greater part from a misfolded cell-surface protein called PrP(C). Several mammalian species are affected by the diseases, and in the case of "mad cow disease" (BSE) the agent has a tropism for humans, with negative consequences for agribusiness and public health. Unfortunately, the known universe of prion diseases is expanding. At least four novel prion diseases--including human diseases variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI), bovine amyloidotic spongiform encephalopathy (BASE), and Nor98 of sheep--have been identified in the last ten years, and chronic wasting disease (CWD) of North American deer (Odocoileus Specis) and Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) is undergoing a dramatic spread across North America. While amplification (BSE) and dissemination (CWD, commercial sourcing of cervids from the wild and movement of farmed elk) can be attributed to human activity, the origins of emergent prion diseases cannot always be laid at the door of humankind. Instead, the continued appearance of new outbreaks in the form of "sporadic" disease may be an inevitable outcome in a situation where the replicating pathogen is host-encoded.

  7. Epigenetic dominance of prion conformers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eri Saijo

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Although they share certain biological properties with nucleic acid based infectious agents, prions, the causative agents of invariably fatal, transmissible neurodegenerative disorders such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, sheep scrapie, and human Creutzfeldt Jakob disease, propagate by conformational templating of host encoded proteins. Once thought to be unique to these diseases, this mechanism is now recognized as a ubiquitous means of information transfer in biological systems, including other protein misfolding disorders such as those causing Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. To address the poorly understood mechanism by which host prion protein (PrP primary structures interact with distinct prion conformations to influence pathogenesis, we produced transgenic (Tg mice expressing different sheep scrapie susceptibility alleles, varying only at a single amino acid at PrP residue 136. Tg mice expressing ovine PrP with alanine (A at (OvPrP-A136 infected with SSBP/1 scrapie prions propagated a relatively stable (S prion conformation, which accumulated as punctate aggregates in the brain, and produced prolonged incubation times. In contrast, Tg mice expressing OvPrP with valine (V at 136 (OvPrP-V136 infected with the same prions developed disease rapidly, and the converted prion was comprised of an unstable (U, diffusely distributed conformer. Infected Tg mice co-expressing both alleles manifested properties consistent with the U conformer, suggesting a dominant effect resulting from exclusive conversion of OvPrP-V136 but not OvPrP-A136. Surprisingly, however, studies with monoclonal antibody (mAb PRC5, which discriminates OvPrP-A136 from OvPrP-V136, revealed substantial conversion of OvPrP-A136. Moreover, the resulting OvPrP-A136 prion acquired the characteristics of the U conformer. These results, substantiated by in vitro analyses, indicated that co-expression of OvPrP-V136 altered the conversion potential of OvPrP-A136 from the S to

  8. Probing Early Misfolding Events in Prion Protein Mutants by NMR Spectroscopy

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    Gregor Ilc

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The post-translational conversion of the ubiquitously expressed cellular form of the prion protein, PrPC, into its misfolded and pathogenic isoform, known as prion or PrPSc, plays a key role in prion diseases. These maladies are denoted transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs and affect both humans and animals. A prerequisite for understanding TSEs is unraveling the molecular mechanism leading to the conversion process whereby most α-helical motifs are replaced by β-sheet secondary structures. Importantly, most point mutations linked to inherited prion diseases are clustered in the C-terminal domain region of PrPC and cause spontaneous conversion to PrPSc. Structural studies with PrP variants promise new clues regarding the proposed conversion mechanism and may help identify “hot spots” in PrPC involved in the pathogenic conversion. These investigations may also shed light on the early structural rearrangements occurring in some PrPC epitopes thought to be involved in modulating prion susceptibility. Here we present a detailed overview of our solution-state NMR studies on human prion protein carrying different pathological point mutations and the implications that such findings may have for the future of prion research.

  9. The Prion Protein Preference of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Subtypes*

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klemm, Helen M. J.; Welton, Jeremy M.; Masters, Colin L.; Klug, Genevieve M.; Boyd, Alison; Hill, Andrew F.; Collins, Steven J.; Lawson, Victoria A.

    2012-01-01

    Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is the most prevalent manifestation of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases affecting humans. The disease encompasses a spectrum of clinical phenotypes that have been correlated with molecular subtypes that are characterized by the molecular mass of the protease-resistant fragment of the disease-related conformation of the prion protein and a polymorphism at codon 129 of the gene encoding the prion protein. A cell-free assay of prion protein misfolding was used to investigate the ability of these sporadic CJD molecular subtypes to propagate using brain-derived sources of the cellular prion protein (PrPC). This study confirmed the presence of three distinct sporadic CJD molecular subtypes with PrPC substrate requirements that reflected their codon 129 associations in vivo. However, the ability of a sporadic CJD molecular subtype to use a specific PrPC substrate was not determined solely by codon 129 as the efficiency of prion propagation was also influenced by the composition of the brain tissue from which the PrPC substrate was sourced, thus indicating that nuances in PrPC or additional factors may determine sporadic CJD subtype. The results of this study will aid in the design of diagnostic assays that can detect prion disease across the diversity of sporadic CJD subtypes. PMID:22930754

  10. Synthetic prions and other human neurodegenerative proteinopathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, Nhat Tran Thanh; Narkiewicz, Joanna; Aulić, Suzana; Salzano, Giulia; Tran, Hoa Thanh; Scaini, Denis; Moda, Fabio; Giachin, Gabriele; Legname, Giuseppe

    2015-09-02

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) are a heterogeneous group of neurodegenerative disorders. The common feature of these diseases is the pathological conversion of the normal cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into a β-structure-rich conformer-termed PrP(Sc). The latter can induce a self-perpetuating process leading to amplification and spreading of pathological protein assemblies. Much evidence suggests that PrP(Sc) itself is able to recruit and misfold PrP(C) into the pathological conformation. Recent data have shown that recombinant PrP(C) can be misfolded in vitro and the resulting synthetic conformers are able to induce the conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc)in vivo. In this review we describe the state-of-the-art of the body of literature in this field. In addition, we describe a cell-based assay to test synthetic prions in cells, providing further evidence that synthetic amyloids are able to template conversion of PrP into prion inclusions. Studying prions might help to understand the pathological mechanisms governing other neurodegenerative diseases. Aggregation and deposition of misfolded proteins is a common feature of several neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and other disorders. Although the proteins implicated in each of these diseases differ, they share a common prion mechanism. Recombinant proteins are able to aggregate in vitro into β-rich amyloid fibrils, sharing some features of the aggregates found in the brain. Several studies have reported that intracerebral inoculation of synthetic aggregates lead to unique pathology, which spread progressively to distal brain regions and reduced survival time in animals. Here, we review the prion-like features of different proteins involved in neurodegenerative disorders, such as α-synuclein, superoxide dismutase-1, amyloid-β and tau. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Disease Transmission by Misfolded Prion-Protein Isoforms, Prion-Like Amyloids, Functional Amyloids and the Central Dogma

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin L. Daus

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available In 1982, the term “prions” (proteinaceous infectious particles was coined to specify a new principle of infection. A misfolded isoform of a cellular protein has been described as the causative agent of a fatal neurodegenerative disease. At the beginning of prion research scientists assumed that the infectious agent causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE was a virus, but some unconventional properties of these pathogens were difficult to bring in line with the prevailing viral model. The discovery that prions (obviously devoid of any coding nucleic acid can store and transmit information similarly to DNA was initially even denoted as being “heretical” but is nowadays mainly accepted by the scientific community. This review describes, from a historical point of view, how the “protein-only hypothesis” expands the Central Dogma. Definition of both, the prion principle and the Central Dogma, have been essential steps to understand information storage and transfer within and among cells and organisms. Furthermore, the current understanding of the infectivity of prion-proteins after misfolding is summarized succinctly. Finally, prion-like amyloids and functional amyloids, as found in yeast and bacteria, will be discussed.

  12. Evidence that bank vole PrP is a universal acceptor for prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel C Watts

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Bank voles are uniquely susceptible to a wide range of prion strains isolated from many different species. To determine if this enhanced susceptibility to interspecies prion transmission is encoded within the sequence of the bank vole prion protein (BVPrP, we inoculated Tg(M109 and Tg(I109 mice, which express BVPrP containing either methionine or isoleucine at polymorphic codon 109, with 16 prion isolates from 8 different species: humans, cattle, elk, sheep, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice, and meadow voles. Efficient disease transmission was observed in both Tg(M109 and Tg(I109 mice. For instance, inoculation of the most common human prion strain, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD subtype MM1, into Tg(M109 mice gave incubation periods of ∼200 days that were shortened slightly on second passage. Chronic wasting disease prions exhibited an incubation time of ∼250 days, which shortened to ∼150 days upon second passage in Tg(M109 mice. Unexpectedly, bovine spongiform encephalopathy and variant CJD prions caused rapid neurological dysfunction in Tg(M109 mice upon second passage, with incubation periods of 64 and 40 days, respectively. Despite the rapid incubation periods, other strain-specified properties of many prion isolates--including the size of proteinase K-resistant PrPSc, the pattern of cerebral PrPSc deposition, and the conformational stability--were remarkably conserved upon serial passage in Tg(M109 mice. Our results demonstrate that expression of BVPrP is sufficient to engender enhanced susceptibility to a diverse range of prion isolates, suggesting that BVPrP may be a universal acceptor for prions.

  13. An assessment of the long-term persistence of prion infectivity in aquatic environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marín-Moreno, Alba; Espinosa, Juan-Carlos; Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Píquer, Juan; Girones, Rosina; Andreoletti, Olivier; Torres, Juan-María

    2016-01-01

    The environment plays a key role in horizontal transmission of prion diseases, since prions are extremely resistant to classical inactivation procedures. In prior work, we observed the high stability of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) infectivity when these prions were incubated in aqueous media such as phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or wastewater for nearly nine months. As a continuation of this experiment, the same samples were maintained in PBS or wastewater for five additional years and residual BSE infectivity was assessed in bovine PrP C transgenic mice. Over this long time period (more than six years), BSE infectivity was reduced by three and one orders of magnitude in wastewater and PBS respectively. To rule out a possible agent specific effect, sheep scrapie prions were subjected to the same experimental protocol, using eight years as the experimental end-point. No significant reduction in scrapie infectivity was observed over the first nine months of wastewater incubation while PBS incubation for eight years only produced a two logarithmic unit reduction in infectivity. By contrast, the dynamics of PrP Res persistence was different, disappearing progressively over the first year. The long persistence of prion infectivity observed in this study for two different agents provides supporting evidence of the assumed high stability of these agents in aquatic environments and that environmental processes or conventional wastewater treatments with low retention times would have little impact on prion infectivity. These results could have great repercussions in terms of risk assessment and safety for animals and human populations. - Highlights: • Prion infectivity resists long term incubations in aquatic environments. • Infectivity persistence in wastewater is reduced when compared to PBS. • In this study PrPRes fails as a marker for prion detection. • Mice bioassay is the most powerful tool for assessing prion presence. • Wastewater conventional

  14. An assessment of the long-term persistence of prion infectivity in aquatic environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marín-Moreno, Alba; Espinosa, Juan-Carlos; Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Píquer, Juan [Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal, CISA-INIA, Carretera Algete-El Casar S/n, Valdeolmos, 28130 Madrid (Spain); Girones, Rosina [Department of Microbiology, University of Barcelona, Diagonal 643, 08028 Barcelona (Spain); Andreoletti, Olivier [UMR INRA-ENVT 1225, Interactions Hôte Agent Pathogène, Ecole Nationale Vétérinaire de Toulouse, Toulouse (France); Torres, Juan-María, E-mail: jmtorres@inia.es [Centro de Investigación en Sanidad Animal, CISA-INIA, Carretera Algete-El Casar S/n, Valdeolmos, 28130 Madrid (Spain)

    2016-11-15

    The environment plays a key role in horizontal transmission of prion diseases, since prions are extremely resistant to classical inactivation procedures. In prior work, we observed the high stability of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) infectivity when these prions were incubated in aqueous media such as phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or wastewater for nearly nine months. As a continuation of this experiment, the same samples were maintained in PBS or wastewater for five additional years and residual BSE infectivity was assessed in bovine PrP{sup C} transgenic mice. Over this long time period (more than six years), BSE infectivity was reduced by three and one orders of magnitude in wastewater and PBS respectively. To rule out a possible agent specific effect, sheep scrapie prions were subjected to the same experimental protocol, using eight years as the experimental end-point. No significant reduction in scrapie infectivity was observed over the first nine months of wastewater incubation while PBS incubation for eight years only produced a two logarithmic unit reduction in infectivity. By contrast, the dynamics of PrP{sup Res} persistence was different, disappearing progressively over the first year. The long persistence of prion infectivity observed in this study for two different agents provides supporting evidence of the assumed high stability of these agents in aquatic environments and that environmental processes or conventional wastewater treatments with low retention times would have little impact on prion infectivity. These results could have great repercussions in terms of risk assessment and safety for animals and human populations. - Highlights: • Prion infectivity resists long term incubations in aquatic environments. • Infectivity persistence in wastewater is reduced when compared to PBS. • In this study PrPRes fails as a marker for prion detection. • Mice bioassay is the most powerful tool for assessing prion presence. • Wastewater

  15. Infectivity-associated PrP(Sc) and disease duration-associated PrP(Sc) of mouse BSE prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miyazawa, Kohtaro; Okada, Hiroyuki; Masujin, Kentaro; Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Yokoyama, Takashi

    2015-01-01

    Disease-related prion protein (PrP(Sc)), which is a structural isoform of the host-encoded cellular prion protein, is thought to be a causative agent of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. However, the specific role of PrP(Sc) in prion pathogenesis and its relationship to infectivity remain controversial. A time-course study of prion-affected mice was conducted, which showed that the prion infectivity was not simply proportional to the amount of PrP(Sc) in the brain. Centrifugation (20,000 ×g) of the brain homogenate showed that most of the PrP(Sc) was precipitated into the pellet, and the supernatant contained only a slight amount of PrP(Sc). Interestingly, mice inoculated with the obtained supernatant showed incubation periods that were approximately 15 d longer than those of mice inoculated with the crude homogenate even though both inocula contained almost the same infectivity. Our results suggest that a small population of fine PrP(Sc) may be responsible for prion infectivity and that large, aggregated PrP(Sc) may contribute to determining prion disease duration.

  16. Spreading of a prion domain from cell-to-cell by vesicular transport in Caenorhabditis elegans.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carmen I Nussbaum-Krammer

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Prion proteins can adopt self-propagating alternative conformations that account for the infectious nature of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs and the epigenetic inheritance of certain traits in yeast. Recent evidence suggests a similar propagation of misfolded proteins in the spreading of pathology of neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease. Currently there is only a limited number of animal model systems available to study the mechanisms that underlie the cell-to-cell transmission of aggregation-prone proteins. Here, we have established a new metazoan model in Caenorhabditis elegans expressing the prion domain NM of the cytosolic yeast prion protein Sup35, in which aggregation and toxicity are dependent upon the length of oligopeptide repeats in the glutamine/asparagine (Q/N-rich N-terminus. NM forms multiple classes of highly toxic aggregate species and co-localizes to autophagy-related vesicles that transport the prion domain from the site of expression to adjacent tissues. This is associated with a profound cell autonomous and cell non-autonomous disruption of mitochondrial integrity, embryonic and larval arrest, developmental delay, widespread tissue defects, and loss of organismal proteostasis. Our results reveal that the Sup35 prion domain exhibits prion-like properties when expressed in the multicellular organism C. elegans and adapts to different requirements for propagation that involve the autophagy-lysosome pathway to transmit cytosolic aggregation-prone proteins between tissues.

  17. The Structural Architecture of an Infectious Mammalian Prion Using Electron Cryomicroscopy.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ester Vázquez-Fernández

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available The structure of the infectious prion protein (PrPSc, which is responsible for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans and bovine spongiform encephalopathy, has escaped all attempts at elucidation due to its insolubility and propensity to aggregate. PrPSc replicates by converting the non-infectious, cellular prion protein (PrPC into the misfolded, infectious conformer through an unknown mechanism. PrPSc and its N-terminally truncated variant, PrP 27-30, aggregate into amorphous aggregates, 2D crystals, and amyloid fibrils. The structure of these infectious conformers is essential to understanding prion replication and the development of structure-based therapeutic interventions. Here we used the repetitive organization inherent to GPI-anchorless PrP 27-30 amyloid fibrils to analyze their structure via electron cryomicroscopy. Fourier-transform analyses of averaged fibril segments indicate a repeating unit of 19.1 Å. 3D reconstructions of these fibrils revealed two distinct protofilaments, and, together with a molecular volume of 18,990 Å3, predicted the height of each PrP 27-30 molecule as ~17.7 Å. Together, the data indicate a four-rung β-solenoid structure as a key feature for the architecture of infectious mammalian prions. Furthermore, they allow to formulate a molecular mechanism for the replication of prions. Knowledge of the prion structure will provide important insights into the self-propagation mechanisms of protein misfolding.

  18. Prion protein accumulation in lipid rafts of mouse aging brain.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Federica Agostini

    Full Text Available The cellular form of the prion protein (PrP(C is a normal constituent of neuronal cell membranes. The protein misfolding causes rare neurodegenerative disorders known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. These maladies can be sporadic, genetic or infectious. Sporadic prion diseases are the most common form mainly affecting aging people. In this work, we investigate the biochemical environment in which sporadic prion diseases may develop, focusing our attention on the cell membrane of neurons in the aging brain. It is well established that with aging the ratio between the most abundant lipid components of rafts undergoes a major change: while cholesterol decreases, sphingomyelin content rises. Our results indicate that the aging process modifies the compartmentalization of PrP(C. In old mice, this change favors PrP(C accumulation in detergent-resistant membranes, particularly in hippocampi. To confirm the relationship between lipid content changes and PrP(C translocation into detergent-resistant membranes (DRMs, we looked at PrP(C compartmentalization in hippocampi from acid sphingomyelinase (ASM knockout (KO mice and synaptosomes enriched in sphingomyelin. In the presence of high sphingomyelin content, we observed a significant increase of PrP(C in DRMS. This process is not due to higher levels of total protein and it could, in turn, favor the onset of sporadic prion diseases during aging as it increases the PrP intermolecular contacts into lipid rafts. We observed that lowering sphingomyelin in scrapie-infected cells by using fumonisin B1 led to a 50% decrease in protease-resistant PrP formation. This may suggest an involvement of PrP lipid environment in prion formation and consequently it may play a role in the onset or development of sporadic forms of prion diseases.

  19. Mutated but Not Deleted Ovine PrP(C) N-Terminal Polybasic Region Strongly Interferes with Prion Propagation in Transgenic Mice.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khalifé, Manal; Reine, Fabienne; Paquet-Fifield, Sophie; Castille, Johan; Herzog, Laetitia; Vilotte, Marthe; Moudjou, Mohammed; Moazami-Goudarzi, Katayoun; Makhzami, Samira; Passet, Bruno; Andréoletti, Olivier; Vilette, Didier; Laude, Hubert; Béringue, Vincent; Vilotte, Jean-Luc

    2016-02-01

    Mammalian prions are proteinaceous infectious agents composed of misfolded assemblies of the host-encoded, cellular prion protein (PrP). Physiologically, the N-terminal polybasic region of residues 23 to 31 of PrP has been shown to be involved in its endocytic trafficking and interactions with glycosaminoglycans or putative ectodomains of membrane-associated proteins. Several recent reports also describe this PrP region as important for the toxicity of mutant prion proteins and the efficiency of prion propagation, both in vitro and in vivo. The question remains as to whether the latter observations made with mouse PrP and mouse prions would be relevant to other PrP species/prion strain combinations given the dramatic impact on prion susceptibility of minimal amino acid substitutions and structural variations in PrP. Here, we report that transgenic mouse lines expressing ovine PrP with a deletion of residues 23 to 26 (KKRP) or mutated in this N-terminal region (KQHPH instead of KKRPK) exhibited a variable, strain-dependent susceptibility to prion infection with regard to the proportion of affected mice and disease tempo relative to findings in their wild-type counterparts. Deletion has no major effect on 127S scrapie prion pathogenesis, whereas mutation increased by almost 3-fold the survival time of the mice. Deletion marginally affected the incubation time of scrapie LA19K and ovine bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions, whereas mutation caused apparent resistance to disease. Recent reports suggested that the N-terminal polybasic region of the prion protein could be a therapeutic target to prevent prion propagation or toxic signaling associated with more common neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's disease. Mutating or deleting this region in ovine PrP completes the data previously obtained with the mouse protein by identifying the key amino acid residues involved. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  20. Pathways of Prion Spread during Early Chronic Wasting Disease in Deer.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, Clare E; Davenport, Kristen A; Henderson, Davin M; Denkers, Nathaniel D; Mathiason, Candace K; Soto, Claudio; Zabel, Mark D; Hoover, Edward A

    2017-05-15

    Among prion infections, two scenarios of prion spread are generally observed: (i) early lymphoid tissue replication or (ii) direct neuroinvasion without substantial antecedent lymphoid amplification. In nature, cervids are infected with chronic wasting disease (CWD) prions by oral and nasal mucosal exposure, and studies of early CWD pathogenesis have implicated pharyngeal lymphoid tissue as the earliest sites of prion accumulation. However, knowledge of chronological events in prion spread during early infection remains incomplete. To investigate this knowledge gap in early CWD pathogenesis, we exposed white-tailed deer to CWD prions by mucosal routes and performed serial necropsies to assess PrP CWD tissue distribution by real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) and tyramide signal amplification immunohistochemistry (TSA-IHC). Although PrP CWD was not detected by either method in the initial days (1 and 3) postexposure, we observed PrP CWD seeding activity and follicular immunoreactivity in oropharyngeal lymphoid tissues at 1 and 2 months postexposure (MPE). At 3 MPE, PrP CWD replication had expanded to all systemic lymphoid tissues. By 4 MPE, the PrP CWD burden in all lymphoid tissues had increased and approached levels observed in terminal disease, yet there was no evidence of nervous system invasion. These results indicate the first site of CWD prion entry is in the oropharynx, and the initial phase of prion amplification occurs in the oropharyngeal lymphoid tissues followed by rapid dissemination to systemic lymphoid tissues. This lymphoid replication phase appears to precede neuroinvasion. IMPORTANCE Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a universally fatal transmissible spongiform encephalopathy affecting cervids, and natural infection occurs through oral and nasal mucosal exposure to infectious prions. Terminal disease is characterized by PrP CWD accumulation in the brain and lymphoid tissues of affected animals. However, the initial sites of prion

  1. High-Throughput Screening of Compounds for Anti-Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy Activity Using Cell-Culture and Cell-Free Models and Infected Animals

    Science.gov (United States)

    2008-07-01

    polyphenols were selected as PrPSc inhibitors against both strains of mouse scrapie in the SCDB assay. Tannin (tannic acid), the most potent inhibitor...of human prion disease is contingent on post-mortem (or biopsy) analysis of brain, despite a number of clinical and paraclinical laboratory features... analysis of the scrapie-associated protein PrP 27-30 in water by infrared spectroscopy. Biochemistry 30, 7672–7680 (1991). The first study revealing

  2. Differentially expressed genes in iron-induced prion protein conversion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Minsun; Kim, Eun-hee; Choi, Bo-Ran; Woo, Hee-Jong

    2016-01-01

    The conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP C ) to the protease-resistant isoform is the key event in chronic neurodegenerative diseases, including transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Increased iron in prion-related disease has been observed due to the prion protein-ferritin complex. Additionally, the accumulation and conversion of recombinant PrP (rPrP) is specifically derived from Fe(III) but not Fe(II). Fe(III)-mediated PK-resistant PrP (PrP res ) conversion occurs within a complex cellular environment rather than via direct contact between rPrP and Fe(III). In this study, differentially expressed genes correlated with prion degeneration by Fe(III) were identified using Affymetrix microarrays. Following Fe(III) treatment, 97 genes were differentially expressed, including 85 upregulated genes and 12 downregulated genes (≥1.5-fold change in expression). However, Fe(II) treatment produced moderate alterations in gene expression without inducing dramatic alterations in gene expression profiles. Moreover, functional grouping of identified genes indicated that the differentially regulated genes were highly associated with cell growth, cell maintenance, and intra- and extracellular transport. These findings showed that Fe(III) may influence the expression of genes involved in PrP folding by redox mechanisms. The identification of genes with altered expression patterns in neural cells may provide insights into PrP conversion mechanisms during the development and progression of prion-related diseases. - Highlights: • Differential genes correlated with prion degeneration by Fe(III) were identified. • Genes were identified in cell proliferation and intra- and extracellular transport. • In PrP degeneration, redox related genes were suggested. • Cbr2, Rsad2, Slc40a1, Amph and Mvd were expressed significantly.

  3. Modulation of prion polymerization and toxicity by rationally designed peptidomimetics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Srivastava, Ankit; Sharma, Sakshi; Sadanandan, Sandhya; Gupta, Sakshi; Singh, Jasdeep; Gupta, Sarika; Haridas, V; Kundu, Bishwajit

    2017-01-01

    Misfolding and aggregation of cellular prion protein is associated with a large array of neurological disorders commonly called the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Designing inhibitors against prions has remained a daunting task owing to limited information about mechanism(s) of their pathogenic self-assembly. Here, we explore the anti-prion properties of a combinatorial library of bispidine-based peptidomimetics (BPMs) that conjugate amino acids with hydrophobic and aromatic side chains. Keeping the bispidine unit unaltered, a series of structurally diverse BPMs were synthesized and tested for their prion-modulating properties. Administration of Leu- and Trp-BPMs delayed and completely inhibited the amyloidogenic conversion of human prion protein (HuPrP), respectively. We found that each BPM induced the HuPrP to form unique oligomeric nanostructures differing in their biophysical properties, cellular toxicities and response to conformation-specific antibodies. While Leu-BPMs were found to stabilize the oligomers, Trp-BPMs effected transient oligomerization, resulting in the formation of non-toxic, non-fibrillar aggregates. Yet another aromatic residue, Phe, however, accelerated the aggregation process in HuPrP. Molecular insights obtained through MD (molecular dynamics) simulations suggested that each BPM differently engages a conserved Tyr 169 residue at the α2-β2 loop of HuPrP and affects the stability of α2 and α3 helices. Our results demonstrate that this new class of molecules having chemical scaffolds conjugating hydrophobic/aromatic residues could effectively modulate prion aggregation and toxicity. © 2017 The Author(s); published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the Biochemical Society.

  4. IMPY, a potential {beta}-amyloid imaging probe for detection of prion deposits in scrapie-infected mice

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Song, P.-J. [INSERM, U619, F-37000 Tours (France); Universite Francois-Rabelais, F-37000 Tours (France); IFR135, F-37000 Tours (France); Bernard, Serge [IFR135, F-37000 Tours (France); INRA, UR1282, IASP, 37380 Nouzilly (France)], E-mail: bernard@tours.inra.fr; Sarradin, Pierre [INRA, UR1282, IASP, 37380 Nouzilly (France); Vergote, Jackie [INSERM, U619, F-37000 Tours (France); Universite Francois-Rabelais, F-37000 Tours (France); IFR135, F-37000 Tours (France); Barc, Celine [INRA, UR1282, IASP, 37380 Nouzilly (France); Chalon, Sylvie [INSERM, U619, F-37000 Tours (France); Universite Francois-Rabelais, F-37000 Tours (France); IFR135, F-37000 Tours (France); Kung, M.-P.; Kung, Hank F. [Department of Radiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Department of Pharmacology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (United States); Guilloteau, Denis [INSERM, U619, F-37000 Tours (France); Universite Francois-Rabelais, F-37000 Tours (France); IFR135, F-37000 Tours (France)

    2008-02-15

    Introduction: A potential single-photon emission computed tomography imaging agent for labeling of A{beta} plaques of Alzheimer's disease, IMPY (2-(4'-dimethylaminophenyl)-6-iodo-imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine), would be effective in detection of prion amyloid deposits in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Methods: In vitro autoradiographic studies were carried out with [{sup 125}I]IMPY on brain sections from scrapie-infected mice and age-matched controls. Competition study was performed to evaluate the prion deposit binding specificity with nonradioactive IMPY. Results: Binding of [{sup 125}I]IMPY was observed in infected brain sections, while on age-matched control brain sections, there was no or very low labeling. Prion deposit binding was confirmed by histoblots with prion protein-specific monoclonal antibody 2D6. In the presence of nonradioactive IMPY, the binding of [{sup 125}I]IMPY was significantly inhibited in all regions studied. Conclusions: These findings indicate that IMPY can detect the prion deposits in vitro in scrapie-infected mice. Labeled with {sup 123}I, this ligand may be useful to quantitate prion deposit burdens in TSEs by in vivo imaging.

  5. Accumulation of pathological prion protein PrPSc in the skin of animals with experimental and natural scrapie.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Achim Thomzig

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Prion infectivity and its molecular marker, the pathological prion protein PrP(Sc, accumulate in the central nervous system and often also in lymphoid tissue of animals or humans affected by transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. Recently, PrP(Sc was found in tissues previously considered not to be invaded by prions (e.g., skeletal muscles. Here, we address the question of whether prions target the skin and show widespread PrP(Sc deposition in this organ in hamsters perorally or parenterally challenged with scrapie. In hamsters fed with scrapie, PrP(Sc was detected before the onset of symptoms, but the bulk of skin-associated PrP(Sc accumulated in the clinical phase. PrP(Sc was localized in nerve fibres within the skin but not in keratinocytes, and the deposition of PrP(Sc in skin showed no dependence from the route of infection and lymphotropic dissemination. The data indicated a neurally mediated centrifugal spread of prions to the skin. Furthermore, in a follow-up study, we examined sheep naturally infected with scrapie and detected PrP(Sc by Western blotting in skin samples from two out of five animals. Our findings point to the skin as a potential reservoir of prions, which should be further investigated in relation to disease transmission.

  6. IMPY, a potential β-amyloid imaging probe for detection of prion deposits in scrapie-infected mice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Song, P.-J.; Bernard, Serge; Sarradin, Pierre; Vergote, Jackie; Barc, Celine; Chalon, Sylvie; Kung, M.-P.; Kung, Hank F.; Guilloteau, Denis

    2008-01-01

    Introduction: A potential single-photon emission computed tomography imaging agent for labeling of Aβ plaques of Alzheimer's disease, IMPY (2-(4'-dimethylaminophenyl)-6-iodo-imidazo[1,2-a]pyridine), would be effective in detection of prion amyloid deposits in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). Methods: In vitro autoradiographic studies were carried out with [ 125 I]IMPY on brain sections from scrapie-infected mice and age-matched controls. Competition study was performed to evaluate the prion deposit binding specificity with nonradioactive IMPY. Results: Binding of [ 125 I]IMPY was observed in infected brain sections, while on age-matched control brain sections, there was no or very low labeling. Prion deposit binding was confirmed by histoblots with prion protein-specific monoclonal antibody 2D6. In the presence of nonradioactive IMPY, the binding of [ 125 I]IMPY was significantly inhibited in all regions studied. Conclusions: These findings indicate that IMPY can detect the prion deposits in vitro in scrapie-infected mice. Labeled with 123 I, this ligand may be useful to quantitate prion deposit burdens in TSEs by in vivo imaging

  7. Pathogenic prion protein is degraded by a manganese oxide mineral found in soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, F.; Johnson, C.J.; McKenzie, D.; Aiken, Judd M.; Pedersen, J.A.

    2009-01-01

    Prions, the aetiological agents of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, exhibit extreme resistance to degradation. Soil can retain prion infectivity in the environment for years. Reactive soil components may, however, contribute to the inactivation of prions in soil. Members of the birnessite family of manganese oxides (MnO2) rank among the strongest natural oxidants in soils. Here, we report the abiotic degradation of pathogenic prion protein (PrPTSE) by a synthetic analogue of naturally occurring birnessite minerals. Aqueous MnO2 suspensions degraded the PrPTSE as evidenced by decreased immunoreactivity and diminished ability to seed protein misfolding cyclic amplification reactions. Birnessite-mediated PrPTSE degradation increased as a solution's pH decreased, consistent with the pH-dependence of the redox potential of MnO2. Exposure to 5.6 mg MnO2 ml-1 (PrPTSE:MnO2=1 : 110) decreased PrPTSE levels by ???4 orders of magnitude. Manganese oxides may contribute to prion degradation in soil environments rich in these minerals. ?? 2009 SGM.

  8. Reversible unfolding of infectious prion assemblies reveals the existence of an oligomeric elementary brick.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angélique Igel-Egalon

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Mammalian prions, the pathogens that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, propagate by self-perpetuating the structural information stored in the abnormally folded, aggregated conformer (PrPSc of the host-encoded prion protein (PrPC. To date, no structural model related to prion assembly organization satisfactorily describes how strain-specified structural information is encoded and by which mechanism this information is transferred to PrPC. To achieve progress on this issue, we correlated the PrPSc quaternary structural transition from three distinct prion strains during unfolding and refolding with their templating activity. We reveal the existence of a mesoscopic organization in PrPSc through the packing of a highly stable oligomeric elementary subunit (suPrP, in which the strain structural determinant (SSD is encoded. Once kinetically trapped, this elementary subunit reversibly loses all replicative information. We demonstrate that acquisition of the templating interface and infectivity requires structural rearrangement of suPrP, in concert with its condensation. The existence of such an elementary brick scales down the SSD support to a small oligomer and provide a basis of reflexion for prion templating process and propagation.

  9. Alteration of the chronic wasting disease species barrier by in vitro prion amplification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurt, Timothy D.; Seelig, Davis M.; Schneider, Jay R.; Johnson, Christopher J.; Telling, Glenn C.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Hoover, Edward A.

    2011-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of cervids now detected in 19 states of the United States, three Canadian provinces, and South Korea. Whether noncervid species can be infected by CWD and thereby serve as reservoirs for the infection is not known. To investigate this issue, we previously used serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA) to demonstrate that CWD prions can amplify in brain homogenates from several species sympatric with cervids, including prairie voles (Microtus ochrogaster) and field mice (Peromyscus spp.). Here, we show that prairie voles are susceptible to mule deer CWD prions in vivo and that sPMCA amplification of CWD prions in vole brain enhances the infectivity of CWD for this species. Prairie voles inoculated with sPMCA products developed clinical signs of TSE disease approximately 300 days prior to, and more consistently than, those inoculated with CWD prions from deer brain. Moreover, the deposition patterns and biochemical properties of protease-resistant form of PrP (PrPRES) in the brains of affected voles differed from those in cervidized transgenic (CerPrP) mice infected with CWD. In addition, voles inoculated orally with sPMCA products developed clinical signs of TSE and were positive for PrPRES deposition, whereas those inoculated orally with deer-origin CWD prions did not. These results demonstrate that transspecies sPMCA of CWD prions can enhance the infectivity and adapt the host range of CWD prions and thereby may be useful to assess determinants of prion species barriers.

  10. Generating Bona Fide Mammalian Prions with Internal Deletions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz-Montesino, Carola; Sizun, Christina; Moudjou, Mohammed; Herzog, Laetitia; Reine, Fabienne; Chapuis, Jérôme; Ciric, Danica; Igel-Egalon, Angelique; Laude, Hubert; Béringue, Vincent; Rezaei, Human; Dron, Michel

    2016-08-01

    Mammalian prions are PrP proteins with altered structures causing transmissible fatal neurodegenerative diseases. They are self-perpetuating through formation of beta-sheet-rich assemblies that seed conformational change of cellular PrP. Pathological PrP usually forms an insoluble protease-resistant core exhibiting beta-sheet structures but no more alpha-helical content, loosing the three alpha-helices contained in the correctly folded PrP. The lack of a high-resolution prion structure makes it difficult to understand the dynamics of conversion and to identify elements of the protein involved in this process. To determine whether completeness of residues within the protease-resistant domain is required for prions, we performed serial deletions in the helix H2 C terminus of ovine PrP, since this region has previously shown some tolerance to sequence changes without preventing prion replication. Deletions of either four or five residues essentially preserved the overall PrP structure and mutant PrP expressed in RK13 cells were efficiently converted into bona fide prions upon challenge by three different prion strains. Remarkably, deletions in PrP facilitated the replication of two strains that otherwise do not replicate in this cellular context. Prions with internal deletion were self-propagating and de novo infectious for naive homologous and wild-type PrP-expressing cells. Moreover, they caused transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in mice, with similar biochemical signatures and neuropathologies other than the original strains. Prion convertibility and transfer of strain-specific information are thus preserved despite shortening of an alpha-helix in PrP and removal of residues within prions. These findings provide new insights into sequence/structure/infectivity relationship for prions. Prions are misfolded PrP proteins that convert the normal protein into a replicate of their own abnormal form. They are responsible for invariably fatal neurodegenerative

  11. Prion protein induced signaling cascades in monocytes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krebs, Bjarne; Dorner-Ciossek, Cornelia; Schmalzbauer, Ruediger; Vassallo, Neville; Herms, Jochen; Kretzschmar, Hans A.

    2006-01-01

    Prion proteins play a central role in transmission and pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. The cellular prion protein (PrP C ), whose physiological function remains elusive, is anchored to the surface of a variety of cell types including neurons and cells of the lymphoreticular system. In this study, we investigated the response of a mouse monocyte/macrophage cell line to exposure with PrP C fusion proteins synthesized with a human Fc-tag. PrP C fusion proteins showed an attachment to the surface of monocyte/macrophages in nanomolar concentrations. This was accompanied by an increase of cellular tyrosine phosphorylation as a result of activated signaling pathways. Detailed investigations exhibited activation of downstream pathways through a stimulation with PrP fusion proteins, which include phosphorylation of ERK 1,2 and Akt kinase. Macrophages opsonize and present antigenic structures, contact lymphocytes, and deliver cytokines. The findings reported here may become the basis of understanding the molecular function of PrP C in monocytes and macrophages

  12. Prion-Specific Antibodies Produced in Wild-Type Mice

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heegaard, Peter M. H.; Bergström, Ann-Louise; Andersen, Heidi Gertz

    2015-01-01

    Peptide-specific antibodies produced against synthetic peptides are of high value in probing protein structure and function, especially when working with challenging proteins, including not readily available, non-immunogenic, toxic, and/or pathogenic proteins. Here, we present a straightforward...... method for production of mouse monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) against peptides representing two sites of interest in the bovine prion protein (boPrP), the causative agent of bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("mad cow disease") and new variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob's disease (CJD) in humans, as well......-peptide antibodies, even against peptides very homologous to murine protein sequences. In general, using the strategies described here for selecting, synthesizing, and conjugating peptides and immunizing 4-5 mice with 2-3 different peptides, high-titered antibodies reacting with the target protein are routinely...

  13. Trafficking and degradation pathways in pathogenic conversion of prions and prion-like proteins in neurodegenerative diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Victoria, Guiliana Soraya; Zurzolo, Chiara

    2015-09-02

    Several neurodegenerative diseases such as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases are caused by the conversion of cellular proteins to a pathogenic conformer. Despite differences in the primary structure and subcellular localization of these proteins, which include the prion protein, α-synuclein and amyloid precursor protein (APP), striking similarity has been observed in their ability to seed and convert naïve protein molecules as well as transfer between cells. This review aims to cover what is known about the intracellular trafficking of these proteins as well as their degradation mechanisms and highlight similarities in their movement through the endocytic pathway that could contribute to the pathogenic conversion and seeding of these proteins which underlies the basis of these diseases. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Assessment of the PrPc Amino-Terminal Domain in Prion Species Barriers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davenport, Kristen A; Henderson, Davin M; Mathiason, Candace K; Hoover, Edward A

    2016-12-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle are prion diseases that are caused by the same protein-misfolding mechanism, but they appear to pose different risks to humans. We are interested in understanding the differences between the species barriers of CWD and BSE. We used real-time, quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) to model the central molecular event in prion disease, the templated misfolding of the normal prion protein, PrP c , to a pathogenic, amyloid isoform, scrapie prion protein, PrP Sc We examined the role of the PrP c amino-terminal domain (N-terminal domain [NTD], amino acids [aa] 23 to 90) in cross-species conversion by comparing the conversion efficiency of various prion seeds in either full-length (aa 23 to 231) or truncated (aa 90 to 231) PrP c We demonstrate that the presence of white-tailed deer and bovine NTDs hindered seeded conversion of PrP c , but human and bank vole NTDs did the opposite. Additionally, full-length human and bank vole PrP c s were more likely to be converted to amyloid by CWD prions than were their truncated forms. A chimera with replacement of the human NTD by the bovine NTD resembled human PrP c The requirement for an NTD, but not for the specific human sequence, suggests that the NTD interacts with other regions of the human PrP c to increase promiscuity. These data contribute to the evidence that, in addition to primary sequence, prion species barriers are controlled by interactions of the substrate NTD with the rest of the substrate PrP c molecule. We demonstrate that the amino-terminal domain of the normal prion protein, PrP c , hinders seeded conversion of bovine and white-tailed deer PrP c s to the prion forms, but it facilitates conversion of the human and bank vole PrP c s to the prion forms. Additionally, we demonstrate that the amino-terminal domain of human and bank vole PrP c s requires interaction with the rest of the molecule to facilitate conversion by CWD

  15. Alkaloidal glycosidase inhibitors (AGIs) as the cause of sporadic scrapie, and the potential treatment of both transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dealler, S

    1994-02-01

    AGIs are produced by plants and microorgansims in the environment. They are absorbed from the gut, distributed throughout the body and are concentrated inside cells. AGIs alter the glycan chains of cellular glycoproteins (CGP) during their formation so that the same CGP produced by different clones of cells (and hence with different glycan chains) becomes structurally the same. Prion protein (PrP), a CGP, is rendered indestructable to cellular mechanisms (as PrPi) by the TSE infective process; it is suggested that AGIs could both cause and prevent this by altering the primary structure of PrP. HIV envelope protein, gp120, carries glycan chains that are decided by the clone of the cells by which it is produced. Each cellular clone would be expected to add a specific group of glycan chains, making the gp120 antigenically separate. As HIV infection progresses, infected clone numbers rise, the antigenic diversity of gp120 may rise as would antibody production, trying to keep pace. Antigenically stimulated CD4+ cells carrying HIV genes, increase HIV production with gp120 antigenically different from its stimulant. AGIs prevent the glycan diversity and may prevent the extension of HIV infection.

  16. Prion-seeding activity in cerebrospinal fluid of deer with chronic wasting disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas J Haley

    Full Text Available Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs, or prion diseases, are a uniformly fatal family of neurodegenerative diseases in mammals that includes chronic wasting disease (CWD of cervids. The early and ante-mortem identification of TSE-infected individuals using conventional western blotting or immunohistochemistry (IHC has proven difficult, as the levels of infectious prions in readily obtainable samples, including blood and bodily fluids, are typically beyond the limits of detection. The development of amplification-based seeding assays has been instrumental in the detection of low levels of infectious prions in clinical samples. In the present study, we evaluated the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF of CWD-exposed (n=44 and naïve (n=4 deer (n=48 total for CWD prions (PrP(d using two amplification assays: serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification with polytetrafluoroethylene beads (sPMCAb and real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC employing a truncated Syrian hamster recombinant protein substrate. Samples were evaluated blindly in parallel with appropriate positive and negative controls. Results from amplification assays were compared to one another and to obex immunohistochemistry, and were correlated to available clinical histories including CWD inoculum source (e.g. saliva, blood, genotype, survival period, and duration of clinical signs. We found that both sPMCAb and RT-QuIC were capable of amplifying CWD prions from cervid CSF, and results correlated well with one another. Prion seeding activity in either assay was observed in approximately 50% of deer with PrP(d detected by IHC in the obex region of the brain. Important predictors of amplification included duration of clinical signs and time of first tonsil biopsy positive results, and ultimately the levels of PrP(d identified in the obex by IHC. Based on our findings, we expect that both sPMCAb and RT-QuIC may prove to be useful detection assays for the detection of prions in

  17. Prion propagation and toxicity occur in vitro with two-phase kinetics specific to strain and neuronal type.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hannaoui, Samia; Maatouk, Layal; Privat, Nicolas; Levavasseur, Etienne; Faucheux, Baptiste A; Haïk, Stéphane

    2013-03-01

    Prion diseases, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that occur in humans and animals. The neuropathological hallmarks of TSEs are spongiosis, glial proliferation, and neuronal loss. The only known specific molecular marker of TSEs is the abnormal isoform (PrP(Sc)) of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C)), which accumulates in the brain of infected subjects and forms infectious prion particles. Although this transmissible agent lacks a specific nucleic acid component, several prion strains have been isolated. Prion strains are characterized by differences in disease outcome, PrP(Sc) distribution patterns, and brain lesion profiles at the terminal stage of the disease. The molecular factors and cellular mechanisms involved in strain-specific neuronal tropism and toxicity remain largely unknown. Currently, no cellular model exists to facilitate in vitro studies of these processes. A few cultured cell lines that maintain persistent scrapie infections have been developed, but only two of them have shown the cytotoxic effects associated with prion propagation. In this study, we have developed primary neuronal cultures to assess in vitro neuronal tropism and toxicity of different prion strains (scrapie strains 139A, ME7, and 22L). We have tested primary neuronal cultures enriched in cerebellar granular, striatal, or cortical neurons. Our results showed that (i) a strain-specific neuronal tropism operated in vitro; (ii) the cytotoxic effect varied among strains and neuronal cell types; (iii) prion propagation and toxicity occurred in two kinetic phases, a replicative phase followed by a toxic phase; and (iv) neurotoxicity peaked when abnormal PrP accumulation reached a plateau.

  18. PrP P102L and Nearby Lysine Mutations Promote Spontaneous In Vitro Formation of Transmissible Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kraus, Allison; Raymond, Gregory J; Race, Brent; Campbell, Katrina J; Hughson, Andrew G; Anson, Kelsie J; Raymond, Lynne D; Caughey, Byron

    2017-11-01

    Accumulation of fibrillar protein aggregates is a hallmark of many diseases. While numerous proteins form fibrils by prion-like seeded polymerization in vitro , only some are transmissible and pathogenic in vivo To probe the structural features that confer transmissibility to prion protein (PrP) fibrils, we have analyzed synthetic PrP amyloids with or without the human prion disease-associated P102L mutation. The formation of infectious prions from PrP molecules in vitro has required cofactors and/or unphysiological denaturing conditions. Here, we demonstrate that, under physiologically compatible conditions without cofactors, the P102L mutation in recombinant hamster PrP promoted prion formation when seeded by minute amounts of scrapie prions in vitro Surprisingly, combination of the P102L mutation with charge-neutralizing substitutions of four nearby lysines promoted spontaneous prion formation. When inoculated into hamsters, both of these types of synthetic prions initiated substantial accumulation of prion seeding activity and protease-resistant PrP without transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) clinical signs or notable glial activation. Our evidence suggests that PrP's centrally located proline and lysine residues act as conformational switches in the in vitro formation of transmissible PrP amyloids. IMPORTANCE Many diseases involve the damaging accumulation of specific misfolded proteins in thread-like aggregates. These threads (fibrils) are capable of growing on the ends by seeding the refolding and incorporation of the normal form of the given protein. In many cases such aggregates can be infectious and propagate like prions when transmitted from one individual host to another. Some transmitted aggregates can cause fatal disease, as with human iatrogenic prion diseases, while other aggregates appear to be relatively innocuous. The factors that distinguish infectious and pathogenic protein aggregates from more innocuous ones are poorly understood

  19. Inactivation of Prions and Amyloid Seeds with Hypochlorous Acid.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrew G Hughson

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Hypochlorous acid (HOCl is produced naturally by neutrophils and other cells to kill conventional microbes in vivo. Synthetic preparations containing HOCl can also be effective as microbial disinfectants. Here we have tested whether HOCl can also inactivate prions and other self-propagating protein amyloid seeds. Prions are deadly pathogens that are notoriously difficult to inactivate, and standard microbial disinfection protocols are often inadequate. Recommended treatments for prion decontamination include strongly basic (pH ≥~12 sodium hypochlorite bleach, ≥1 N sodium hydroxide, and/or prolonged autoclaving. These treatments are damaging and/or unsuitable for many clinical, agricultural and environmental applications. We have tested the anti-prion activity of a weakly acidic aqueous formulation of HOCl (BrioHOCl that poses no apparent hazard to either users or many surfaces. For example, BrioHOCl can be applied directly to skin and mucous membranes and has been aerosolized to treat entire rooms without apparent deleterious effects. Here, we demonstrate that immersion in BrioHOCl can inactivate not only a range of target microbes, including spores of Bacillus subtilis, but also prions in tissue suspensions and on stainless steel. Real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC assays showed that BrioHOCl treatments eliminated all detectable prion seeding activity of human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, cervine chronic wasting disease, sheep scrapie and hamster scrapie; these findings indicated reductions of ≥103- to 106-fold. Transgenic mouse bioassays showed that all detectable hamster-adapted scrapie infectivity in brain homogenates or on steel wires was eliminated, representing reductions of ≥~105.75-fold and >104-fold, respectively. Inactivation of RT-QuIC seeding activity correlated with free chlorine concentration and higher order aggregation or destruction of proteins generally, including prion

  20. Amyloidosis, synucleinopathy, and prion encephalopathy in a neuropathic lysosomal storage disease: the CNS-biomarker potential of peripheral blood.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bartholomew J Naughton

    Full Text Available Mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS IIIB is a devastating neuropathic lysosomal storage disease with complex pathology. This study identifies molecular signatures in peripheral blood that may be relevant to MPS IIIB pathogenesis using a mouse model. Genome-wide gene expression microarrays on pooled RNAs showed dysregulation of 2,802 transcripts in blood from MPS IIIB mice, reflecting pathological complexity of MPS IIIB, encompassing virtually all previously reported and as yet unexplored disease aspects. Importantly, many of the dysregulated genes are reported to be tissue-specific. Further analyses of multiple genes linked to major pathways of neurodegeneration demonstrated a strong brain-blood correlation in amyloidosis and synucleinopathy in MPS IIIB. We also detected prion protein (Prnp deposition in the CNS and Prnp dysregulation in the blood in MPS IIIB mice, suggesting the involvement of Prnp aggregation in neuropathology. Systemic delivery of trans-BBB-neurotropic rAAV9-hNAGLU vector mediated not only efficient restoration of functional α-N-acetylglucosaminidase and clearance of lysosomal storage pathology in the central nervous system (CNS and periphery, but also the correction of impaired neurodegenerative molecular pathways in the brain and blood. Our data suggest that molecular changes in blood may reflect pathological status in the CNS and provide a useful tool for identifying potential CNS-specific biomarkers for MPS IIIB and possibly other neurological diseases.

  1. Prions in the Urine of Patients with Variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob Disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moda, Fabio; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Notari, Silvio; Concha-Marambio, Luis; Catania, Marcella; Park, Kyung-Won; Maderna, Emanuela; Suardi, Silvia; Haïk, Stéphane; Brandel, Jean-Philippe; Ironside, James; Knight, Richard; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Soto, Claudio

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND Prions, the infectious agents responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, consist mainly of the misfolded prion protein (PrPSc). The unique mechanism of transmission and the appearance of a variant form of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, which has been linked to consumption of prion-contaminated cattle meat, have raised concerns about public health. Evidence suggests that variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease prions circulate in body fluids from people in whom the disease is silently incubating. METHODS To investigate whether PrPSc can be detected in the urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, we used the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique to amplify minute quantities of PrPSc, enabling highly sensitive detection of the protein. We analyzed urine samples from several patients with various transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (variant and sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and genetic forms of prion disease), patients with other degenerative or nondegenerative neurologic disorders, and healthy persons. RESULTS PrPSc was detectable only in the urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and had the typical electrophoretic profile associated with this disease. PrPSc was detected in 13 of 14 urine samples obtained from patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease and in none of the 224 urine samples obtained from patients with other neurologic diseases and from healthy controls, resulting in an estimated sensitivity of 92.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 66.1 to 99.8) and a specificity of 100.0% (95% CI, 98.4 to 100.0). The PrPSc concentration in urine calculated by means of quantitative PMCA was estimated at 1×10−16 g per milliliter, or 3×10−21 mol per milliliter, which extrapolates to approximately 40 to 100 oligomeric particles of PrPSc per milliliter of urine. CONCLUSIONS Urine samples obtained from patients with variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease contained minute

  2. Prions in the urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moda, Fabio; Gambetti, Pierluigi; Notari, Silvio; Concha-Marambio, Luis; Catania, Marcella; Park, Kyung-Won; Maderna, Emanuela; Suardi, Silvia; Haïk, Stéphane; Brandel, Jean-Philippe; Ironside, James; Knight, Richard; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Soto, Claudio

    2014-08-07

    Prions, the infectious agents responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, consist mainly of the misfolded prion protein (PrP(Sc)). The unique mechanism of transmission and the appearance of a variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, which has been linked to consumption of prion-contaminated cattle meat, have raised concerns about public health. Evidence suggests that variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease prions circulate in body fluids from people in whom the disease is silently incubating. To investigate whether PrP(Sc) can be detected in the urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, we used the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique to amplify minute quantities of PrP(Sc), enabling highly sensitive detection of the protein. We analyzed urine samples from several patients with various transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (variant and sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and genetic forms of prion disease), patients with other degenerative or nondegenerative neurologic disorders, and healthy persons. PrP(Sc) was detectable only in the urine of patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and had the typical electrophoretic profile associated with this disease. PrP(Sc) was detected in 13 of 14 urine samples obtained from patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and in none of the 224 urine samples obtained from patients with other neurologic diseases and from healthy controls, resulting in an estimated sensitivity of 92.9% (95% confidence interval [CI], 66.1 to 99.8) and a specificity of 100.0% (95% CI, 98.4 to 100.0). The PrP(Sc) concentration in urine calculated by means of quantitative PMCA was estimated at 1×10(-16) g per milliliter, or 3×10(-21) mol per milliliter, which extrapolates to approximately 40 to 100 oligomeric particles of PrP(Sc) per milliliter of urine. Urine samples obtained from patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease contained minute quantities of PrP(Sc). (Funded by the

  3. Prion protein β2-α2 loop conformational landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldarulo, Enrico; Barducci, Alessandro; Wüthrich, Kurt; Parrinello, Michele

    2017-09-05

    In transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), which are lethal neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and a wide range of other mammalian species, the normal "cellular" prion protein ([Formula: see text]) is transformed into amyloid aggregates representing the "scrapie form" of the protein ([Formula: see text]). Continued research on this system is of keen interest, since new information on the physiological function of [Formula: see text] in healthy organisms is emerging, as well as new data on the mechanism of the transformation of [Formula: see text] to [Formula: see text] In this paper we used two different approaches: a combination of the well-tempered ensemble (WTE) and parallel tempering (PT) schemes and metadynamics (MetaD) to characterize the conformational free-energy surface of [Formula: see text] The focus of the data analysis was on an 11-residue polypeptide segment in mouse [Formula: see text](121-231) that includes the [Formula: see text]2-[Formula: see text]2 loop of residues 167-170, for which a correlation between structure and susceptibility to prion disease has previously been described. This study includes wild-type mouse [Formula: see text] and a variant with the single-residue replacement Y169A. The resulting detailed conformational landscapes complement in an integrative manner the available experimental data on [Formula: see text], providing quantitative insights into the nature of the structural transition-related function of the [Formula: see text]2-[Formula: see text]2 loop.

  4. Peroxiredoxin 6 promotes upregulation of the prion protein (PrP in neuronal cells of prion-infected mice

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    Wagner Wibke

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background It has been widely established that the conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrPC into its abnormal isoform (PrPSc is responsible for the development of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs. However, the knowledge of the detailed molecular mechanisms and direct functional consequences within the cell is rare. In this study, we aimed at the identification of deregulated proteins which might be involved in prion pathogenesis. Findings Apolipoprotein E and peroxiredoxin 6 (PRDX6 were identified as upregulated proteins in brains of scrapie-infected mice and cultured neuronal cell lines. Downregulation of PrP gene expression using specific siRNA did not result in a decrease of PRDX6 amounts. Interestingly, selective siRNA targeting PRDX6 or overexpression of PRDX6 controlled PrPC and PrPSc protein amounts in neuronal cells. Conclusions Besides its possible function as a novel marker protein in the diagnosis of TSEs, PDRX6 represents an attractive target molecule in putative pharmacological intervention strategies in the future.

  5. Amyloid-β Peptide Induces Prion Protein Amyloid Formation: Evidence for Its Widespread Amyloidogenic Effect.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Honda, Ryo

    2018-04-12

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy is associated with misfolding of prion protein (PrP) into an amyloid β-rich aggregate. Previous studies have indicated that PrP interacts with Alzheimer's disease amyloid-β peptide (Aβ), but it remains elusive how this interaction impacts on the misfolding of PrP. This study presents the first in vitro evidence that Aβ induces PrP-amyloid formation at submicromolar concentrations. Interestingly, systematic mutagenesis of PrP revealed that Aβ requires no specific amino acid sequences in PrP, and induces the misfolding of other unrelated proteins (insulin and lysozyme) into amyloid fibrils in a manner analogous to PrP. This unanticipated nonspecific amyloidogenic effect of Aβ indicates that this peptide might be involved in widespread protein aggregation, regardless of the amino acid sequences of target proteins, and exacerbate the pathology of many neurodegenerative diseases. © 2018 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Induced prion protein controls immune-activated retroviruses in the mouse spleen.

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    Marius Lötscher

    Full Text Available The prion protein (PrP is crucially involved in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE, but neither its exact role in disease nor its physiological function are known. Here we show for mice, using histological, immunochemical and PCR-based methods, that stimulation of innate resistance was followed by appearance of numerous endogenous retroviruses and ensuing PrP up-regulation in germinal centers of the spleen. Subsequently, the activated retroviruses disappeared in a PrP-dependent manner. Our results reveal the regular involvement of endogenous retroviruses in murine immune responses and provide evidence for an essential function of PrP in the control of the retroviral activity. The interaction between PrP and ubiquitous endogenous retroviruses may allow new interpretations of TSE pathophysiology and explain the evolutionary conservation of PrP.

  7. Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy: Production and Inspection

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... are condemned and not allowed into the human food supply. The brains from animals that exhibit signs of neurological impairment during inspection are submitted for testing and analysis by the USDA's National Veterinary Services Laboratories. [ Top of Page ] What kind of testing ...

  8. Human prion diseases in the United States.

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    Robert C Holman

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Prion diseases are a family of rare, progressive, neurodegenerative disorders that affect humans and animals. The most common form of human prion disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD, occurs worldwide. Variant CJD (vCJD, a recently emerged human prion disease, is a zoonotic foodborne disorder that occurs almost exclusively in countries with outbreaks of bovine spongiform encephalopathy. This study describes the occurrence and epidemiology of CJD and vCJD in the United States. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Analysis of CJD and vCJD deaths using death certificates of US residents for 1979-2006, and those identified through other surveillance mechanisms during 1996-2008. Since CJD is invariably fatal and illness duration is usually less than one year, the CJD incidence is estimated as the death rate. During 1979 through 2006, an estimated 6,917 deaths with CJD as a cause of death were reported in the United States, an annual average of approximately 247 deaths (range 172-304 deaths. The average annual age-adjusted incidence for CJD was 0.97 per 1,000,000 persons. Most (61.8% of the CJD deaths occurred among persons >or=65 years of age for an average annual incidence of 4.8 per 1,000,000 persons in this population. Most deaths were among whites (94.6%; the age-adjusted incidence for whites was 2.7 times higher than that for blacks (1.04 and 0.40, respectively. Three patients who died since 2004 were reported with vCJD; epidemiologic evidence indicated that their infection was acquired outside of the United States. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Surveillance continues to show an annual CJD incidence rate of about 1 case per 1,000,000 persons and marked differences in CJD rates by age and race in the United States. Ongoing surveillance remains important for monitoring the stability of the CJD incidence rates, and detecting occurrences of vCJD and possibly other novel prion diseases in the United States.

  9. Molecular architecture of human prion protein amyloid: a parallel, in-register beta-structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cobb, Nathan J; Sönnichsen, Frank D; McHaourab, Hassane; Surewicz, Witold K

    2007-11-27

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) represent a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases that are associated with conformational conversion of the normally monomeric and alpha-helical prion protein, PrP(C), to the beta-sheet-rich PrP(Sc). This latter conformer is believed to constitute the main component of the infectious TSE agent. In contrast to high-resolution data for the PrP(C) monomer, structures of the pathogenic PrP(Sc) or synthetic PrP(Sc)-like aggregates remain elusive. Here we have used site-directed spin labeling and EPR spectroscopy to probe the molecular architecture of the recombinant PrP amyloid, a misfolded form recently reported to induce transmissible disease in mice overexpressing an N-terminally truncated form of PrP(C). Our data show that, in contrast to earlier, largely theoretical models, the con formational conversion of PrP(C) involves major refolding of the C-terminal alpha-helical region. The core of the amyloid maps to C-terminal residues from approximately 160-220, and these residues form single-molecule layers that stack on top of one another with parallel, in-register alignment of beta-strands. This structural insight has important implications for understanding the molecular basis of prion propagation, as well as hereditary prion diseases, most of which are associated with point mutations in the region found to undergo a refolding to beta-structure.

  10. Intraepithelial and interstitial deposition of pathological prion protein in kidneys of scrapie-affected sheep.

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    Ciriaco Ligios

    Full Text Available Prions have been documented in extra-neuronal and extra-lymphatic tissues of humans and various ruminants affected by Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy (TSE. The presence of prion infectivity detected in cervid and ovine blood tempted us to reason that kidney, the organ filtrating blood derived proteins, may accumulate disease associated PrP(Sc. We collected and screened kidneys of experimentally, naturally scrapie-affected and control sheep for renal deposition of PrP(Sc from distinct, geographically separated flocks. By performing Western blot, PET blot analysis and immunohistochemistry we found intraepithelial (cortex, medulla and papilla and occasional interstitial (papilla deposition of PrP(Sc in kidneys of scrapie-affected sheep. Interestingly, glomerula lacked detectable signals indicative of PrP(Sc. PrP(Sc was also detected in kidneys of subclinical sheep, but to significantly lower degree. Depending on the stage of the disease the incidence of PrP(Sc in kidney varied from approximately 27% (subclinical to 73.6% (clinical in naturally scrapie-affected sheep. Kidneys from flocks without scrapie outbreak were devoid of PrP(Sc. Here we demonstrate unexpectedly frequent deposition of high levels of PrP(Sc in ovine kidneys of various flocks. Renal deposition of PrP(Sc is likely to be a pre-requisite enabling prionuria, a possible co-factor of horizontal prion-transmission in sheep.

  11. Preclinical deposition of pathological prion protein in muscle of experimentally infected primates.

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    Susanne Krasemann

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are transmissible fatal neurodegenerative disorders affecting humans and animals. A central step in disease progression is the accumulation of a misfolded form (PrP(Sc of the host encoded prion protein (PrP(C in neuronal and non-neuronal tissues. The involvement of peripheral tissues in preclinical states increases the risk of accidental transmission. On the other hand, detection of PrP(Sc in non-neuronal easy-accessible compartments such as muscle may offer a novel diagnostic tool. Primate models have proven invaluable to investigate prion diseases. We have studied the deposition of PrP(Sc in muscle and central nervous system of rhesus monkeys challenged with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD, variant CJD (vCJD and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE in preclinical and clinical stage using biochemical and morphological methods. Here, we show the preclinical presence of PrP(Sc in muscle and central nervous system of rhesus monkeys experimentally infected with vCJD.

  12. Rapid and Quantitative Assay of Amyloid-Seeding Activity in Human Brains Affected with Prion Diseases.

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    Hanae Takatsuki

    Full Text Available The infectious agents of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are composed of amyloidogenic prion protein, PrPSc. Real-time quaking-induced conversion can amplify very small amounts of PrPSc seeds in tissues/body fluids of patients or animals. Using this in vitro PrP-amyloid amplification assay, we quantitated the seeding activity of affected human brains. End-point assay using serially diluted brain homogenates of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease patients demonstrated that 50% seeding dose (SD50 is reached approximately 10(10/g brain (values varies 10(8.79-10.63/g. A genetic case (GSS-P102L yielded a similar level of seeding activity in an autopsy brain sample. The range of PrPSc concentrations in the samples, determined by dot-blot assay, was 0.6-5.4 μg/g brain; therefore, we estimated that 1 SD50 unit was equivalent to 0.06-0.27 fg of PrPSc. The SD50 values of the affected brains dropped more than three orders of magnitude after autoclaving at 121°C. This new method for quantitation of human prion activity provides a new way to reduce the risk of iatrogenic prion transmission.

  13. Insights into alternative prion protein topologies induced under high hydrostatic pressure

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torrent, Joan; Alvarez-Martinez, Maria Teresa; Heitz, Frederic; Liautard, Jean-Pierre; Balny, Claude; Lange, Reinhard

    2004-01-01

    The critical step in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) appears to be a conformational transition of a normal prion protein (PrP C ) into a misfolded isoform (PrP Sc ). To gain insight into the structural conversion of the prion protein we have exploited the use of high hydrostatic pressure combined with various spectroscopic techniques. In vitro transitions of the recombinant PrP to a scrapie-like form have never resulted in an infectious structure. It is our hypothesis that the acquisition of the disease-causing conformation depends on folding pathways which are difficult to attain. We attempt to favour, via specific reaction conditions at high pressure, alternative routes of misfolding leading to a stable infectious amyloidogenic conformer. Our results have demonstrated the potential of high pressure to reveal various prion structural changes, which are inaccessible by conventional methods. Especially, we have characterized a pressure-induced conformer in which the normal α-helical structure is changed into a highly aggregated β-sheet conformation showing markedly increased resistance to proteolysis (key markers of potential infectious agents). Our work may have important implications, not only for ultimately proving the protein-only hypothesis and for understanding the basic mechanism of the disease, but also for developing preventative and therapeutic measures

  14. Insights into alternative prion protein topologies induced under high hydrostatic pressure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torrent, Joan [INSERM U128, IFR 122, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Alvarez-Martinez, Maria Teresa [INSERM U431, IFR 122, Place Eugene Bataillon, F-34095 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Heitz, Frederic [CRBM, CNRS-UPR 1086, IFR 122, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Liautard, Jean-Pierre [INSERM U431, IFR 122, Place Eugene Bataillon, F-34095 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Balny, Claude [INSERM U128, IFR 122, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5 (France); Lange, Reinhard [INSERM U128, IFR 122, 1919 Route de Mende, F-34293 Montpellier cedex 5 (France)

    2004-04-14

    The critical step in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) appears to be a conformational transition of a normal prion protein (PrP{sup C}) into a misfolded isoform (PrP{sup Sc}). To gain insight into the structural conversion of the prion protein we have exploited the use of high hydrostatic pressure combined with various spectroscopic techniques. In vitro transitions of the recombinant PrP to a scrapie-like form have never resulted in an infectious structure. It is our hypothesis that the acquisition of the disease-causing conformation depends on folding pathways which are difficult to attain. We attempt to favour, via specific reaction conditions at high pressure, alternative routes of misfolding leading to a stable infectious amyloidogenic conformer. Our results have demonstrated the potential of high pressure to reveal various prion structural changes, which are inaccessible by conventional methods. Especially, we have characterized a pressure-induced conformer in which the normal {alpha}-helical structure is changed into a highly aggregated {beta}-sheet conformation showing markedly increased resistance to proteolysis (key markers of potential infectious agents). Our work may have important implications, not only for ultimately proving the protein-only hypothesis and for understanding the basic mechanism of the disease, but also for developing preventative and therapeutic measures.

  15. Detection of prions in blood from patients with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Concha-Marambio, Luis; Pritzkow, Sandra; Moda, Fabio; Tagliavini, Fabrizio; Ironside, James W; Schulz, Paul E; Soto, Claudio

    2016-12-21

    Human prion diseases are infectious and invariably fatal neurodegenerative diseases. They include sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), the most common form, and variant CJD (vCJD), which is caused by interspecies transmission of prions from cattle infected by bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Development of a biochemical assay for the sensitive, specific, early, and noninvasive detection of prions (PrP Sc ) in the blood of patients affected by prion disease is a top medical priority to increase the safety of the blood supply. vCJD has already been transmitted from human to human by blood transfusion, and the number of asymptomatic carriers of vCJD in the U.K. alone is estimated to be 1 in 2000 people. We used the protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) technique to analyze blood samples from 14 cases of vCJD and 153 controls, including patients affected by sCJD and other neurodegenerative or neurological disorders as well as healthy subjects. Our results showed that PrP Sc could be detected with 100% sensitivity and specificity in blood samples from vCJD patients. Detection was possible in any of the blood fractions analyzed and could be done with as little as a few microliters of sample volume. The PrP Sc concentration in blood was estimated to be ~0.5 pg/ml. Our findings suggest that PMCA may be useful for premortem noninvasive diagnosis of vCJD and to identify prion contamination of the blood supply. Further studies are needed to fully validate the technology. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  16. Experimental approaches to the interaction of the prion protein with nucleic acids and glycosaminoglycans: Modulators of the pathogenic conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silva, Jerson L; Vieira, Tuane C R G; Gomes, Mariana P B; Rangel, Luciana P; Scapin, Sandra M N; Cordeiro, Yraima

    2011-03-01

    The concept that transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are caused only by proteins has changed the traditional paradigm that disease transmission is due solely to an agent that carries genetic information. The central hypothesis for prion diseases proposes that the conversion of a cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into a misfolded, β-sheet-rich isoform (PrP(Sc)) accounts for the development of (TSE). There is substantial evidence that the infectious material consists chiefly of a protein, PrP(Sc), with no genomic coding material, unlike a virus particle, which has both. However, prions seem to have other partners that chaperone their activities in converting the PrP(C) into the disease-causing isoform. Nucleic acids (NAs) and glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are the most probable accomplices of prion conversion. Here, we review the recent experimental approaches that have been employed to characterize the interaction of prion proteins with nucleic acids and glycosaminoglycans. A PrP recognizes many nucleic acids and GAGs with high affinities, and this seems to be related to a pathophysiological role for this interaction. A PrP binds nucleic acids and GAGs with structural selectivity, and some PrP:NA complexes can become proteinase K-resistant, undergoing amyloid oligomerization and conversion to a β-sheet-rich structure. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that endogenous polyanions (such as NAs and GAGs) may accelerate the rate of prion disease progression by acting as scaffolds or lattices that mediate the interaction between PrP(C) and PrP(Sc) molecules. In addition to a still-possible hypothesis that nucleic acids and GAGs, especially those from the host, may modulate the conversion, the recent structural characterization of the complexes has raised the possibility of developing new diagnostic and therapeutic strategies. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  17. Prions: Protein Rebels with a Cause!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Karen E.; Serpell, Louise C.

    2017-01-01

    Traditionally we consider infection to arise from viruses, bacteria and parasites. Prions are infectious proteins without any nucleic acids, and therefore do not represent living things. Despite this, they have the ability to replicate themselves and cause diseases such as mad cow disease (bovine spongiform encepthalopathy) and human…

  18. Prion Diseases

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... with facebook share with twitter share with linkedin Prion Diseases Prion diseases are a related group of ... deer and elk. Why Is the Study of Prion Diseases a Priority for NIAID? Much about TSE ...

  19. Insights into the physiological function of cellular prion protein

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    Martins V.R.

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Prions have been extensively studied since they represent a new class of infectious agents in which a protein, PrPsc (prion scrapie, appears to be the sole component of the infectious particle. They are responsible for transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, which affect both humans and animals. The mechanism of disease propagation is well understood and involves the interaction of PrPsc with its cellular isoform (PrPc and subsequently abnormal structural conversion of the latter. PrPc is a glycoprotein anchored on the cell surface by a glycosylphosphatidylinositol moiety and expressed in most cell types but mainly in neurons. Prion diseases have been associated with the accumulation of the abnormally folded protein and its neurotoxic effects; however, it is not known if PrPc loss of function is an important component. New efforts are addressing this question and trying to characterize the physiological function of PrPc. At least four different mouse strains in which the PrP gene was ablated were generated and the results regarding their phenotype are controversial. Localization of PrPc on the cell membrane makes it a potential candidate for a ligand uptake, cell adhesion and recognition molecule or a membrane signaling molecule. Recent data have shown a potential role for PrPc in the metabolism of copper and moreover that this metal stimulates PrPc endocytosis. Our group has recently demonstrated that PrPc is a high affinity laminin ligand and that this interaction mediates neuronal cell adhesion and neurite extension and maintenance. Moreover, PrPc-caveolin-1 dependent coupling seems to trigger the tyrosine kinase Fyn activation. These data provide the first evidence for PrPc involvement in signal transduction.

  20. Prions in milk from ewes incubating natural scrapie.

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    Caroline Lacroux

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Since prion infectivity had never been reported in milk, dairy products originating from transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE-affected ruminant flocks currently enter unrestricted into the animal and human food chain. However, a recently published study brought the first evidence of the presence of prions in mammary secretions from scrapie-affected ewes. Here we report the detection of consistent levels of infectivity in colostrum and milk from sheep incubating natural scrapie, several months prior to clinical onset. Additionally, abnormal PrP was detected, by immunohistochemistry and PET blot, in lacteal ducts and mammary acini. This PrP(Sc accumulation was detected only in ewes harbouring mammary ectopic lymphoid follicles that developed consequent to Maedi lentivirus infection. However, bioassay revealed that prion infectivity was present in milk and colostrum, not only from ewes with such lympho-proliferative chronic mastitis, but also from those displaying lesion-free mammary glands. In milk and colostrum, infectivity could be recovered in the cellular, cream, and casein-whey fractions. In our samples, using a Tg 338 mouse model, the highest per ml infectious titre measured was found to be equivalent to that contained in 6 microg of a posterior brain stem from a terminally scrapie-affected ewe. These findings indicate that both colostrum and milk from small ruminants incubating TSE could contribute to the animal TSE transmission process, either directly or through the presence of milk-derived material in animal feedstuffs. It also raises some concern with regard to the risk to humans of TSE exposure associated with milk products from ovine and other TSE-susceptible dairy species.

  1. Prion gene haplotypes of U.S. cattle

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    Harhay Gregory P

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE is a fatal neurological disorder characterized by abnormal deposits of a protease-resistant isoform of the prion protein. Characterizing linkage disequilibrium (LD and haplotype networks within the bovine prion gene (PRNP is important for 1 testing rare or common PRNP variation for an association with BSE and 2 interpreting any association of PRNP alleles with BSE susceptibility. The objective of this study was to identify polymorphisms and haplotypes within PRNP from the promoter region through the 3'UTR in a diverse sample of U.S. cattle genomes. Results A 25.2-kb genomic region containing PRNP was sequenced from 192 diverse U.S. beef and dairy cattle. Sequence analyses identified 388 total polymorphisms, of which 287 have not previously been reported. The polymorphism alleles define PRNP by regions of high and low LD. High LD is present between alleles in the promoter region through exon 2 (6.7 kb. PRNP alleles within the majority of intron 2, the entire coding sequence and the untranslated region of exon 3 are in low LD (18.0 kb. Two haplotype networks, one representing the region of high LD and the other the region of low LD yielded nineteen different combinations that represent haplotypes spanning PRNP. The haplotype combinations are tagged by 19 polymorphisms (htSNPS which characterize variation within and across PRNP. Conclusion The number of polymorphisms in the prion gene region of U.S. cattle is nearly four times greater than previously described. These polymorphisms define PRNP haplotypes that may influence BSE susceptibility in cattle.

  2. 3D local structure around copper site of rabbit prion-related protein: Quantitative determination by XANES spectroscopy combined with multiple-scattering calculations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cui, P. X.; Lian, F. L.; Wang, Y.; Wen, Yi; Chu, W. S.; Zhao, H. F.; Zhang, S.; Li, J.; Lin, D. H.; Wu, Z. Y.

    2014-02-01

    Prion-related protein (PrP), a cell-surface copper-binding glycoprotein, is considered to be responsible for a number of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The structural conversion of PrP from the normal cellular isoform (PrPC) to the post-translationally modified form (PrPSc) is thought to be relevant to Cu2+ binding to histidine residues. Rabbits are one of the few mammalian species that appear to be resistant to TSEs, because of the structural characteristics of the rabbit prion protein (RaPrPC) itself. Here we determined the three-dimensional local structure around the C-terminal high-affinity copper-binding sites using X-ray absorption near-edge structure combined with ab initio calculations in the framework of the multiple-scattering (MS) theory. Result shows that two amino acid resides, Gln97 and Met108, and two histidine residues, His95 and His110, are involved in binding this copper(II) ion. It might help us understand the roles of copper in prion conformation conversions, and the molecular mechanisms of prion-involved diseases.

  3. Semisynthetic prion protein (PrP) variants carrying glycan mimics at position 181 and 197 do not form fibrils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araman, Can; Thompson, Robert E; Wang, Siyao; Hackl, Stefanie; Payne, Richard J; Becker, Christian F W

    2017-09-01

    The prion protein (PrP) is an N -glycosylated protein attached to the outer leaflet of eukaryotic cell membranes via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. Different prion strains have distinct glycosylation patterns and the extent of glycosylation of potentially pathogenic misfolded prion protein (PrP Sc ) has a major impact on several prion-related diseases (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, TSEs). Based on these findings it is hypothesized that posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of PrP influence conversion of cellular prion protein (PrP C ) into PrP Sc and, as such, modified PrP variants are critical tools needed to investigate the impact of PTMs on the pathogenesis of TSEs. Here we report a semisynthetic approach to generate PrP variants modified with monodisperse polyethyleneglycol (PEG) units as mimics of N-glycans. Incorporating PEG at glycosylation sites 181 and 197 in PrP induced only small changes to the secondary structure when compared to unmodified, wildtype PrP. More importantly, in vitro aggregation was abrogated for all PEGylated PrP variants under conditions at which wildtype PrP aggregated. Furthermore, the addition of PEGylated PrP as low as 10 mol% to wildtype PrP completely blocked aggregation. A similar effect was observed for synthetic PEGylated PrP segments comprising amino acids 179-231 alone if these were added to wildtype PrP in aggregation assays. This behavior raises the question if large N-glycans interfere with aggregation in vivo and if PEGylated PrP peptides could serve as potential therapeutics.

  4. 3D local structure around copper site of rabbit prion-related protein: Quantitative determination by XANES spectroscopy combined with multiple-scattering calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cui, P.X.; Lian, F.L.; Wang, Y.; Wen, Yi; Chu, W.S.; Zhao, H.F.; Zhang, S.; Li, J.; Lin, D.H.; Wu, Z.Y.

    2014-01-01

    Prion-related protein (PrP), a cell-surface copper-binding glycoprotein, is considered to be responsible for a number of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The structural conversion of PrP from the normal cellular isoform (PrP C ) to the post-translationally modified form (PrP Sc ) is thought to be relevant to Cu 2+ binding to histidine residues. Rabbits are one of the few mammalian species that appear to be resistant to TSEs, because of the structural characteristics of the rabbit prion protein (RaPrP C ) itself. Here we determined the three-dimensional local structure around the C-terminal high-affinity copper-binding sites using X-ray absorption near-edge structure combined with ab initio calculations in the framework of the multiple-scattering (MS) theory. Result shows that two amino acid resides, Gln97 and Met108, and two histidine residues, His95 and His110, are involved in binding this copper(II) ion. It might help us understand the roles of copper in prion conformation conversions, and the molecular mechanisms of prion-involved diseases. - Highlights: ► The first structure of the metal ion binding site in RaPrP fifth copper-binding site. ► Quantitative determination by XANES spectroscopy combined with ab initio calculations. ► Provide a proof of the roles of copper in prion conformation conversions. ► Provide a proof of the molecular mechanisms of prion-involved diseases

  5. Detection of Prion Proteins and TSE Infectivity in the Rendering and Biodiesel Manufacture Processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, R.; Keller, B.; Oleschuk, R. [Queen' s University, Kingston, Ontario (Canada)

    2007-03-15

    This paper addresses emerging issues related to monitoring prion proteins and TSE infectivity in the products and waste streams of rendering and biodiesel manufacture processes. Monitoring is critical to addressing the knowledge gaps identified in 'Biodiesel from Specified Risk Material Tallow: An Appraisal of TSE Risks and their Reduction' (IEA's AMF Annex XXX, 2006) that prevent comprehensive risk assessment of TSE infectivity in products and waste. The most important challenge for monitoring TSE risk is the wide variety of sample types, which are generated at different points in the rendering/biodiesel production continuum. Conventional transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) assays were developed for specified risk material (SRM) and other biological tissues. These, however, are insufficient to address the diverse sample matrices produced in rendering and biodiesel manufacture. This paper examines the sample types expected in rendering and biodiesel manufacture and the implications of applying TSE assay methods to them. The authors then discuss a sample preparation filtration, which has not yet been applied to these sample types, but which has the potential to provide or significantly improve TSE monitoring. The main improvement will come from transfer of the prion proteins from the sample matrix to a matrix compatible with conventional and emerging bioassays. A second improvement will come from preconcentrating the prion proteins, which means transferring proteins from a larger sample volume into a smaller volume for analysis to provide greater detection sensitivity. This filtration method may also be useful for monitoring other samples, including wash waters and other waste streams, which may contain SRM, including those from abattoirs and on-farm operations. Finally, there is a discussion of emerging mass spectrometric methods, which Prusiner and others have shown to be suitable for detection and characterisation of prion proteins (Stahl

  6. Prion protein β2–α2 loop conformational landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldarulo, Enrico; Wüthrich, Kurt; Parrinello, Michele

    2017-01-01

    In transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), which are lethal neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and a wide range of other mammalian species, the normal “cellular” prion protein (PrPC) is transformed into amyloid aggregates representing the “scrapie form” of the protein (PrPSc). Continued research on this system is of keen interest, since new information on the physiological function of PrPC in healthy organisms is emerging, as well as new data on the mechanism of the transformation of PrPC to PrPSc. In this paper we used two different approaches: a combination of the well-tempered ensemble (WTE) and parallel tempering (PT) schemes and metadynamics (MetaD) to characterize the conformational free-energy surface of PrPC. The focus of the data analysis was on an 11-residue polypeptide segment in mouse PrPC(121–231) that includes the β2–α2 loop of residues 167–170, for which a correlation between structure and susceptibility to prion disease has previously been described. This study includes wild-type mouse PrPC and a variant with the single-residue replacement Y169A. The resulting detailed conformational landscapes complement in an integrative manner the available experimental data on PrPC, providing quantitative insights into the nature of the structural transition-related function of the β2–α2 loop. PMID:28827331

  7. Effects of polymorphisms in ovine and caprine prion protein alleles on cell-free conversion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eiden Martin

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In sheep polymorphisms of the prion gene (PRNP at the codons 136, 154 and 171 strongly influence the susceptibility to scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE infections. In goats a number of other gene polymorphisms were found which are suspected to trigger similar effects. However, no strong correlation between polymorphisms and TSE susceptibility in goats has yet been obtained from epidemiological studies and only a low number of experimental challenge data are available at present. We have therefore studied the potential impact of these polymorphisms in vitro by cell-free conversion assays using mouse scrapie strain Me7. Mouse scrapie brain derived PrPSc served as seeds and eleven recombinant single mutation variants of sheep and goat PrPC as conversion targets. With this approach it was possible to assign reduced conversion efficiencies to specific polymorphisms, which are associated to low frequency in scrapie-affected goats or found only in healthy animals. Moreover, we could demonstrate a dominant-negative inhibition of prion polymorphisms associated with high susceptibility by alleles linked to low susceptibility in vitro.

  8. Prion protein expression regulates embryonic stem cell pluripotency and differentiation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Miranda

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Cellular prion protein (PRNP is a glycoprotein involved in the pathogenesis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs. Although the physiological function of PRNP is largely unknown, its key role in prion infection has been extensively documented. This study examines the functionality of PRNP during the course of embryoid body (EB differentiation in mouse Prnp-null (KO and WT embryonic stem cell (ESC lines. The first feature observed was a new population of EBs that only appeared in the KO line after 5 days of differentiation. These EBs were characterized by their expression of several primordial germ cell (PGC markers until Day 13. In a comparative mRNA expression analysis of genes playing an important developmental role during ESC differentiation to EBs, Prnp was found to participate in the transcription of a key pluripotency marker such as Nanog. A clear switching off of this gene on Day 5 was observed in the KO line as opposed to the WT line, in which maximum Prnp and Nanog mRNA levels appeared at this time. Using a specific antibody against PRNP to block PRNP pathways, reduced Nanog expression was confirmed in the WT line. In addition, antibody-mediated inhibition of ITGB5 (integrin αvβ5 in the KO line rescued the low expression of Nanog on Day 5, suggesting the regulation of Nanog transcription by Prnp via this Itgb5. mRNA expression analysis of the PRNP-related proteins PRND (Doppel and SPRN (Shadoo, whose PRNP function is known to be redundant, revealed their incapacity to compensate for the absence of PRNP during early ESC differentiation. Our findings provide strong evidence for a relationship between Prnp and several key pluripotency genes and attribute Prnp a crucial role in regulating self-renewal/differentiation status of ESC, confirming the participation of PRNP during early embryogenesis.

  9. Prions: a challenge for science, medicine and the public health system

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Rabenau, Holger F; Cinatl, Jindrich; Doerr, Hans Wilhelm

    2001-01-01

    .... With the onset of the bovine spongiform encephalopathy epidemic in Great Britain, novel infectious agents came into the public spotlight, ones that do not cause classical inflammation but a slow...

  10. Presence and seeding activity of pathological prion protein (PrP(TSE in skeletal muscles of white-tailed deer infected with chronic wasting disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin L Daus

    Full Text Available Chronic wasting disease (CWD is a contagious, rapidly spreading transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE, or prion disease, occurring in cervids such as white tailed-deer (WTD, mule deer or elk in North America. Despite efficient horizontal transmission of CWD among cervids natural transmission of the disease to other species has not yet been observed. Here, we report for the first time a direct biochemical demonstration of pathological prion protein PrP(TSE and of PrP(TSE-associated seeding activity, the static and dynamic biochemical markers for biological prion infectivity, respectively, in skeletal muscles of CWD-infected cervids, i. e. WTD for which no clinical signs of CWD had been recognized. The presence of PrP(TSE was detected by Western- and postfixed frozen tissue blotting, while the seeding activity of PrP(TSE was revealed by protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA. Semi-quantitative Western blotting indicated that the concentration of PrP(TSE in skeletal muscles of CWD-infected WTD was approximately 2000-10,000-fold lower than in brain tissue. Tissue-blot-analyses revealed that PrP(TSE was located in muscle-associated nerve fascicles but not, in detectable amounts, in myocytes. The presence and seeding activity of PrP(TSE in skeletal muscle from CWD-infected cervids suggests prevention of such tissue in the human diet as a precautionary measure for food safety, pending on further clarification of whether CWD may be transmissible to humans.

  11. Evaluation of the zoonotic potential of transmissible mink encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Successful transmission of Transmissible Mink Encephalopathy (TME) to cattle supports the bovine hypothesis to the still controversial origin of TME outbreaks. Human and primate susceptibility to classical Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (c-BSE) and the transmissibility of L-type BSE to macaques as...

  12. Functional interactions of nucleocapsid protein of feline immunodeficiency virus and cellular prion protein with the viral RNA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moscardini, Mila; Pistello, Mauro; Bendinelli, M; Ficheux, Damien; Miller, Jennifer T; Gabus, Caroline; Le Grice, Stuart F J; Surewicz, Witold K; Darlix, Jean-Luc

    2002-04-19

    All lentiviruses and oncoretroviruses examined so far encode a major nucleic-acid binding protein (nucleocapsid or NC* protein), approximately 2500 molecules of which coat the dimeric RNA genome. Studies on HIV-1 and MoMuLV using in vitro model systems and in vivo have shown that NC protein is required to chaperone viral RNA dimerization and packaging during virus assembly, and proviral DNA synthesis by reverse transcriptase (RT) during infection. The human cellular prion protein (PrP), thought to be the major component of the agent causing transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), was recently found to possess a strong affinity for nucleic acids and to exhibit chaperone properties very similar to HIV-1 NC protein in the HIV-1 context in vitro. Tight binding of PrP to nucleic acids is proposed to participate directly in the prion disease process. To extend our understanding of lentiviruses and of the unexpected nucleic acid chaperone properties of the human prion protein, we set up an in vitro system to investigate replication of the feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), which is functionally and phylogenetically distant from HIV-1. The results show that in the FIV model system, NC protein chaperones viral RNA dimerization, primer tRNA(Lys,3) annealing to the genomic primer-binding site (PBS) and minus strand DNA synthesis by the homologous FIV RT. FIV NC protein is able to trigger specific viral DNA synthesis by inhibiting self-priming of reverse transcription. The human prion protein was found to mimic the properties of FIV NC with respect to primer tRNA annealing to the viral RNA and chaperoning minus strand DNA synthesis. Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  13. Hepatic Encephalopathy

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... Donate Today Enroll in 123 What is Hepatic Encephalopathy? Hepatic Encephalopathy, sometimes referred to as portosystemic encephalopathy or PSE, is a condition that causes temporary ...

  14. Is the presence of abnormal prion protein in the renal glomeruli of feline species presenting with FSE authentic?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bencsik Anna A

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract In a recent paper written by Hilbe et al (BMC vet res, 2009, the nature and specificity of the prion protein deposition in the kidney of feline species affected with feline spongiform encephalopathy (FSE were clearly considered doubtful. This article was brought to our attention because we published several years ago an immunodetection of abnormal prion protein in the kidney of a cheetah affected with FSE. At this time we were convinced of its specificity but without having all the possibilities to demonstrate it. As previously published by another group, the presence of abnormal prion protein in some renal glomeruli in domestic cats affected with FSE is indeed generally considered as doubtful mainly because of low intensity detected in this organ and because control kidneys from safe animals present also a weak prion immunolabelling. Here we come back on these studies and thought it would be helpful to relay our last data to the readers of BMC Vet res for future reference on this subject. Here we come back on our material as it is possible to study and demonstrate the specificity of prion immunodetection using the PET-Blot method (Paraffin Embedded Tissue - Blot. It is admitted that this method allows detecting the Proteinase K (PK resistant form of the abnormal prion protein (PrPres without any confusion with unspecific immunoreaction. We re-analysed the kidney tissue versus adrenal gland and brain samples from the same cheetah affected with TSE using this PET-Blot method. The PET-Blot analysis revealed specific PrPres detection within the brain, adrenal gland and some glomeruli of the kidney, with a complete identicalness compared to our previous detection using immunohistochemistry. In conclusion, these new data enable us to confirm with assurance the presence of specific abnormal prion protein in the adrenal gland and in the kidney of the cheetah affected with FSE. It also emphasizes the usefulness for the re-examination of any

  15. Degradation of the disease-associated prion protein by a serine protease from lichens

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, C.J.; Bennett, J.P.; Biro, S.M.; Duque-Velasquez, J.C.; Rodriguez, C.M.; Bessen, R.A.; Rocke, T.E.; Bartz, Jason C.

    2011-01-01

    The disease-associated prion protein (PrP(TSE)), the probable etiological agent of the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), is resistant to degradation and can persist in the environment. Lichens, mutualistic symbioses containing fungi, algae, bacteria and occasionally cyanobacteria, are ubiquitous in the environment and have evolved unique biological activities allowing their survival in challenging ecological niches. We investigated PrP(TSE) inactivation by lichens and found acetone extracts of three lichen species (Parmelia sulcata, Cladonia rangiferina and Lobaria pulmonaria) have the ability to degrade prion protein (PrP) from TSE-infected hamsters, mice and deer. Immunoblots measuring PrP levels and protein misfolding cyclic amplification indicated at least two logs of reductions in PrP(TSE). Degradative activity was not found in closely related lichen species or in algae or a cyanobacterium that inhabit lichens. Degradation was blocked by Pefabloc SC, a serine protease inhibitor, but not inhibitors of other proteases or enzymes. Additionally, we found that PrP levels in PrP(TSE)-enriched preps or infected brain homogenates are also reduced following exposure to freshly-collected P. sulcata or an aqueous extract of the lichen. Our findings indicate that these lichen extracts efficiently degrade PrP(TSE) and suggest that some lichens could have potential to inactivate TSE infectivity on the landscape or be a source for agents to degrade prions. Further work to clone and characterize the protease, assess its effect on TSE infectivity and determine which organism or organisms present in lichens produce or influence the protease activity is warranted.

  16. PrP aggregation can be seeded by pre-formed recombinant PrP amyloid fibrils without the replication of infectious prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barron, Rona M; King, Declan; Jeffrey, Martin; McGovern, Gillian; Agarwal, Sonya; Gill, Andrew C; Piccardo, Pedro

    2016-10-01

    Mammalian prions are unusual infectious agents, as they are thought to consist solely of aggregates of misfolded prion protein (PrP). Generation of synthetic prions, composed of recombinant PrP (recPrP) refolded into fibrils, has been utilised to address whether PrP aggregates are, indeed, infectious prions. In several reports, neurological disease similar to transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) has been described following inoculation and passage of various forms of fibrils in transgenic mice and hamsters. However, in studies described here, we show that inoculation of recPrP fibrils does not cause TSE disease, but, instead, seeds the formation of PrP amyloid plaques in PrP-P101L knock-in transgenic mice (101LL). Importantly, both WT-recPrP fibrils and 101L-recPrP fibrils can seed plaque formation, indicating that the fibrillar conformation, and not the primary sequence of PrP in the inoculum, is important in initiating seeding. No replication of infectious prions or TSE disease was observed following both primary inoculation and subsequent subpassage. These data, therefore, argue against recPrP fibrils being infectious prions and, instead, indicate that these pre-formed seeds are acting to accelerate the formation of PrP amyloid plaques in 101LL Tg mice. In addition, these data reproduce a phenotype which was previously observed in 101LL mice following inoculation with brain extract containing in vivo-generated PrP amyloid fibrils, which has not been shown for other synthetic prion models. These data are reminiscent of the "prion-like" spread of aggregated forms of the beta-amyloid peptide (Aβ), α-synuclein and tau observed following inoculation of transgenic mice with pre-formed seeds of each misfolded protein. Hence, even when the protein is PrP, misfolding and aggregation do not reproduce the full clinicopathological phenotype of disease. The initiation and spread of protein aggregation in transgenic mouse lines following inoculation with pre

  17. PrP Knockout Cells Expressing Transmembrane PrP Resist Prion Infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Karen E; Hughson, Andrew; Vascellari, Sarah; Priola, Suzette A; Sakudo, Akikazu; Onodera, Takashi; Baron, Gerald S

    2017-01-15

    Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchoring of the prion protein (PrP C ) influences PrP C misfolding into the disease-associated isoform, PrP res , as well as prion propagation and infectivity. GPI proteins are found in cholesterol- and sphingolipid-rich membrane regions called rafts. Exchanging the GPI anchor for a nonraft transmembrane sequence redirects PrP C away from rafts. Previous studies showed that nonraft transmembrane PrP C variants resist conversion to PrP res when transfected into scrapie-infected N2a neuroblastoma cells, likely due to segregation of transmembrane PrP C and GPI-anchored PrP res in distinct membrane environments. Thus, it remained unclear whether transmembrane PrP C might convert to PrP res if seeded by an exogenous source of PrP res not associated with host cell rafts and without the potential influence of endogenous expression of GPI-anchored PrP C To further explore these questions, constructs containing either a C-terminal wild-type GPI anchor signal sequence or a nonraft transmembrane sequence containing a flexible linker were expressed in a cell line derived from PrP knockout hippocampal neurons, NpL2. NpL2 cells have physiological similarities to primary neurons, representing a novel and advantageous model for studying transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) infection. Cells were infected with inocula from multiple prion strains and in different biochemical states (i.e., membrane bound as in brain microsomes from wild-type mice or purified GPI-anchorless amyloid fibrils). Only GPI-anchored PrP C supported persistent PrP res propagation. Our data provide strong evidence that in cell culture GPI anchor-directed membrane association of PrP C is required for persistent PrP res propagation, implicating raft microdomains as a location for conversion. Mechanisms of prion propagation, and what makes them transmissible, are poorly understood. Glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) membrane anchoring of the prion protein (PrP C

  18. Mammalian prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salamat, Muhammad Khalid; Munoz-Montesino, Carola; Moudjou, Mohammed; Rezaei, Human; Laude, Hubert; Béringue, Vincent; Dron, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Upon prion infection, abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) self-perpetuate by conformational conversion of α-helix-rich PrPC into β sheet enriched form, leading to formation and deposition of PrPSc aggregates in affected brains. However the process remains poorly understood at the molecular level and the regions of PrP critical for conversion are still debated. Minimal amino acid substitutions can impair prion replication at many places in PrP. Conversely, we recently showed that bona fide prions could be generated after introduction of eight and up to 16 additional amino acids in the H2-H3 inter-helix loop of PrP. Prion replication also accommodated the insertions of an octapeptide at different places in the last turns of H2. This reverse genetic approach reveals an unexpected tolerance of prions to substantial sequence changes in the protease-resistant part which is associated with infectivity. It also demonstrates that conversion does not require the presence of a specific sequence in the middle of the H2-H3 area. We discuss the implications of our findings according to different structural models proposed for PrPSc and questioned the postulated existence of an N- or C-terminal prion domain in the protease-resistant region. PMID:23232499

  19. Classifying prion and prion-like phenomena.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbi, Djamel; Harrison, Paul M

    2014-01-01

    The universe of prion and prion-like phenomena has expanded significantly in the past several years. Here, we overview the challenges in classifying this data informatically, given that terms such as "prion-like", "prion-related" or "prion-forming" do not have a stable meaning in the scientific literature. We examine the spectrum of proteins that have been described in the literature as forming prions, and discuss how "prion" can have a range of meaning, with a strict definition being for demonstration of infection with in vitro-derived recombinant prions. We suggest that although prion/prion-like phenomena can largely be apportioned into a small number of broad groups dependent on the type of transmissibility evidence for them, as new phenomena are discovered in the coming years, a detailed ontological approach might be necessary that allows for subtle definition of different "flavors" of prion / prion-like phenomena.

  20. Prion search and cellular prion protein expression in stranded dolphins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Guardo, G; Cocumelli, C; Meoli, R; Barbaro, K; Terracciano, G; Di Francesco, C E; Mazzariol, S; Eleni, C

    2012-01-01

    The recent description of a prion disease (PD) case in a free-ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) prompted us to carry out an extensive search for the disease-associated isoform (PrPSc) of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in the brain and in a range of lymphoid tissues from 23 striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), 5 bottlenose dolphins and 2 Risso s dolphins (Grampus griseus) found stranded between 2007 and 2012 along the Italian coastline. Three striped dolphins and one bottlenose dolphin showed microscopic lesions of encephalitis, with no evidence of spongiform brain lesions being detected in any of the 30 free-ranging cetaceans investigated herein. Nevertheless, we could still observe a prominent PrPC immunoreactivity in the brain as well as in lymphoid tissues from these dolphins. Although immunohistochemical and Western blot investigations yielded negative results for PrPSc deposition in all tissues from the dolphins under study, the reported occurrence of a spontaneous PD case in a wild dolphin is an intriguing issue and a matter of concern for both prion biology and intra/inter-species transmissibility, as well as for cetacean conservation medicine.

  1. Lesion of the olfactory epithelium accelerates prion neuroinvasion and disease onset when prion replication is restricted to neurons.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jenna Crowell

    Full Text Available Natural prion diseases of ruminants are moderately contagious and while the gastrointestinal tract is the primary site of prion agent entry, other mucosae may be entry sites in a subset of infections. In the current study we examined prion neuroinvasion and disease induction following disruption of the olfactory epithelium in the nasal mucosa since this site contains environmentally exposed olfactory sensory neurons that project directly into the central nervous system. Here we provide evidence for accelerated prion neuroinvasion and clinical onset from the olfactory mucosa after disruption and regeneration of the olfactory epithelium and when prion replication is restricted to neurons. In transgenic mice with neuron restricted replication of prions, there was a reduction in survival when the olfactory epithelium was disrupted prior to intranasal inoculation and there was >25% decrease in the prion incubation period. In a second model, the neurotropic DY strain of transmissible mink encephalopathy was not pathogenic in hamsters by the nasal route, but 50% of animals exhibited brain infection and/or disease when the olfactory epithelium was disrupted prior to intranasal inoculation. A time course analysis of prion deposition in the brain following loss of the olfactory epithelium in models of neuron-restricted prion replication suggests that neuroinvasion from the olfactory mucosa is via the olfactory nerve or brain stem associated cranial nerves. We propose that induction of neurogenesis after damage to the olfactory epithelium can lead to prion infection of immature olfactory sensory neurons and accelerate prion spread to the brain.

  2. Lesion of the Olfactory Epithelium Accelerates Prion Neuroinvasion and Disease Onset when Prion Replication Is Restricted to Neurons

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crowell, Jenna; Wiley, James A.; Bessen, Richard A.

    2015-01-01

    Natural prion diseases of ruminants are moderately contagious and while the gastrointestinal tract is the primary site of prion agent entry, other mucosae may be entry sites in a subset of infections. In the current study we examined prion neuroinvasion and disease induction following disruption of the olfactory epithelium in the nasal mucosa since this site contains environmentally exposed olfactory sensory neurons that project directly into the central nervous system. Here we provide evidence for accelerated prion neuroinvasion and clinical onset from the olfactory mucosa after disruption and regeneration of the olfactory epithelium and when prion replication is restricted to neurons. In transgenic mice with neuron restricted replication of prions, there was a reduction in survival when the olfactory epithelium was disrupted prior to intranasal inoculation and there was >25% decrease in the prion incubation period. In a second model, the neurotropic DY strain of transmissible mink encephalopathy was not pathogenic in hamsters by the nasal route, but 50% of animals exhibited brain infection and/or disease when the olfactory epithelium was disrupted prior to intranasal inoculation. A time course analysis of prion deposition in the brain following loss of the olfactory epithelium in models of neuron-restricted prion replication suggests that neuroinvasion from the olfactory mucosa is via the olfactory nerve or brain stem associated cranial nerves. We propose that induction of neurogenesis after damage to the olfactory epithelium can lead to prion infection of immature olfactory sensory neurons and accelerate prion spread to the brain. PMID:25822718

  3. Prions in yeast

    OpenAIRE

    Bezdíčka, Martin

    2013-01-01

    The thesis describes yeast prions and their biological effects on yeast in general. It defines the basic characteristics of yeast prions, that distinguish prions from other proteins. The thesis introduces various possibilities of prion formation, and propagation as well as specific types of yeast prions, including various functions of most studied types of prions. The thesis also focuses on chaperones that affect the state of yeast prions in cells. Lastly, the thesis indicates similarities be...

  4. The role of metals in protein conformational disorders - The case of prion protein and Aβ -peptide

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    De Santis, E; Minicozzi, V; Morante, S; Rossi, G C; Stellato, F

    2016-01-01

    Protein conformational disorders are members of a vast class of pathologies in which endogenous proteins or peptides undergo a misfolding process by switching from the physiological soluble configuration to a pathological fibrillar insoluble state. An important, but not yet fully elucidated, role in the process appears to be played by transition metal ions, mainly copper and zinc. X-ray absorption spectroscopy is one of the most suitable techniques for the structural characterization of biological molecules in complex with metal. Owing to its chemical selectivity and sensitivity to the local atomic geometry around the absorber, it can be successfully used to study the environment of metal ions in complex with proteins and peptides in physiological conditions. In this paper we present X-ray absorption spectroscopy studies of the metal ions coordination modes in systems where metals are complexed with specific amyloidogenic proteins and peptides. In particular, we show results concerning the Amyloid β peptide, that is involved in Alzheimer's disease, and the Prion protein, that is responsible for the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy. Our findings suggest that the copper and zinc ions may play a crucial role in the aggregation and fibril formation process of these two biomolecules. Elucidating this kind of interaction could be a key preliminary step before any viable therapy can be conceived or designed. (paper)

  5. The role of metals in protein conformational disorders - The case of prion protein and Aβ -peptide

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Santis, E.; Minicozzi, V.; Morante, S.; Rossi, G. C.; Stellato, F.

    2016-02-01

    Protein conformational disorders are members of a vast class of pathologies in which endogenous proteins or peptides undergo a misfolding process by switching from the physiological soluble configuration to a pathological fibrillar insoluble state. An important, but not yet fully elucidated, role in the process appears to be played by transition metal ions, mainly copper and zinc. X-ray absorption spectroscopy is one of the most suitable techniques for the structural characterization of biological molecules in complex with metal. Owing to its chemical selectivity and sensitivity to the local atomic geometry around the absorber, it can be successfully used to study the environment of metal ions in complex with proteins and peptides in physiological conditions. In this paper we present X-ray absorption spectroscopy studies of the metal ions coordination modes in systems where metals are complexed with specific amyloidogenic proteins and peptides. In particular, we show results concerning the Amyloid β peptide, that is involved in Alzheimer's disease, and the Prion protein, that is responsible for the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy. Our findings suggest that the copper and zinc ions may play a crucial role in the aggregation and fibril formation process of these two biomolecules. Elucidating this kind of interaction could be a key preliminary step before any viable therapy can be conceived or designed.

  6. The prion protein has DNA strand transfer properties similar to retroviral nucleocapsid protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabus, C; Auxilien, S; Péchoux, C; Dormont, D; Swietnicki, W; Morillas, M; Surewicz, W; Nandi, P; Darlix, J L

    2001-04-06

    The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative diseases that are associated with the accumulation of a protease-resistant form of the cellular prion protein (PrP). Although PrP is highly conserved and widely expressed in vertebrates, its function remains a matter of speculation. Indeed PrP null mice develop normally and are healthy. Recent results show that PrP binds to nucleic acids in vitro and is found associated with retroviral particles. Furthermore, in mice the scrapie infectious process appears to be accelerated by MuLV replication. These observations prompted us to further investigate the interaction between PrP and nucleic acids, and compare it with that of the retroviral nucleocapsid protein (NC). As the major nucleic acid-binding protein of the retroviral particle, NC protein is tightly associated with the genomic RNA in the virion nucleocapsid, where it chaperones proviral DNA synthesis by reverse transcriptase. Our results show that the human prion protein (huPrP) functionally resembles NCp7 of HIV-1. Both proteins form large nucleoprotein complexes upon binding to DNA. They accelerate the hybridization of complementary DNA strands and chaperone viral DNA synthesis during the minus and plus DNA strand transfers necessary to generate the long terminal repeats. The DNA-binding and strand transfer properties of huPrP appear to map to the N-terminal fragment comprising residues 23 to 144, whereas the C-terminal domain is inactive. These findings suggest that PrP could be involved in nucleic acid metabolism in vivo. Copyright 2001 Academic Press.

  7. Evidence for varied aetiologies regulating the transmission of prion disease: implications for understanding the heritable basis of prion incubation times.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Conrad O Iyegbe

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs are a group of progressive fatal neurodegenerative disorders, triggered by abnormal folding of the endogenous prion protein molecule. The encoding gene is a major biological factor influencing the length of the asymptomatic period after infection. It remains unclear the extent to which the variation between quantitative trait loci (QTLs reported in mouse models is due to methodological differences between approaches or genuine differences between traits. With this in mind, our approach to identifying genetic factors has sought to extend the linkage mapping approach traditionally applied, to a series of additional traits, while minimising methodological variability between them. Our approach allows estimations of heritability to be derived, as well as predictions to be made about possible existence of genetic overlap between the various traits.Our data indicate a surprising degree of heritability (up to 60%. Correlations between traits are also identified. A series of QTLs on chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 11 and 18 accompany our heritability estimates. However, only a locus on chromosome 11 has a general effect across all 4 models explored.We have achieved some success in detecting novel and pre-existing QTLs associated with incubation time. However, aside from the general effects described, the model-specific nature of the broader host genetic architecture has also been brought into clearer focus. This suggests that genetic overlap can only partially account for the general heritability of incubation time when factors, such as the nature of the TSE agent and the route of administration are considered. This point is highly relevant to vCJD (a potential threat to public health where the route of primary importance is oral, while the QTLs being sought derive exclusively from studies of the ic route. Our results highlight the limitations of a single-model approach to QTL-mapping of TSEs.

  8. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... Caregiver Support Caregiver Stories Home › What is Hepatic Encephalopathy? Why Your Liver is Important The Connection Between HE and Liver ... Why it’s Important to Treat HE Symptoms of Liver Failure Glossary of terms ... is Hepatic Encephalopathy? Hepatic Encephalopathy, sometimes referred to as portosystemic encephalopathy ...

  9. Hepatic Encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... Caregiver Support Caregiver Stories Home › What is Hepatic Encephalopathy? Why Your Liver is Important The Connection Between HE and Liver ... Why it’s Important to Treat HE Symptoms of Liver Failure Glossary of terms ... is Hepatic Encephalopathy? Hepatic Encephalopathy, sometimes referred to as portosystemic encephalopathy ...

  10. Semisynthetic prion protein (PrP) variants carrying glycan mimics at position 181 and 197 do not form fibrils† †Electronic supplementary information (ESI) available. See DOI: 10.1039/c7sc02719b Click here for additional data file.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Araman, Can; Thompson, Robert E.; Wang, Siyao; Hackl, Stefanie; Payne, Richard J.

    2017-01-01

    The prion protein (PrP) is an N-glycosylated protein attached to the outer leaflet of eukaryotic cell membranes via a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. Different prion strains have distinct glycosylation patterns and the extent of glycosylation of potentially pathogenic misfolded prion protein (PrPSc) has a major impact on several prion-related diseases (transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, TSEs). Based on these findings it is hypothesized that posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of PrP influence conversion of cellular prion protein (PrPC) into PrPSc and, as such, modified PrP variants are critical tools needed to investigate the impact of PTMs on the pathogenesis of TSEs. Here we report a semisynthetic approach to generate PrP variants modified with monodisperse polyethyleneglycol (PEG) units as mimics of N-glycans. Incorporating PEG at glycosylation sites 181 and 197 in PrP induced only small changes to the secondary structure when compared to unmodified, wildtype PrP. More importantly, in vitro aggregation was abrogated for all PEGylated PrP variants under conditions at which wildtype PrP aggregated. Furthermore, the addition of PEGylated PrP as low as 10 mol% to wildtype PrP completely blocked aggregation. A similar effect was observed for synthetic PEGylated PrP segments comprising amino acids 179–231 alone if these were added to wildtype PrP in aggregation assays. This behavior raises the question if large N-glycans interfere with aggregation in vivo and if PEGylated PrP peptides could serve as potential therapeutics. PMID:28989689

  11. Spontaneous generation of rapidly transmissible prions in transgenic mice expressing wild-type bank vole prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Giles, Kurt; Stöhr, Jan; Oehler, Abby; Bhardwaj, Sumita; Grillo, Sunny K; Patel, Smita; DeArmond, Stephen J; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2012-02-28

    Currently, there are no animal models of the most common human prion disorder, sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), in which prions are formed spontaneously from wild-type (WT) prion protein (PrP). Interestingly, bank voles (BV) exhibit an unprecedented promiscuity for diverse prion isolates, arguing that bank vole PrP (BVPrP) may be inherently prone to adopting misfolded conformations. Therefore, we constructed transgenic (Tg) mice expressing WT BVPrP. Tg(BVPrP) mice developed spontaneous CNS dysfunction between 108 and 340 d of age and recapitulated the hallmarks of prion disease, including spongiform degeneration, pronounced astrogliosis, and deposition of alternatively folded PrP in the brain. Brain homogenates of ill Tg(BVPrP) mice transmitted disease to Tg(BVPrP) mice in ∼35 d, to Tg mice overexpressing mouse PrP in under 100 d, and to WT mice in ∼185 d. Our studies demonstrate experimentally that WT PrP can spontaneously form infectious prions in vivo. Thus, Tg(BVPrP) mice may be useful for studying the spontaneous formation of prions, and thus may provide insight into the etiology of sporadic CJD.

  12. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... that can be corrected . It may also occur as part of a chronic problem from liver disease ... worse over time. Hepatic Encephalopathy, sometimes referred to as portosystemic encephalopathy or PSE, is a condition that ...

  13. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... OVERVIEW Donate Now Join an Event Volunteer Your Time The Legacy Society Make Gifts of Stock Donate ... problem from liver disease that gets worse over time. Hepatic Encephalopathy, sometimes referred to as portosystemic encephalopathy ...

  14. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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  15. Bilirubin encephalopathy

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    Bilirubin encephalopathy is a rare neurological condition that occurs in some newborns with severe jaundice . ... Bilirubin encephalopathy (BE) is caused by very high levels of bilirubin. Bilirubin is a yellow pigment that is created ...

  16. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... Now Hepatic Encephalopathy Back Hepatic Encephalopathy is a brain disorder that develops in some individuals with liver ... is a condition that causes temporary worsening of brain function in people with advanced liver disease. When ...

  17. The prion protein has RNA binding and chaperoning properties characteristic of nucleocapsid protein NCP7 of HIV-1.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabus, C; Derrington, E; Leblanc, P; Chnaiderman, J; Dormont, D; Swietnicki, W; Morillas, M; Surewicz, W K; Marc, D; Nandi, P; Darlix, J L

    2001-06-01

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are fatal neurodegenerative diseases associated with the accumulation of a protease-resistant form of the prion protein (PrP). Although PrP is conserved in vertebrates, its function remains to be identified. In vitro PrP binds large nucleic acids causing the formation of nucleoprotein complexes resembling human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) nucleocapsid-RNA complexes and in vivo MuLV replication accelerates the scrapie infectious process, suggesting possible interactions between retroviruses and PrP. Retroviruses, including HIV-1 encode a major nucleic acid binding protein (NC protein) found within the virus where 2000 NC protein molecules coat the dimeric genome. NC is required in virus assembly and infection to chaperone RNA dimerization and packaging and in proviral DNA synthesis by reverse transcriptase (RT). In HIV-1, 5'-leader RNA/NC interactions appear to control these viral processes. This prompted us to compare and contrast the interactions of human and ovine PrP and HIV-1 NCp7 with HIV-1 5'-leader RNA. Results show that PrP has properties characteristic of NCp7 with respect to viral RNA dimerization and proviral DNA synthesis by RT. The NC-like properties of huPrP map to the N-terminal region of huPrP. Interestingly, PrP localizes in the membrane and cytoplasm of PrP-expressing cells. These findings suggest that PrP is a multifunctional protein possibly participating in nucleic acid metabolism.

  18. Travel history, hunting, and venison consumption related to prion disease exposure, 2006-2007 FoodNet Population Survey.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abrams, Joseph Y; Maddox, Ryan A; Harvey, Alexis R; Schonberger, Lawrence B; Belay, Ermias D

    2011-06-01

    The transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) to human beings and the spread of chronic wasting disease (CWD) among cervids have prompted concerns about zoonotic transmission of prion diseases. Travel to the United Kingdom and other European countries, hunting for deer or elk, and venison consumption could result in the exposure of US residents to the agents that cause BSE and CWD. The Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network 2006-2007 population survey was used to assess the prevalence of these behaviors among residents of 10 catchment areas across the United States. Of 17,372 survey respondents, 19.4% reported travel to the United Kingdom since 1980, and 29.5% reported travel to any of the nine European countries considered to be BSE-endemic since 1980. The proportion of respondents who had ever hunted deer or elk was 18.5%, and 1.2% had hunted deer or elk in a CWD-endemic area. More than two thirds (67.4%) reported having ever eaten deer or elk meat. Respondents who traveled spent more time in the United Kingdom (median 14 days) than in any other BSE-endemic country. Of the 11,635 respondents who had consumed venison, 59.8% ate venison at most one to two times during their year of highest consumption, and 88.6% had obtained all of their meat from the wild. The survey results were useful in determining the prevalence and frequency of behaviors that could be important factors for foodborne prion transmission. Copyright © 2011 American Dietetic Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Prion seeding activities of mouse scrapie strains with divergent PrPSc protease sensitivities and amyloid plaque content using RT-QuIC and eQuIC.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sarah Vascellari

    Full Text Available Different transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE-associated forms of prion protein (e.g. PrP(Sc can vary markedly in ultrastructure and biochemical characteristics, but each is propagated in the host. PrP(Sc propagation involves conversion from its normal isoform, PrP(C, by a seeded or templated polymerization mechanism. Such a mechanism is also the basis of the RT-QuIC and eQuIC prion assays which use recombinant PrP (rPrP(Sen as a substrate. These ultrasensitive detection assays have been developed for TSE prions of several host species and sample tissues, but not for murine models which are central to TSE pathogenesis research. Here we have adapted RT-QuIC and eQuIC to various murine prions and evaluated how seeding activity depends on glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI anchoring and the abundance of amyloid plaques and protease-resistant PrP(Sc (PrP(Res. Scrapie brain dilutions up to 10(-8 and 10(-13 were detected by RT-QuIC and eQuIC, respectively. Comparisons of scrapie-affected wild-type mice and transgenic mice expressing GPI anchorless PrP showed that, although similar concentrations of seeding activity accumulated in brain, the heavily amyloid-laden anchorless mouse tissue seeded more rapid reactions. Next we compared seeding activities in the brains of mice with similar infectivity titers, but widely divergent PrP(Res levels. For this purpose we compared the 263K and 139A scrapie strains in transgenic mice expressing P101L PrP(C. Although the brains of 263K-affected mice had little immunoblot-detectable PrP(Res, RT-QuIC indicated that seeding activity was comparable to that associated with a high-PrP(Res strain, 139A. Thus, in this comparison, RT-QuIC seeding activity correlated more closely with infectivity than with PrP(Res levels. We also found that eQuIC, which incorporates a PrP(Sc immunoprecipitation step, detected seeding activity in plasma from wild-type and anchorless PrP transgenic mice inoculated with 22L, 79A and/or RML

  20. Localization of disease-related PrP in Danish patients with different subtypes of prion disease

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bergström, A. L.; Heegaard, Peter M. H.; Dyrbye, H.

    2009-01-01

    Objective: The transmissible spongiform encephalopaties are characterized by vacuolization, neuronal loss, gliosis and deposition of a misfilded and Proteinase K resistant isoform of the prion protein (PrPSc) in the central nervous system. Methods, materials and patients: Paraffin-embedded tissue...

  1. Prion diseases are efficiently transmitted by blood transfusion in sheep

    OpenAIRE

    Houston, F.; McCutcheon, S.; Goldmann, W.; Chong, A.; Foster, J.; Siso, S.; Gonzalez, L.; Jeffrey, M.; Hunter, N.

    2008-01-01

    The emergence of variant Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, following on from the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic, led to concerns about the potential risk of iatrogenic transmission of disease by blood transfusion and the introduction of costly control measures to protect blood supplies. We previously reported preliminary data demonstrating the transmission of BSE and natural scrapie by blood transfusion in sheep. The final results of this experiment, reported here, give unexpectedly ...

  2. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... Plan Long-Term Considerations Patient Support Finding Support Services Peer Support Groups Financial Assistance Support for My ... is Hepatic Encephalopathy? Why Your Liver is ...

  3. Region-specific protein misfolding cyclic amplification reproduces brain tropism of prion strains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Privat, Nicolas; Levavasseur, Etienne; Yildirim, Serfildan; Hannaoui, Samia; Brandel, Jean-Philippe; Laplanche, Jean-Louis; Béringue, Vincent; Seilhean, Danielle; Haïk, Stéphane

    2017-10-06

    Human prion diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease are transmissible brain proteinopathies, characterized by the accumulation of a misfolded isoform of the host cellular prion protein (PrP) in the brain. According to the prion model, prions are defined as proteinaceous infectious particles composed solely of this abnormal isoform of PrP (PrP Sc ). Even in the absence of genetic material, various prion strains can be propagated in experimental models. They can be distinguished by the pattern of disease they produce and especially by the localization of PrP Sc deposits within the brain and the spongiform lesions they induce. The mechanisms involved in this strain-specific targeting of distinct brain regions still are a fundamental, unresolved question in prion research. To address this question, we exploited a prion conversion in vitro assay, protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA), by using experimental scrapie and human prion strains as seeds and specific brain regions from mice and humans as substrates. We show here that region-specific PMCA in part reproduces the specific brain targeting observed in experimental, acquired, and sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob diseases. Furthermore, we provide evidence that, in addition to cellular prion protein, other region- and species-specific molecular factors influence the strain-dependent prion conversion process. This important step toward understanding prion strain propagation in the human brain may impact research on the molecular factors involved in protein misfolding and the development of ultrasensitive methods for diagnosing prion disease. © 2017 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  4. Characterisation of new monoclonal antibodies reacting with prions from both human and animal brain tissues

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hvass, Henriette Cordes; Bergström, Ann-Louise; Ohm, Jakob

    2008-01-01

    spongiform encephalopathy (bovine brain), scrapie (ovine brain) and experimental scrapie in hamster and in mice. The antibodies were also used for PET-blotting in which PrPSc blotted from brain tissue sections onto a nitrocellulose membrane is visualized with antibodies after protease and denaturant...

  5. Detection of the GPI-anchorless prion protein fragment PrP226* in human brain

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dvořáková, E.; Vranac, T.; Janoušková, Olga; Černilec, M.; Koren, S.; Lukan, A.; Nováková, J.; Matej, R.; Holada, K.; Čurin Šerbec, V.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 13, 25 September (2013), 126_1-126_12 ISSN 1471-2377 Institutional support: RVO:61389013 Keywords : transmissible spongiform encephalopathies * Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease * GSS Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology Impact factor: 2.486, year: 2013

  6. Early increase and late decrease of purkinje cell dendritic spine density in prion-infected organotypic mouse cerebellar cultures.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campeau, Jody L; Wu, Gengshu; Bell, John R; Rasmussen, Jay; Sim, Valerie L

    2013-01-01

    Prion diseases are infectious neurodegenerative diseases associated with the accumulation of protease-resistant prion protein, neuronal loss, spongiform change and astrogliosis. In the mouse model, the loss of dendritic spines is one of the earliest pathological changes observed in vivo, occurring 4-5 weeks after the first detection of protease-resistant prion protein in the brain. While there are cell culture models of prion infection, most do not recapitulate the neuropathology seen in vivo. Only the recently developed prion organotypic slice culture assay has been reported to undergo neuronal loss and the development of some aspects of prion pathology, namely small vacuolar degeneration and tubulovesicular bodies. Given the rapid replication of prions in this system, with protease-resistant prion protein detectable by 21 days, we investigated whether the dendritic spine loss and altered dendritic morphology seen in prion disease might also develop within the lifetime of this culture system. Indeed, six weeks after first detection of protease-resistant prion protein in tga20 mouse cerebellar slice cultures infected with RML prion strain, we found a statistically significant loss of Purkinje cell dendritic spines and altered dendritic morphology in infected cultures, analogous to that seen in vivo. In addition, we found a transient but statistically significant increase in Purkinje cell dendritic spine density during infection, at the time when protease-resistant prion protein was first detectable in culture. Our findings support the use of this slice culture system as one which recapitulates prion disease pathology and one which may facilitate study of the earliest stages of prion disease pathogenesis.

  7. Prions and prion-like proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraser, Paul E

    2014-07-18

    Prions are self-replicating protein aggregates and are the primary causative factor in a number of neurological diseases in mammals. The prion protein (PrP) undergoes a conformational transformation leading to aggregation into an infectious cellular pathogen. Prion-like protein spreading and transmission of aggregates between cells have also been demonstrated for other proteins associated with Alzheimer disease and Parkinson disease. This protein-only phenomenon may therefore have broader implications in neurodegenerative disorders. The minireviews in this thematic series highlight the recent advances in prion biology and the roles these unique proteins play in disease. © 2014 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  8. In vivo detection of prion amyloid plaques using [{sup 11}C]BF-227 PET

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Okamura, Nobuyuki; Yanai, Kazuhiko [Tohoku University School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, Sendai (Japan); Shiga, Yusei; Itoyama, Yasuhito [Tohoku University School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Sendai (Japan); Furumoto, Shozo [Tohoku University School of Medicine, Department of Pharmacology, Sendai (Japan); Tohoku University, Division of Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry, Cyclotron and Radioisotope Center, Sendai (Japan); Tashiro, Manabu [Tohoku University, Division of Cyclotron Nuclear Medicine, Cyclotron and Radioisotope Center, Sendai (Japan); Tsuboi, Yoshio [Fukuoka University School of Medicine, Department of Neurology, Fukuoka (Japan); Furukawa, Katsutoshi; Arai, Hiroyuki [Institute of Development, Aging, and Cancer, Tohoku University, Department of Geriatrics and Gerontology, Division of Brain Sciences, Sendai (Japan); Iwata, Ren [Tohoku University, Division of Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry, Cyclotron and Radioisotope Center, Sendai (Japan); Kudo, Yukitsuka [Tohoku University, Innovation of New Biomedical Engineering Center, Sendai (Japan); Doh-ura, Katsumi [Tohoku University School of Medicine, Department of Prion Research, 2-1 Seiryo-machi, Aoba-ku, Sendai (Japan)

    2010-05-15

    In vivo detection of pathological prion protein (PrP) in the brain is potentially useful for the diagnosis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). However, there are no non-invasive ante-mortem means for detection of pathological PrP deposition in the brain. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the amyloid imaging tracer BF-227 with positron emission tomography (PET) for the non-invasive detection of PrP amyloid in the brain. The binding ability of BF-227 to PrP amyloid was investigated using autoradiography and fluorescence microscopy. Five patients with TSEs, including three patients with Gerstmann-Straeussler-Scheinker disease (GSS) and two patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), underwent [{sup 11}C]BF-227 PET scans. Results were compared with data from 10 normal controls and 17 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The regional to pons standardized uptake value ratio was calculated as an index of BF-227 retention. Binding of BF-227 to PrP plaques was confirmed using brain samples from autopsy-confirmed GSS cases. In clinical PET study, significantly higher retention of BF-227 was detected in the cerebellum, thalamus and lateral temporal cortex of GSS patients compared to that in the corresponding tissues of normal controls. GSS patients also showed higher retention of BF-227 in the cerebellum, thalamus and medial temporal cortex compared to AD patients. In contrast, the two CJD patients showed no obvious retention of BF-227 in the brain. Although [{sup 11}C]BF-227 is a non-specific imaging marker of cerebral amyloidosis, it is useful for in vivo detection of PrP plaques in the human brain in GSS, based on the regional distribution of the tracer. PET amyloid imaging might provide a means for both early diagnosis and non-invasive disease monitoring of certain forms of TSEs. (orig.)

  9. In vivo detection of prion amyloid plaques using [11C]BF-227 PET

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Okamura, Nobuyuki; Yanai, Kazuhiko; Shiga, Yusei; Itoyama, Yasuhito; Furumoto, Shozo; Tashiro, Manabu; Tsuboi, Yoshio; Furukawa, Katsutoshi; Arai, Hiroyuki; Iwata, Ren; Kudo, Yukitsuka; Doh-ura, Katsumi

    2010-01-01

    In vivo detection of pathological prion protein (PrP) in the brain is potentially useful for the diagnosis of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). However, there are no non-invasive ante-mortem means for detection of pathological PrP deposition in the brain. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the amyloid imaging tracer BF-227 with positron emission tomography (PET) for the non-invasive detection of PrP amyloid in the brain. The binding ability of BF-227 to PrP amyloid was investigated using autoradiography and fluorescence microscopy. Five patients with TSEs, including three patients with Gerstmann-Straeussler-Scheinker disease (GSS) and two patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), underwent [ 11 C]BF-227 PET scans. Results were compared with data from 10 normal controls and 17 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD). The regional to pons standardized uptake value ratio was calculated as an index of BF-227 retention. Binding of BF-227 to PrP plaques was confirmed using brain samples from autopsy-confirmed GSS cases. In clinical PET study, significantly higher retention of BF-227 was detected in the cerebellum, thalamus and lateral temporal cortex of GSS patients compared to that in the corresponding tissues of normal controls. GSS patients also showed higher retention of BF-227 in the cerebellum, thalamus and medial temporal cortex compared to AD patients. In contrast, the two CJD patients showed no obvious retention of BF-227 in the brain. Although [ 11 C]BF-227 is a non-specific imaging marker of cerebral amyloidosis, it is useful for in vivo detection of PrP plaques in the human brain in GSS, based on the regional distribution of the tracer. PET amyloid imaging might provide a means for both early diagnosis and non-invasive disease monitoring of certain forms of TSEs. (orig.)

  10. Membrane toxicity of abnormal prion protein in adrenal chromaffin cells of scrapie infected sheep.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gillian McGovern

    Full Text Available Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs or prion diseases are associated with accumulations of disease specific PrP (PrP(d in the central nervous system (CNS and often the lymphoreticular system (LRS. Accumulations have additionally been recorded in other tissues including the peripheral nervous system and adrenal gland. Here we investigate the effect of sheep scrapie on the morphology and the accumulation of PrP(d in the adrenal medulla of scrapie affected sheep using light and electron microscopy. Using immunogold electron microscopy, non-fibrillar forms of PrP(d were shown to accumulate mainly in association with chromaffin cells, occasional nerve endings and macrophages. PrP(d accumulation was associated with distinctive membrane changes of chromaffin cells including increased electron density, abnormal linearity and invaginations. Internalisation of PrP(d from the chromaffin cell plasma membrane occurred in association with granule recycling following hormone exocytosis. PrP(d accumulation and internalisation from membranes is similarly associated with perturbations of membrane structure and trafficking in CNS neurons and tingible body macrophages of the LRS. These data suggest that a major toxic effect of PrP(d is at the level of plasma membranes. However, the precise nature of PrP(d-membrane toxicity is tissue and cell specific suggesting that the normal protein may act as a multi-functional scaffolding molecule. We further suggest that the co-localisation of PrP(d with exocytic granules of the hormone trafficking system may provide an additional source of infectivity in blood.

  11. Prions and lymphoid organs

    Science.gov (United States)

    O’Connor, Tracy; Aguzzi, Adriano

    2013-01-01

    Prion colonization of secondary lymphoid organs (SLOs) is a critical step preceding neuroinvasion in prion pathogenesis. Follicular dendritic cells (FDCs), which depend on both tumor necrosis factor receptor 1 (TNFR1) and lymphotoxin β receptor (LTβR) signaling for maintenance, are thought to be the primary sites of prion accumulation in SLOs. However, prion titers in RML-infected TNFR1−/− lymph nodes and rates of neuroinvasion in TNFR1−/− mice remain high despite the absence of mature FDCs. Recently, we discovered that TNFR1-independent prion accumulation in lymph nodes relies on LTβR signaling. Loss of LTβR signaling in TNFR1−/− lymph nodes coincided with the de-differentiation of high endothelial venules (HEVs)—the primary sites of lymphocyte entry into lymph nodes. These findings suggest that HEVs are the sites through which prions initially invade lymph nodes from the bloodstream. Identification of HEVs as entry portals for prions clarifies a number of previous observations concerning peripheral prion pathogenesis. However, a number of questions still remain: What is the mechanism by which prions are taken up by HEVs? Which cells are responsible for delivering prions to lymph nodes? Are HEVs the main entry site for prions into lymph nodes or do alternative routes also exist? These questions and others are considered in this article. PMID:23357827

  12. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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  13. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... your body when your liver isn’t working well, it may affect your brain and cause HE. ... it apparent that the liver is not doing well. These could be the symptoms of Hepatic Encephalopathy ( ...

  14. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... bad. It sends the good things – such as vitamins and nutrients – into your bloodstream for your body ... for Wife Joyce O. Caregiver for Mother Lynette K. Hepatic Encephalopathy Samantha W. Caregiver for Husband Stan ...

  15. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... Get Worse? How is HE Diagnosed? Prior to Treatment Who treats HE? Preparing for your Medical Appointment Hepatic Encephalopathy Treatment Options Treatment Basics Treatment Medications Importance of Adhering ...

  16. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... become familiar with the signs of Hepatic Encephalopathy so you can tell your doctor right away if ... with continuous treatment, HE can usually be controlled. So it’s important to tell your doctor about any ...

  17. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... build-up and painful swelling of the legs (edema) and abdomen (ascites) or hepatic encephalopathy. For more ... build up and painful swelling of the legs (edema) and abdomen (ascites) Bruising and bleeding easily Enlarged ...

  18. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... friend, spouse, life partner, parent, sibling or other family member. What is HE? Hepatic Encephalopathy, sometimes referred ... disease is. It’s important for you and your family to become familiar with the signs of Hepatic ...

  19. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... to Treatment Who treats HE? Preparing for your Medical Appointment Hepatic Encephalopathy Treatment Options Treatment Basics Treatment ... treatment. Being a fully-informed participant in your medical care is an important factor in staying as ...

  20. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... Hepatic Encephalopathy so you can tell your doctor right away if you think you may have it. ... American Liver Foundation © 2018 American Liver Foundation. All rights reserved. Funding for the HE123 - Diagnosis, Treatment and ...

  1. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... important for you and your family to become familiar with the signs of Hepatic Encephalopathy so you ... team evaluates the person’s overall physical and mental health, plan to pay for transplant related medical expenses, ...

  2. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... Symptoms to look for Caregiver Support Caregiver Stories Home › What is Hepatic Encephalopathy? Why Your Liver is ... questions about HE, one step at a time. Home About Us Ways to Give Contact Us Privacy ...

  3. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... responsible for the daily needs of another person. Caregivers can be a friend, spouse, life partner, parent, sibling or other family member. What is HE? Hepatic Encephalopathy, sometimes referred to as ...

  4. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... Patient Advisory Council Media Center Careers How You Can Help OVERVIEW Donate Now Join an Event Volunteer ... Hepatic Encephalopathy is a short-term problem that can be corrected . It may also occur as part ...

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    Full Text Available ... Your Story Spread the Word Give While You Shop Contact Us Donate Now Hepatic Encephalopathy Back Hepatic ... Your Story Spread the Word Give While You Shop Contact Us Donate Now Help ALF Improve This ...

  6. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... Related Liver Disease Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency Autoimmune Hepatitis Benign Liver Tumors Biliary Atresia Cirrhosis of the ... Disease Type 1 (von Gierke) Hemochromatosis Hepatic Encephalopathy Hepatitis A Hepatitis B Hepatitis C Intrahepatic Cholestasis of ...

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    Full Text Available ... People ALF Near You Events ALF Blogs Financial Information Policies Advocacy Patient Advisory Council Media Center Careers ... and abdomen (ascites) or hepatic encephalopathy. For more information about cirrhosis of the liver and symptoms, call ...

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  10. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... Hemochromatosis Hepatic Encephalopathy Hepatitis A Hepatitis B Hepatitis C Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) Jaundice In Newborns ... are the common causes of cirrhosis? Hepatitis B & C Alcohol-related Liver Disease Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver ...

  11. Unraveling Prion Protein Interactions with Aptamers and Other PrP-Binding Nucleic Acids.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macedo, Bruno; Cordeiro, Yraima

    2017-05-17

    Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a group of neurodegenerative disorders that affect humans and other mammals. The etiologic agents common to these diseases are misfolded conformations of the prion protein (PrP). The molecular mechanisms that trigger the structural conversion of the normal cellular PrP (PrP C ) into the pathogenic conformer (PrP Sc ) are still poorly understood. It is proposed that a molecular cofactor would act as a catalyst, lowering the activation energy of the conversion process, therefore favoring the transition of PrP C to PrP Sc . Several in vitro studies have described physical interactions between PrP and different classes of molecules, which might play a role in either PrP physiology or pathology. Among these molecules, nucleic acids (NAs) are highlighted as potential PrP molecular partners. In this context, the SELEX (Systematic Evolution of Ligands by Exponential Enrichment) methodology has proven extremely valuable to investigate PrP-NA interactions, due to its ability to select small nucleic acids, also termed aptamers, that bind PrP with high affinity and specificity. Aptamers are single-stranded DNA or RNA oligonucleotides that can be folded into a wide range of structures (from harpins to G-quadruplexes). They are selected from a nucleic acid pool containing a large number (10 14 -10 16 ) of random sequences of the same size (~20-100 bases). Aptamers stand out because of their potential ability to bind with different affinities to distinct conformations of the same protein target. Therefore, the identification of high-affinity and selective PrP ligands may aid the development of new therapies and diagnostic tools for TSEs. This review will focus on the selection of aptamers targeted against either full-length or truncated forms of PrP, discussing the implications that result from interactions of PrP with NAs, and their potential advances in the studies of prions. We will also provide a critical evaluation

  12. Immunology of Prion Protein and Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabbott, Neil A

    2017-01-01

    Many natural prion diseases are acquired peripherally, such as following the oral consumption of contaminated food or pasture. After peripheral exposure many prion isolates initially accumulate to high levels within the host's secondary lymphoid tissues. The replication of prions within these tissues is essential for their efficient spread to the brain where they ultimately cause neurodegeneration. This chapter describes our current understanding of the critical tissues, cells, and molecules which the prions exploit to mediate their efficient propagation from the site of exposure (such as the intestine) to the brain. Interactions between the immune system and prions are not only restricted to the secondary lymphoid tissues. Therefore, an account of how the activation status of the microglial in the brain can also influence progression of prion disease pathogenesis is provided. Prion disease susceptibility may also be influenced by additional factors such as chronic inflammation, coinfection with other pathogens, and aging. Finally, the potential for immunotherapy to provide a means of safe and effective prophylactic or therapeutic intervention in these currently untreatable diseases is considered. © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  13. Porcine prion protein amyloid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammarström, Per; Nyström, Sofie

    2015-01-01

    Mammalian prions are composed of misfolded aggregated prion protein (PrP) with amyloid-like features. Prions are zoonotic disease agents that infect a wide variety of mammalian species including humans. Mammals and by-products thereof which are frequently encountered in daily life are most important for human health. It is established that bovine prions (BSE) can infect humans while there is no such evidence for any other prion susceptible species in the human food chain (sheep, goat, elk, deer) and largely prion resistant species (pig) or susceptible and resistant pets (cat and dogs, respectively). PrPs from these species have been characterized using biochemistry, biophysics and neurobiology. Recently we studied PrPs from several mammals in vitro and found evidence for generic amyloidogenicity as well as cross-seeding fibril formation activity of all PrPs on the human PrP sequence regardless if the original species was resistant or susceptible to prion disease. Porcine PrP amyloidogenicity was among the studied. Experimentally inoculated pigs as well as transgenic mouse lines overexpressing porcine PrP have, in the past, been used to investigate the possibility of prion transmission in pigs. The pig is a species with extraordinarily wide use within human daily life with over a billion pigs harvested for human consumption each year. Here we discuss the possibility that the largely prion disease resistant pig can be a clinically silent carrier of replicating prions.

  14. Caprine prion genen polymorphisms are associated with decreased incidence of classical scrapie in goat herds in the United Kingdom.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Goldmann, W.; Ryan, K.; Stewart, P.; Parnham, D.; Xicohtencatl, R.; Fernandez, N.; Saunders, G.; Windl, O.; Gonzalez, L.; Bossers, A.

    2011-01-01

    The application of genetic breeding programmes to eradicate transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in goats is an important aim for reasons of animal welfare as well as human food safety and food security. Based on the positive impact of Prnp genetics on sheep scrapie in Europe in the past

  15. Resistance to classical scrapie in experimentally challenged goats carrying mutation K222 of the prion protein gene

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Acutis Pier Luigi

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Susceptibility of sheep to scrapie, a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of small ruminants, is strongly influenced by polymorphisms of the prion protein gene (PRNP. Breeding programs have been implemented to increase scrapie resistance in sheep populations; though desirable, a similar approach has not yet been applied in goats. European studies have now suggested that several polymorphisms can modulate scrapie susceptibility in goats: in particular, PRNP variant K222 has been associated with resistance in case-control studies in Italy, France and Greece. In this study we investigated the resistance conferred by this variant using a natural Italian goat scrapie isolate to intracerebrally challenge five goats carrying genotype Q/Q 222 (wild type and five goats carrying genotype Q/K 222. By the end of the study, all five Q/Q 222 goats had died of scrapie after a mean incubation period of 19 months; one of the five Q/K 222 goats died after 24 months, while the other four were alive and apparently healthy up to the end of the study at 4.5 years post-challenge. All five of these animals were found to be scrapie negative. Statistical analysis showed that the probability of survival of the Q/K 222 goats versus the Q/Q 222 goats was significantly higher (p = 0.002. Our study shows that PRNP gene mutation K222 is strongly associated with resistance to classical scrapie also in experimental conditions, making it a potentially positive target for selection in the frame of breeding programs for resistance to classical scrapie in goats.

  16. Lack of prion accumulation in lymphoid tissues of PRNP ARQ/ARR sheep intracranially inoculated with the agent of scrapie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Greenlee, Justin J; Kunkle, Robert A; Richt, Jürgen A; Nicholson, Eric M; Hamir, Amir N

    2014-01-01

    Sheep scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy that can be transmitted horizontally. The prion protein gene (PRNP) profoundly influences the susceptibility of sheep to the scrapie agent and the tissue levels and distribution of PrPSc in affected sheep. The purpose of this study was to compare the survival time and PrPSc tissue distribution in sheep with highly resistant and highly susceptible PRNP genotypes after intracranial inoculation of the agent of scrapie. Five sheep each of genotype VRQ/VRQ, VRQ/ARR or ARQ/ARR were inoculated. Sheep were euthanized when clinical signs of scrapie became severe. Clinical signs, microscopic lesions, and western blot profiles were uniform across genotypes and consistent with manifestations of classical scrapie. Mean survival time differences were associated with the 171 polymorphic site with VRQ/VRQ sheep surviving 18 months, whereas VRQ/ARR and ARQ/ARR sheep survived 60 and 56 months, respectively. Labeling of PrPSc by immunohistochemistry revealed similar accumulations in central nervous system tissues regardless of host genotype. Immunoreactivity for PrPSc in lymphoid tissue was consistently abundant in VRQ/VRQ, present but confined to tonsil or retropharyngeal lymph node in 4/5 VRQ/ARR, and totally absent in ARQ/ARR sheep. The results of this study demonstrate the susceptibility of sheep with the ARQ/ARR genotype to scrapie by the intracranial inoculation route with PrPSc accumulation in CNS tissues, but prolonged incubation times and lack of PrPSc in lymphoid tissue.

  17. Hepatic Encephalopathy

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    Full Text Available ... 1 (von Gierke) Hemochromatosis Hepatic Encephalopathy Hepatitis A Hepatitis B Hepatitis C Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy (ICP) Jaundice ... diseases. What are the common causes of cirrhosis? Hepatitis B & C Alcohol-related Liver Disease Non-alcoholic Fatty ...

  18. Hepatic Encephalopathy

    Medline Plus

    Full Text Available ... of brain function in people with advanced liver disease. When your liver is damaged it can no longer remove toxic substances from your blood. These toxins build up and can travel through your body until they reach your brain, causing mental and physical symptoms of HE. Hepatic Encephalopathy often ...

  19. Toxic spongiform leucoencephalopathy after inhaling heroin vapour

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weber, W.; Henkes, H.; Kuehne, D. [Klinik fuer Allgemeine Roentgendiagnostik und Neuroradiologie, Alfried-Krupp-Krankenhaus, Alfried Krupp Strasse 21, D-45117, Essen (Germany); Moeller, P.; Bade, K. [Neurologische Klinik, Knappschafts-Krankenhaus, D-45657 Recklinghausen (Germany)

    1998-06-02

    This is a report of clinical, CT and MRI findings in a patient with toxic spongiform leucoencephalopathy after heroin ingestion. The disease is observed in drug addicts who inhale pre-heated heroin. The clinical onset, which usually occurs some days or even longer after the last heroin consumption, is characterized by a cerebellar syndrome. The cerebellar hemispheres, the cerebellar and cerebral peduncles and the pyramidal tract may be affected. Spongiform demyelination is the morphological substrate of the lesions, which are not contrast enhancing, hypodense on CT and hyperintense on T2-weighted MRI. The frequently perfect symmetry of the affection of functional systems points to a toxic and/or metabolic pathophysiological mechanism. (orig.) With 2 figs., 2 tabs., 26 refs.

  20. Toxic spongiform leucoencephalopathy after inhaling heroin vapour

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weber, W.; Henkes, H.; Kuehne, D.; Moeller, P.; Bade, K.

    1998-01-01

    This is a report of clinical, CT and MRI findings in a patient with toxic spongiform leucoencephalopathy after heroin ingestion. The disease is observed in drug addicts who inhale pre-heated heroin. The clinical onset, which usually occurs some days or even longer after the last heroin consumption, is characterized by a cerebellar syndrome. The cerebellar hemispheres, the cerebellar and cerebral peduncles and the pyramidal tract may be affected. Spongiform demyelination is the morphological substrate of the lesions, which are not contrast enhancing, hypodense on CT and hyperintense on T2-weighted MRI. The frequently perfect symmetry of the affection of functional systems points to a toxic and/or metabolic pathophysiological mechanism. (orig.)

  1. An acoustic prion assay

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gordon Hayward

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available An acoustic prion assay has been demonstrated for sheep brain samples. Only five false positives and no false negatives were observed in a test of 45 positive and 45 negative samples. The acoustic prion sensor was constructed using a thickness shear mode quartz resonator coated with a covalently bound recombinant prion protein. The characteristic indicator of a scrapie infected sheep brain sample was an observed shoulder in the frequency decrease in response to a sample.The response of the sensor aligns with a conformational shift in the surface protein and with the propagation mechanism of the disease. This alignment is evident in the response timing and shape, dependence on concentration, cross species behaviour and impact of blood plasma. This alignment is far from sufficient to prove the mechanism of the sensor but it does offer the possibility of a rapid and inexpensive additional tool to explore prion disease. Keywords: Prions, Thickness shear mode quartz sensor

  2. Hashimoto's encephalopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Montagna, Giacomo; Imperiali, Mauro; Agazzi, Pamela

    2016-01-01

    Hashimoto's encephalopathy (HE) is a rare not well understood, progressive and relapsing multiform disease, characterized by seizures, movement disorders, subacute cognitive dysfunction, psychiatric symptoms and responsiveness to steroid therapy. The disorder is generally associated with thyroid ...... diseases and the most common feature is the presence of anti-thyroperoxidase antibodies (TPOAb). Patients are usually euthyroid or mildly hypothyroid at presentation. All age groups can be affected. The pathophysiology is still unclear, especially the link between elevated serum TPOAb...... and the encephalopathy. Most reported cases occurred in women and girls. Unspecific symptoms, non-pathognomonic laboratory neurophysiology and neuroimaging features make its diagnosis a real challenge for clinicians.The case of a 16 year old boy, with a clinical picture of HE associated with hypothyroidism...

  3. Accumulation and dissemination of prion protein in experimental sheep scrapie in the natural host

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Warner Richard

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background In order to study the sites of uptake and mechanisms of dissemination of scrapie prions in the natural host under controlled conditions, lambs aged 14 days and homozygous for the VRQ allele of the PrP gene were infected by the oral route. Infection occurred in all lambs with a remarkably short and highly consistent incubation period of approximately 6 months. Challenge of lambs at approximately eight months of age resulted in disease in all animals, but with more variable incubation periods averaging significantly longer than those challenged at 14 days. This model provides an excellent system in which to study the disease in the natural host by virtue of the relatively short incubation period and close resemblance to natural infection. Results Multiple sites of prion uptake were identified, of which the most important was the Peyer's patch of the distal ileum. Neuroinvasion was detected initially in the enteric nervous system prior to infection of the central nervous system. At end stage disease prion accumulation was widespread throughout the entire neuraxis, but vacuolar pathology was absent in most animals that developed disease at 6–7 months of age. Conclusion Initial spread of detectable PrP was consistent with drainage in afferent lymph to dependent lymph nodes. Subsequent accumulation of prions in lymphoid tissue not associated with the gut is consistent with haematogenous spread. In addition to macrophages and follicular dendritic cells, prion containing cells consistent with afferent lymph dendritic cells were identified and are suggested as a likely vehicle for carriage of prions from initial site of uptake to the lymphoreticular system, and as potential carriers of prion protein in blood. It is apparent that spongiform change, the characteristic lesion of scrapie and other prion diseases, is not responsible for the clinical signs in sheep, but may develop in an age dependent manner.

  4. Yeast prions: structure, biology, and prion-handling systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickner, Reed B; Shewmaker, Frank P; Bateman, David A; Edskes, Herman K; Gorkovskiy, Anton; Dayani, Yaron; Bezsonov, Evgeny E

    2015-03-01

    A prion is an infectious protein horizontally transmitting a disease or trait without a required nucleic acid. Yeast and fungal prions are nonchromosomal genes composed of protein, generally an altered form of a protein that catalyzes the same alteration of the protein. Yeast prions are thus transmitted both vertically (as genes composed of protein) and horizontally (as infectious proteins, or prions). Formation of amyloids (linear ordered β-sheet-rich protein aggregates with β-strands perpendicular to the long axis of the filament) underlies most yeast and fungal prions, and a single prion protein can have any of several distinct self-propagating amyloid forms with different biological properties (prion variants). Here we review the mechanism of faithful templating of protein conformation, the biological roles of these prions, and their interactions with cellular chaperones, the Btn2 and Cur1 aggregate-handling systems, and other cellular factors governing prion generation and propagation. Human amyloidoses include the PrP-based prion conditions and many other, more common amyloid-based diseases, several of which show prion-like features. Yeast prions increasingly are serving as models for the understanding and treatment of many mammalian amyloidoses. Patients with different clinical pictures of the same amyloidosis may be the equivalent of yeasts with different prion variants. Copyright © 2015, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  5. Antemortem detection of chronic wasting disease prions in nasal brush collections and rectal biopsies from white-tailed deer by real time quaking-induced conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cervids, was first documented nearly fifty years ago in Colorado and Wyoming and has since spread to cervids in 23 states, 2 Canadian provinces, and the Republic of Korea. The increasing expansion of this disease makes the d...

  6. Etiologic and diagnostic facets of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: The effect of genes and environment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    P.J. Sánchez-Juan

    2007-01-01

    textabstractTransmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) or prion diseases constitute a fascinating group of neurological disorders. In spite of their rarity, their unique etiopathological mechanisms and epidemiological aspects have attracted a considerable number of researchers. This

  7. Seeded amplification of chronic wasting disease prions in nasal brushings and recto-anal mucosal associated lymphoid tissues from elk by real time quaking-induced conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haley, Nicholas J.; Siepker, Chris; Hoon-Hanks , Laura L.; Mitchell, Gordon; Walter, W. David; Manca, Matteo; Monello, Ryan J.; Powers, Jenny G.; Wild, Margaret A.; Hoover, Edward A.; Caughey, Byron; Richt, Jürgen a.; Fenwick, B.W.

    2016-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cervids, was first documented nearly 50 years ago in Colorado and Wyoming and has since been detected across North America and the Republic of Korea. The expansion of this disease makes the development of sensitive diagnostic assays and antemortem sampling techniques crucial for the mitigation of its spread; this is especially true in cases of relocation/reintroduction or prevalence studies of large or protected herds, where depopulation may be contraindicated. This study evaluated the sensitivity of the real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay of recto-anal mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (RAMALT) biopsy specimens and nasal brushings collected antemortem. These findings were compared to results of immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis of ante- and postmortem samples. RAMALT samples were collected from populations of farmed and free-ranging Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni; n = 323), and nasal brush samples were collected from a subpopulation of these animals (n = 205). We hypothesized that the sensitivity of RT-QuIC would be comparable to that of IHC analysis of RAMALT and would correspond to that of IHC analysis of postmortem tissues. We found RAMALT sensitivity (77.3%) to be highly correlative between RT-QuIC and IHC analysis. Sensitivity was lower when testing nasal brushings (34%), though both RAMALT and nasal brush test sensitivities were dependent on both the PRNP genotype and disease progression determined by the obex score. These data suggest that RT-QuIC, like IHC analysis, is a relatively sensitive assay for detection of CWD prions in RAMALT biopsy specimens and, with further investigation, has potential for large-scale and rapid automated testing of antemortem samples for CWD.

  8. Prion protein gene variability in Spanish goats. Inference through susceptibility to classical scrapie strains and pathogenic distribution of peripheral PrP(sc..

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Acín

    Full Text Available Classical scrapie is a neurological disorder of the central nervous system (CNS characterized by the accumulation of an abnormal, partially protease resistant prion protein (PrP(sc in the CNS and in some peripheral tissues in domestic small ruminants. Whereas the pathological changes and genetic susceptibility of ovine scrapie are well known, caprine scrapie has been less well studied. We report here a pathological study of 13 scrapie-affected goats diagnosed in Spain during the last 9 years. We used immunohistochemical and biochemical techniques to discriminate between classical and atypical scrapie and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE. All the animals displayed PrP(sc distribution patterns and western blot characteristics compatible with classical scrapie. In addition, we determined the complete open reading frame sequence of the PRNP in these scrapie-affected animals. The polymorphisms observed were compared with those of the herd mates (n = 665 and with the frequencies of healthy herds (n = 581 of native Spanish goats (Retinta, Pirenaica and Moncaina and other worldwide breeds reared in Spain (Saanen, Alpine and crossbreed. In total, sixteen polymorphic sites were identified, including the known amino acid substitutions at codons G37V, G127S, M137I, I142M, H143R, R151H, R154H, R211Q, Q222K, G232W, and P240S, and new polymorphisms at codons G74D, M112T, R139S, L141F and Q215R. In addition, the known 42, 138 and 179 silent mutations were detected, and one new one is reported at codon 122. The genetic differences observed in the population studied have been attributed to breed and most of the novel polymorphic codons show frequencies lower than 5%. This work provides the first basis of polymorphic distribution of PRNP in native and worldwide goat breeds reared in Spain.

  9. PrionHome: a database of prions and other sequences relevant to prion phenomena.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Djamel Harbi

    Full Text Available Prions are units of propagation of an altered state of a protein or proteins; prions can propagate from organism to organism, through cooption of other protein copies. Prions contain no necessary nucleic acids, and are important both as both pathogenic agents, and as a potential force in epigenetic phenomena. The original prions were derived from a misfolded form of the mammalian Prion Protein PrP. Infection by these prions causes neurodegenerative diseases. Other prions cause non-Mendelian inheritance in budding yeast, and sometimes act as diseases of yeast. We report the bioinformatic construction of the PrionHome, a database of >2000 prion-related sequences. The data was collated from various public and private resources and filtered for redundancy. The data was then processed according to a transparent classification system of prionogenic sequences (i.e., sequences that can make prions, prionoids (i.e., proteins that propagate like prions between individual cells, and other prion-related phenomena. There are eight PrionHome classifications for sequences. The first four classifications are derived from experimental observations: prionogenic sequences, prionoids, other prion-related phenomena, and prion interactors. The second four classifications are derived from sequence analysis: orthologs, paralogs, pseudogenes, and candidate-prionogenic sequences. Database entries list: supporting information for PrionHome classifications, prion-determinant areas (where relevant, and disordered and compositionally-biased regions. Also included are literature references for the PrionHome classifications, transcripts and genomic coordinates, and structural data (including comparative models made for the PrionHome from manually curated alignments. We provide database usage examples for both vertebrate and fungal prion contexts. Using the database data, we have performed a detailed analysis of the compositional biases in known budding-yeast prionogenic

  10. PrionHome: a database of prions and other sequences relevant to prion phenomena.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harbi, Djamel; Parthiban, Marimuthu; Gendoo, Deena M A; Ehsani, Sepehr; Kumar, Manish; Schmitt-Ulms, Gerold; Sowdhamini, Ramanathan; Harrison, Paul M

    2012-01-01

    Prions are units of propagation of an altered state of a protein or proteins; prions can propagate from organism to organism, through cooption of other protein copies. Prions contain no necessary nucleic acids, and are important both as both pathogenic agents, and as a potential force in epigenetic phenomena. The original prions were derived from a misfolded form of the mammalian Prion Protein PrP. Infection by these prions causes neurodegenerative diseases. Other prions cause non-Mendelian inheritance in budding yeast, and sometimes act as diseases of yeast. We report the bioinformatic construction of the PrionHome, a database of >2000 prion-related sequences. The data was collated from various public and private resources and filtered for redundancy. The data was then processed according to a transparent classification system of prionogenic sequences (i.e., sequences that can make prions), prionoids (i.e., proteins that propagate like prions between individual cells), and other prion-related phenomena. There are eight PrionHome classifications for sequences. The first four classifications are derived from experimental observations: prionogenic sequences, prionoids, other prion-related phenomena, and prion interactors. The second four classifications are derived from sequence analysis: orthologs, paralogs, pseudogenes, and candidate-prionogenic sequences. Database entries list: supporting information for PrionHome classifications, prion-determinant areas (where relevant), and disordered and compositionally-biased regions. Also included are literature references for the PrionHome classifications, transcripts and genomic coordinates, and structural data (including comparative models made for the PrionHome from manually curated alignments). We provide database usage examples for both vertebrate and fungal prion contexts. Using the database data, we have performed a detailed analysis of the compositional biases in known budding-yeast prionogenic sequences, showing

  11. Incunabular Immunological Events in Prion Trafficking

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michel, Brady; Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Johnson, Theodore; Ferguson, Adam; Wyckoff, Christy; Pulford, Bruce; Bender, Heather; Avery, Anne; Telling, Glenn; Dow, Steven; Zabel, Mark D.

    2012-01-01

    While prions probably interact with the innate immune system immediately following infection, little is known about this initial confrontation. Here we investigated incunabular events in lymphotropic and intranodal prion trafficking by following highly enriched, fluorescent prions from infection sites to draining lymph nodes. We detected biphasic lymphotropic transport of prions from the initial entry site upon peripheral prion inoculation. Prions arrived in draining lymph nodes cell autonomously within two hours of intraperitoneal administration. Monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs) required Complement for optimal prion delivery to lymph nodes hours later in a second wave of prion trafficking. B cells constituted the majority of prion-bearing cells in the mediastinal lymph node by six hours, indicating intranodal prion reception from resident DCs or subcapsulary sinus macrophages or directly from follicular conduits. These data reveal novel, cell autonomous prion lymphotropism, and a prominent role for B cells in intranodal prion movement. PMID:22679554

  12. MRI of neonatal encephalopathy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khong, P.L.; Lam, B.C.C.; Tung, H.K.S.; Wong, V.; Chan, F.L.; Ooi, G.C.

    2003-01-01

    We present the magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings in neonatal encephalopathy, including hypoxic-ischaemic encephalopathy, perinatal/neonatal stroke, metabolic encephalopathy from inborn errors of metabolism, congenital central nervous system infections and birth trauma. The applications of advanced MRI techniques, such as diffusion-weighted imaging and magnetic resonance spectroscopy are emphasized

  13. Coexistence of protease sensitive and resistant prion protein in 129VV homozygous sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease: a case report

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodríguez-Martínez Ana B

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Introduction The coexistence of different molecular types of classical protease-resistant prion protein in the same individual have been described, however, the simultaneous finding of these with the recently described protease-sensitive variant or variably protease-sensitive prionopathy has, to the best of our knowledge, not yet been reported. Case presentation A 74-year-old Caucasian woman showed a sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease clinical phenotype with reactive depression, followed by cognitive impairment, akinetic-rigid Parkinsonism with pseudobulbar syndrome and gait impairment with motor apraxia, visuospatial disorientation, and evident frontal dysfunction features such as grasping, palmomental reflex and brisk perioral reflexes. She died at age 77. Neuropathological findings showed: spongiform change in the patient’s cerebral cortex, striatum, thalamus and molecular layer of the cerebellum with proteinase K-sensitive synaptic-like, dot-like or target-like prion protein deposition in the cortex, thalamus and striatum; proteinase K-resistant prion protein in the same regions; and elongated plaque-like proteinase K-resistant prion protein in the molecular layer of the cerebellum. Molecular analysis of prion protein after proteinase K digestion revealed decreased signal intensity in immunoblot, a ladder-like protein pattern, and a 71% reduction of PrPSc signal relative to non-digested material. Her cerebellum showed a 2A prion protein type largely resistant to proteinase K. Genotype of polymorphism at codon 129 was valine homozygous. Conclusion Molecular typing of prion protein along with clinical and neuropathological data revealed, to the best of our knowledge, the first case of the coexistence of different protease-sensitive prion proteins in the same patient in a rare case that did not fulfill the current clinical diagnostic criteria for either probable or possible sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. This highlights the

  14. Prion Protein and Aging

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa eGasperini

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The cellular prion protein (PrPC has been widely investigated ever since its conformational isoform, the prion (or PrPSc, was identified as the etiological agent of prion disorders. The high homology shared by the PrPC-encoding gene among mammals, its high turnover rate and expression in every tissue strongly suggest that PrPC may possess key physiological functions. Therefore, defining PrPC roles, properties and fate in the physiology of mammalian cells would be fundamental to understand its pathological involvement in prion diseases. Since the incidence of these neurodegenerative disorders is enhanced in aging, understanding PrPC functions in this life phase may be of crucial importance. Indeed, a large body of evidence suggests that PrPC plays a neuroprotective and antioxidant role. Moreover, it has been suggested that PrPC is involved in Alzheimer disease, another neurodegenerative pathology that develops predominantly in the aging population. In prion diseases, PrPC function is likely lost upon protein aggregation occurring in the course of the disease. Additionally, the aging process may alter PrPC biochemical properties, thus influencing its propensity to convert into PrPSc. Both phenomena may contribute to the disease development and progression. In Alzheimer disease, PrPC has a controversial role because its presence seems to mediate β-amyloid toxicity, while its down-regulation correlates with neuronal death. The role of PrPC in aging has been investigated from different perspectives, often leading to contrasting results. The putative protein functions in aging have been studied in relation to memory, behavior and myelin maintenance. In aging mice, PrPC changes in subcellular localization and post-translational modifications have been explored in an attempt to relate them to different protein roles and propensity to convert into PrPSc. Here we provide an overview of the most relevant studies attempting to delineate PrPC functions and

  15. Pathogenesis of Hepatic Encephalopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irena Ciećko-Michalska

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Hepatic encephalopathy can be a serious complication of acute liver failure and chronic liver diseases, predominantly liver cirrhosis. Hyperammonemia plays the most important role in the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy. The brain-blood barrier disturbances, changes in neurotransmission, neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, GABA-ergic or benzodiazepine pathway abnormalities, manganese neurotoxicity, brain energetic disturbances, and brain blood flow abnormalities are considered to be involved in the development of hepatic encephalopathy. The influence of small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO on the induction of minimal hepatic encephalopathy is recently emphasized. The aim of this paper is to present the current views on the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy.

  16. Pathogenesis of Hepatic Encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciećko-Michalska, Irena; Szczepanek, Małgorzata; Słowik, Agnieszka; Mach, Tomasz

    2012-01-01

    Hepatic encephalopathy can be a serious complication of acute liver failure and chronic liver diseases, predominantly liver cirrhosis. Hyperammonemia plays the most important role in the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy. The brain-blood barrier disturbances, changes in neurotransmission, neuroinflammation, oxidative stress, GABA-ergic or benzodiazepine pathway abnormalities, manganese neurotoxicity, brain energetic disturbances, and brain blood flow abnormalities are considered to be involved in the development of hepatic encephalopathy. The influence of small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) on the induction of minimal hepatic encephalopathy is recently emphasized. The aim of this paper is to present the current views on the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy. PMID:23316223

  17. Genes contributing to prion pathogenesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tamgüney, Gültekin; Giles, Kurt; Glidden, David V

    2008-01-01

    incubation times, indicating that the conversion reaction may be influenced by other gene products. To identify genes that contribute to prion pathogenesis, we analysed incubation times of prions in mice in which the gene product was inactivated, knocked out or overexpressed. We tested 20 candidate genes...... show that many genes previously implicated in prion replication have no discernible effect on the pathogenesis of prion disease. While most genes tested did not significantly affect survival times, ablation of the amyloid beta (A4) precursor protein (App) or interleukin-1 receptor, type I (Il1r1...

  18. Protease-sensitive synthetic prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David W Colby

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Prions arise when the cellular prion protein (PrP(C undergoes a self-propagating conformational change; the resulting infectious conformer is designated PrP(Sc. Frequently, PrP(Sc is protease-resistant but protease-sensitive (s prions have been isolated in humans and other animals. We report here that protease-sensitive, synthetic prions were generated in vitro during polymerization of recombinant (rec PrP into amyloid fibers. In 22 independent experiments, recPrP amyloid preparations, but not recPrP monomers or oligomers, transmitted disease to transgenic mice (n = 164, denoted Tg9949 mice, that overexpress N-terminally truncated PrP. Tg9949 control mice (n = 174 did not spontaneously generate prions although they were prone to late-onset spontaneous neurological dysfunction. When synthetic prion isolates from infected Tg9949 mice were serially transmitted in the same line of mice, they exhibited sPrP(Sc and caused neurodegeneration. Interestingly, these protease-sensitive prions did not shorten the life span of Tg9949 mice despite causing extensive neurodegeneration. We inoculated three synthetic prion isolates into Tg4053 mice that overexpress full-length PrP; Tg4053 mice are not prone to developing spontaneous neurological dysfunction. The synthetic prion isolates caused disease in 600-750 days in Tg4053 mice, which exhibited sPrP(Sc. These novel synthetic prions demonstrate that conformational changes in wild-type PrP can produce mouse prions composed exclusively of sPrP(Sc.

  19. Seeded Amplification of Chronic Wasting Disease Prions in Nasal Brushings and Recto-anal Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissues from Elk by Real-Time Quaking-Induced Conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haley, Nicholas J; Siepker, Chris; Hoon-Hanks, Laura L; Mitchell, Gordon; Walter, W David; Manca, Matteo; Monello, Ryan J; Powers, Jenny G; Wild, Margaret A; Hoover, Edward A; Caughey, Byron; Richt, Jürgen A

    2016-04-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cervids, was first documented nearly 50 years ago in Colorado and Wyoming and has since been detected across North America and the Republic of Korea. The expansion of this disease makes the development of sensitive diagnostic assays and antemortem sampling techniques crucial for the mitigation of its spread; this is especially true in cases of relocation/reintroduction or prevalence studies of large or protected herds, where depopulation may be contraindicated. This study evaluated the sensitivity of the real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay of recto-anal mucosa-associated lymphoid tissue (RAMALT) biopsy specimens and nasal brushings collected antemortem. These findings were compared to results of immunohistochemistry (IHC) analysis of ante- and postmortem samples. RAMALT samples were collected from populations of farmed and free-ranging Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni;n= 323), and nasal brush samples were collected from a subpopulation of these animals (n= 205). We hypothesized that the sensitivity of RT-QuIC would be comparable to that of IHC analysis of RAMALT and would correspond to that of IHC analysis of postmortem tissues. We found RAMALT sensitivity (77.3%) to be highly correlative between RT-QuIC and IHC analysis. Sensitivity was lower when testing nasal brushings (34%), though both RAMALT and nasal brush test sensitivities were dependent on both thePRNPgenotype and disease progression determined by the obex score. These data suggest that RT-QuIC, like IHC analysis, is a relatively sensitive assay for detection of CWD prions in RAMALT biopsy specimens and, with further investigation, has potential for large-scale and rapid automated testing of antemortem samples for CWD. Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

  20. High prevalence of a fungal prion

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Debets, A.J.M.; Dalstra, H.J.P.; Slakhorst, S.M.; Koopmanschap-Memelink, A.B.; Hoekstra, R.F.; Saupe, S.J.

    2012-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins that cause fatal diseases in mammals. Prions have also been found in fungi, but studies on their role in nature are scarce. The proposed biological function of fungal prions is debated and varies from detrimental to benign or even beneficial. [Het-s] is a prion of the

  1. The many shades of prion strain adaptation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baskakov, Ilia V

    2014-01-01

    In several recent studies transmissible prion disease was induced in animals by inoculation with recombinant prion protein amyloid fibrils produced in vitro. Serial transmission of amyloid fibrils gave rise to a new class of prion strains of synthetic origin. Gradual transformation of disease phenotypes and PrP(Sc) properties was observed during serial transmission of synthetic prions, a process that resembled the phenomenon of prion strain adaptation. The current article discusses the remarkable parallels between phenomena of prion strain adaptation that accompanies cross-species transmission and the evolution of synthetic prions occurring within the same host. Two alternative mechanisms underlying prion strain adaptation and synthetic strain evolution are discussed. The current article highlights the complexity of the prion transmission barrier and strain adaptation and proposes that the phenomenon of prion adaptation is more common than previously thought.

  2. 77 FR 15847 - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Importation of Bovines and Bovine Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-16

    ... first United Kingdom pathogenesis studies involved 30 animals, each of which received a single dose of... Vol. 77 Friday, No. 52 March 16, 2012 Part II Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health... / Proposed Rules#0;#0; [[Page 15848

  3. 78 FR 72979 - Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy; Importation of Bovines and Bovine Products

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-04

    .... APHIS notes that those countries where cattle are primarily raised on grass, such as Argentina and... breeding loans because they cannot get them back. The commenter stated that zoo ruminants have no history... ruminant populations. The commenter is incorrect that zoo ruminants have no history of BSE. BSE has been...

  4. 78 FR 72859 - Concurrence With OIE Risk Designations for Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-12-04

    .../Commercial Delivery: Send your comment to Docket No. APHIS-2013-0064, Regulatory Analysis and Development... Building, 14th Street and Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC. Normal reading room hours are 8 a.m. to.../Internationa_Standard_Setting/docs/pdf/SCAD/A_SCAD_fev2007.pdf (page 24--under Chinese Taipei). After reviewing...

  5. Animal Meal: Production and Determination in Feedstuffs and the Origin of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hahn, Heinz

    This contribution examines what animal meal is, how it is produced in rendering plants, and means of investigating feedstuff constituents. In addition to animal meal, numerous other products of animal origin are also on the market (e.g., blood meal, bone meal, feather meal, gelatin). Constituents of animal origin can be detected in feedstuffs by microscopy, but determining the animal species from which the constituents are derived, as required by law in Germany, requires methods such as enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and polymerase chain reaction. We consider the problem of trace contamination being introduced accidentally during the production of ruminants' feedstuffs containing constituents of animal origin. The future of animal meal is discussed together with alternatives for disposing of animal carcasses and slaughtery offal, i.e., composting and incineration.

  6. A case of spongiform polioencephalomyelopathy in a cat with a history of behavioural problems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomàs Camps

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A 7-month-old, entire female, domestic shorthair cat was referred to our behavioural service owing to soiling in the house and a play-related problem. The owners’ complaints were that the cat had never used the litter tray, and it did not know how to play. After reviewing the behavioural history, a problem of substrate preferences acquisition was suspected with regard to the elimination problem. During the consultation, the physical examination was unremarkable, but the neurological examination revealed a moderate and hypermetric ataxic gait, and a bilateral lack of menace response. Some degree of visual impairment was suspected. The problem was located in the central nervous system (CNS; specifically, an intracranial and multifocal problem was diagnosed. After a complete work-up (complete ophthalmological examination, complete blood count and a complete biochemistry panel, feline immunodeficiency virus/feline leukaemia virus test, thorax radiographs, abdominal ultrasound, brain magnetic resonance imaging [0.2 T], cerebrospinal fluid analysis and a urinary metabolic screen test, a degenerative CNS problem was suspected. No treatment was prescribed for the neurological problem. Regarding the problem of soiling in the house, reward-based training with a clicker was used, and the cat partially improved in a few weeks. Three months later, the cat was referred to the neurology service in status epilepticus. A symptomatic treatment was prescribed, with a mild response. After 2 years of treatment and a progressive worsening, the cat was euthanased. Necropsy revealed spongiform polioencephalomyelopathy. In order to rule out prion aetiology a PrPsc inmunohistochemistry assay was performed, and the results were negative. Congenital spongiform polioencephalomyelopathy (CSP was diagnosed. We strongly suggest that the cat’s behavioural clinical signs were caused by the CSP, causing learning impairment. To the best of our knowledge, this would be the

  7. Evolution of Diagnostic Tests for Chronic Wasting Disease, a Naturally Occurring Prion Disease of Cervids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nicholas J. Haley

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Since chronic wasting disease (CWD was first identified nearly 50 years ago in a captive mule deer herd in the Rocky Mountains of the United States, it has slowly spread across North America through the natural and anthropogenic movement of cervids and their carcasses. As the endemic areas have expanded, so has the need for rapid, sensitive, and cost effective diagnostic tests—especially those which take advantage of samples collected antemortem. Over the past two decades, strategies have evolved from the recognition of microscopic spongiform pathology and associated immunohistochemical staining of the misfolded prion protein to enzyme-linked immunoassays capable of detecting the abnormal prion conformer in postmortem samples. In a history that parallels the diagnosis of more conventional infectious agents, both qualitative and real-time amplification assays have recently been developed to detect minute quantities of misfolded prions in a range of biological and environmental samples. With these more sensitive and semi-quantitative approaches has come a greater understanding of the pathogenesis and epidemiology of this disease in the native host. Because the molecular pathogenesis of prion protein misfolding is broadly analogous to the misfolding of other pathogenic proteins, including Aβ and α-synuclein, efforts are currently underway to apply these in vitro amplification techniques towards the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and other proteinopathies. Chronic wasting disease—once a rare disease of Colorado mule deer—now represents one of the most prevalent prion diseases, and should serve as a model for the continued development and implementation of novel diagnostic strategies for protein misfolding disorders in the natural host.

  8. Prions and neuro degenerative diseases | Nair | African Journal of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prion is a disease-causing agent that is neither bacterial nor fungal nor viral and contains no genetic material. A prion is a protein that occurs normally in a harmless form. By folding into an aberrant shape, the normal prion turns into a rogue agent. It then co-opts other normal prions to become rogue prions. Prions have ...

  9. Statistical Mechanics of Prion Diseases

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Slepoy, A.; Singh, R. R. P.; Pazmandi, F.; Kulkarni, R. V.; Cox, D. L.

    2001-01-01

    We present a two-dimensional, lattice based, protein-level statistical mechanical model for prion diseases (e.g., mad cow disease) with concomitant prion protein misfolding and aggregation. Our studies lead us to the hypothesis that the observed broad incubation time distribution in epidemiological data reflect fluctuation dominated growth seeded by a few nanometer scale aggregates, while much narrower incubation time distributions for innoculated lab animals arise from statistical self-averaging. We model ''species barriers'' to prion infection and assess a related treatment protocol

  10. Synthetic Prions Provide Clues for Understanding Prion Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Imberdis, Thibaut; Harris, David A

    2016-04-01

    This Commentary highlights the article by Makarava et al that discusses the formation of synthetic prions and the role of substrate levels in their evolution. Copyright © 2016 American Society for Investigative Pathology. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Dopaminergic agonists for hepatic encephalopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Als-Nielsen, B; Gluud, L L; Gluud, C

    2004-01-01

    Hepatic encephalopathy may be associated with an impairment of the dopaminergic neurotransmission. Dopaminergic agonists may therefore have a beneficial effect on patients with hepatic encephalopathy.......Hepatic encephalopathy may be associated with an impairment of the dopaminergic neurotransmission. Dopaminergic agonists may therefore have a beneficial effect on patients with hepatic encephalopathy....

  12. The expanded octarepeat domain selectively binds prions and disrupts homomeric prion protein interactions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Leliveld, S. R.; Dame, R.T.; Wuite, G.J.L.; Stitz, L.; Korth, C.

    2006-01-01

    Insertion of additional octarepeats into the prion protein gene has been genetically linked to familial Creutzfeldt Jakob disease and hence to de novo generation of infectious prions. The pivotal event during prion formation is the conversion of the normal prion protein (PrP

  13. Spermidine cures yeast of prions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shaun H. Speldewinde

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Prions are self-perpetuating amyloid protein aggregates which underlie various neurodegenerative diseases in mammals. The molecular basis underlying their conversion from a normally soluble protein into the prion form remains largely unknown. Studies aimed at uncovering these mechanism(s are therefore essential if we are to develop effective therapeutic strategies to counteract these disease-causing entities. Autophagy is a cellular degradation system which has predominantly been considered as a non-selective bulk degradation process which recycles macromolecules in response to starvation conditions. We now know that autophagy also serves as a protein quality control mechanism which selectively degrades protein aggregates and damaged organelles. These are commonly accumulated in various neurodegenerative disorders including prion diseases. In our recent study [Speldewinde et al. Mol. Biol. Cell. (2015] we used the well-established yeast [PSI+]/Sup35 and [PIN­+]/Rnq1 prion models to show that autophagy prevents sporadic prion formation. Importantly, we found that spermidine, a polyamine that has been used to increase autophagic flux, acts as a protective agent which prevents spontaneous prion formation.

  14. Temporal and spatial relationship between the death of PrP-damaged neurones and microglial activation

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bate, C.; Boshuizen, R.S.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Williams, A.

    2002-01-01

    Previous studies have demonstrated a role for microglia in the neuronal loss that occurs in the transmissible spongiform encephalopathies or prion diseases. In the present studies, the processes that lead to the death of neurones treated with synthetic peptides derived from the prion protein (PrP)

  15. Validation of Use of Rectoanal Mucosa-Associated Lymphoid Tissue for Immunohistochemical Diagnosis of Chronic Wasting Disease in White-Tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    The transmissible spongiform encephalopathies are a family of fatal neurodegenerative diseases characterized by accumulation of abnormal prion proteins in the brain. The abnormal prion protein is the major constituent of the infectious agent and is a reliable marker for disease. The occurrence of ...

  16. Prion-Like Domains in Phagobiota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    George Tetz

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Prions are molecules characterized by self-propagation, which can undergo a conformational switch leading to the creation of new prions. Prion proteins have originally been associated with the development of mammalian pathologies; however, recently they have been shown to contribute to the environmental adaptation in a variety of prokaryotic and eukaryotic organisms. Bacteriophages are widespread and represent the important regulators of microbiota homeostasis and have been shown to be diverse across various bacterial families. Here, we examined whether bacteriophages contain prion-like proteins and whether these prion-like protein domains are involved in the regulation of homeostasis. We used a computational algorithm, prion-like amino acid composition, to detect prion-like domains in 370,617 publicly available bacteriophage protein sequences, which resulted in the identification of 5040 putative prions. We analyzed a set of these prion-like proteins, and observed regularities in their distribution across different phage families, associated with their interactions with the bacterial host cells. We found that prion-like domains could be found across all phages of various groups of bacteria and archaea. The results obtained in this study indicate that bacteriophage prion-like proteins are predominantly involved in the interactions between bacteriophages and bacterial cell, such as those associated with the attachment and penetration of bacteriophage in the cell, and the release of the phage progeny. These data allow the identification of phage prion-like proteins as novel regulators of the interactions between bacteriophages and bacterial cells.

  17. Treatment of Epileptic Encephalopathies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balestrini, Simona; Sisodiya, Sanjay M

    2017-01-01

    Epileptic encephalopathies represent the most severe epilepsies, with onset in infancy and childhood and seizures continuing in adulthood in most cases. New genetic causes are being identified at a rapid rate. Treatment is challenging and the overall outcome remains poor. Available targeted treatments, based on the precision medicine approach, are currently few. To provide an overview of the treatment of epileptic encephalopathies with known genetic determinants, including established treatment, anecdotal reports of specific treatment, and potential tailored precision medicine strategies. Genes known to be associated to epileptic encephalopathy were selected. Genes where the association was uncertain or with no reports of details on treatment, were not included. Although some of the genes included are associated with multiple epilepsy phenotypes or other organ involvement, we have mainly focused on the epileptic encephalopathies and their antiepileptic treatments. Most epileptic encephalopathies show genotypic and phenotypic heterogeneity. The treatment of seizures is difficult in most cases. The available evidence may provide some guidance for treatment: for example, ACTH seems to be effective in controlling infantile spams in a number of genetic epileptic encephalopathies. There are potentially effective tailored precision medicine strategies available for some of the encephalopathies, and therapies with currently unexplained effectiveness in others. Understanding the effect of the mutation is crucial for targeted treatment. There is a broad range of disease mechanisms underlying epileptic encephalopathies, and this makes the application of targeted treatments challenging. However, there is evidence that tailored treatment could significantly improve epilepsy treatment and prognosis. Copyright© Bentham Science Publishers; For any queries, please email at epub@benthamscience.org.

  18. Recombinant human prion protein inhibits prion propagation in vitro.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yuan, Jue; Zhan, Yi-An; Abskharon, Romany; Xiao, Xiangzhu; Martinez, Manuel Camacho; Zhou, Xiaochen; Kneale, Geoff; Mikol, Jacqueline; Lehmann, Sylvain; Surewicz, Witold K; Castilla, Joaquín; Steyaert, Jan; Zhang, Shulin; Kong, Qingzhong; Petersen, Robert B; Wohlkonig, Alexandre; Zou, Wen-Quan

    2013-10-09

    Prion diseases are associated with the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into the pathological scrapie isoform (PrP(Sc)) in the brain. Both the in vivo and in vitro conversion of PrP(C) into PrP(Sc) is significantly inhibited by differences in amino acid sequence between the two molecules. Using protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA), we now report that the recombinant full-length human PrP (rHuPrP23-231) (that is unglycosylated and lacks the glycophosphatidylinositol anchor) is a strong inhibitor of human prion propagation. Furthermore, rHuPrP23-231 also inhibits mouse prion propagation in a scrapie-infected mouse cell line. Notably, it binds to PrP(Sc), but not PrP(C), suggesting that the inhibitory effect of recombinant PrP results from blocking the interaction of brain PrP(C) with PrP(Sc). Our findings suggest a new avenue for treating prion diseases, in which a patient's own unglycosylated and anchorless PrP is used to inhibit PrP(Sc) propagation without inducing immune response side effects.

  19. Red-backed vole brain promotes highly efficient in vitro amplification of abnormal prion protein from macaque and human brains infected with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nemecek, Julie; Nag, Nabanita; Carlson, Christina M.; Schneider, Jay R.; Heisey, Dennis M.; Johnson, Christopher J.; Asher, David M.; Gregori, Luisa

    2013-01-01

    Rapid antemortem tests to detect individuals with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) would contribute to public health. We investigated a technique known as protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) to amplify abnormal prion protein (PrPTSE) from highly diluted variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD)-infected human and macaque brain homogenates, seeking to improve the rapid detection of PrPTSE in tissues and blood. Macaque vCJD PrPTSE did not amplify using normal macaque brain homogenate as substrate (intraspecies PMCA). Next, we tested interspecies PMCA with normal brain homogenate of the southern red-backed vole (RBV), a close relative of the bank vole, seeded with macaque vCJD PrPTSE. The RBV has a natural polymorphism at residue 170 of the PrP-encoding gene (N/N, S/S, and S/N). We investigated the effect of this polymorphism on amplification of human and macaque vCJD PrPTSE. Meadow vole brain (170N/N PrP genotype) was also included in the panel of substrates tested. Both humans and macaques have the same 170S/S PrP genotype. Macaque PrPTSE was best amplified with RBV 170S/S brain, although 170N/N and 170S/N were also competent substrates, while meadow vole brain was a poor substrate. In contrast, human PrPTSE demonstrated a striking narrow selectivity for PMCA substrate and was successfully amplified only with RBV 170S/S brain. These observations suggest that macaque PrPTSE was more permissive than human PrPTSE in selecting the competent RBV substrate. RBV 170S/S brain was used to assess the sensitivity of PMCA with PrPTSE from brains of humans and macaques with vCJD. PrPTSE signals were reproducibly detected by Western blot in dilutions through 10-12 of vCJD-infected 10% brain homogenates. This is the first report showing PrPTSE from vCJD-infected human and macaque brains efficiently amplified with RBV brain as the substrate. Based on our estimates, PMCA showed a sensitivity that might be sufficient to detect PrPTSE in v

  20. Red-backed vole brain promotes highly efficient in vitro amplification of abnormal prion protein from macaque and human brains infected with variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease agent.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Julie Nemecek

    Full Text Available Rapid antemortem tests to detect individuals with transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE would contribute to public health. We investigated a technique known as protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA to amplify abnormal prion protein (PrP(TSE from highly diluted variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD-infected human and macaque brain homogenates, seeking to improve the rapid detection of PrP(TSE in tissues and blood. Macaque vCJD PrP(TSE did not amplify using normal macaque brain homogenate as substrate (intraspecies PMCA. Next, we tested interspecies PMCA with normal brain homogenate of the southern red-backed vole (RBV, a close relative of the bank vole, seeded with macaque vCJD PrP(TSE. The RBV has a natural polymorphism at residue 170 of the PrP-encoding gene (N/N, S/S, and S/N. We investigated the effect of this polymorphism on amplification of human and macaque vCJD PrP(TSE. Meadow vole brain (170N/N PrP genotype was also included in the panel of substrates tested. Both humans and macaques have the same 170S/S PrP genotype. Macaque PrP(TSE was best amplified with RBV 170S/S brain, although 170N/N and 170S/N were also competent substrates, while meadow vole brain was a poor substrate. In contrast, human PrP(TSE demonstrated a striking narrow selectivity for PMCA substrate and was successfully amplified only with RBV 170S/S brain. These observations suggest that macaque PrP(TSE was more permissive than human PrP(TSE in selecting the competent RBV substrate. RBV 170S/S brain was used to assess the sensitivity of PMCA with PrP(TSE from brains of humans and macaques with vCJD. PrP(TSE signals were reproducibly detected by Western blot in dilutions through 10⁻¹² of vCJD-infected 10% brain homogenates. This is the first report showing PrP(TSE from vCJD-infected human and macaque brains efficiently amplified with RBV brain as the substrate. Based on our estimates, PMCA showed a sensitivity that might be sufficient to detect Pr

  1. Yeast prions assembly and propagation: contributions of the prion and non-prion moieties and the nature of assemblies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kabani, Mehdi; Melki, Ronald

    2011-01-01

    Yeast prions are self-perpetuating protein aggregates that are at the origin of heritable and transmissible non-Mendelian phenotypic traits. Among these, [PSI+], [URE3] and [PIN+] are the most well documented prions and arise from the assembly of Sup35p, Ure2p and Rnq1p, respectively, into insoluble fibrillar assemblies. Fibril assembly depends on the presence of N- or C-terminal prion domains (PrDs) which are not homologous in sequence but share unusual amino-acid compositions, such as enrichment in polar residues (glutamines and asparagines) or the presence of oligopeptide repeats. Purified PrDs form amyloid fibrils that can convert prion-free cells to the prion state upon transformation. Nonetheless, isolated PrDs and full-length prion proteins have different aggregation, structural and infectious properties. In addition, mutations in the "non-prion" domains (non-PrDs) of Sup35p, Ure2p and Rnq1p were shown to affect their prion properties in vitro and in vivo. Despite these evidences, the implication of the functional non-PrDs in fibril assembly and prion propagation has been mostly overlooked. In this review, we discuss the contribution of non-PrDs to prion assemblies, and the structure-function relationship in prion infectivity in the light of recent findings on Sup35p and Ure2p assembly into infectious fibrils from our laboratory and others.

  2. Current pathogenetic aspects of hepatic encephalopathy and noncirrhotic hyperammonemic encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cichoż-Lach, Halina; Michalak, Agata

    2013-01-07

    Hepatic encephalopathy is a medical phenomenon that is described as a neuropsychiatric manifestation of chronic or acute liver disease that is characterized by psychomotor, intellectual and cognitive abnormalities with emotional/affective and behavioral disturbances. This article focuses on the underlying mechanisms of the condition and the differences between hepatic encephalopathy and noncirrhotic hyperammonemic encephalopathy. Hepatic encephalopathy is a serious condition that can cause neurological death with brain edema and intracranial hypertension. It is assumed that approximately 60%-80% of patients with liver cirrhosis develop hepatic encephalopathy. This review explores the complex mechanisms that lead to hepatic encephalopathy. However, noncirrhotic hyperammonemic encephalopathy is not associated with hepatic diseases and has a completely different etiology. Noncirrhotic hyperammonemic encephalopathy is a severe occurrence that is connected with multiple pathogeneses.

  3. Current pathogenetic aspects of hepatic encephalopathy and noncirrhotic hyperammonemic encephalopathy

    OpenAIRE

    Cichoż-Lach, Halina; Michalak, Agata

    2013-01-01

    Hepatic encephalopathy is a medical phenomenon that is described as a neuropsychiatric manifestation of chronic or acute liver disease that is characterized by psychomotor, intellectual and cognitive abnormalities with emotional/affective and behavioral disturbances. This article focuses on the underlying mechanisms of the condition and the differences between hepatic encephalopathy and noncirrhotic hyperammonemic encephalopathy. Hepatic encephalopathy is a serious condition that can cause ne...

  4. Controlling the prion propensity of glutamine/asparagine-rich proteins.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul, Kacy R; Ross, Eric D

    2015-01-01

    The yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae can harbor a number of distinct prions. Most of the yeast prion proteins contain a glutamine/asparagine (Q/N) rich region that drives prion formation. Prion-like domains, defined as regions with high compositional similarity to yeast prion domains, are common in eukaryotic proteomes, and mutations in various human proteins containing prion-like domains have been linked to degenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Here, we discuss a recent study in which we utilized two strategies to generate prion activity in non-prion Q/N-rich domains. First, we made targeted mutations in four non-prion Q/N-rich domains, replacing predicted prion-inhibiting amino acids with prion-promoting amino acids. All four mutants formed foci when expressed in yeast, and two acquired bona fide prion activity. Prion activity could be generated with as few as two mutations, suggesting that many non-prion Q/N-rich proteins may be just a small number of mutations from acquiring aggregation or prion activity. Second, we created tandem repeats of short prion-prone segments, and observed length-dependent prion activity. These studies demonstrate the considerable progress that has been made in understanding the sequence basis for aggregation of prion and prion-like domains, and suggest possible mechanisms by which new prion domains could evolve.

  5. Presence of voltage-gated potassium channel complex antibody in a case of genetic prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jammoul, Adham; Lederman, Richard J; Tavee, Jinny; Li, Yuebing

    2014-06-05

    Voltage-gated potassium channel (VGKC) complex antibody-mediated encephalitis is a recently recognised entity which has been reported to mimic the clinical presentation of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Testing for the presence of this neuronal surface autoantibody in patients presenting with subacute encephalopathy is therefore crucial as it may both revoke the bleak diagnosis of prion disease and allow institution of potentially life-saving immunotherapy. Tempering this optimistic view is the rare instance when a positive VGKC complex antibody titre occurs in a definite case of prion disease. We present a pathologically and genetically confirmed case of CJD with elevated serum VGKC complex antibody titres. This case highlights the importance of interpreting the result of a positive VGKC complex antibody with caution and in the context of the overall clinical manifestation. 2014 BMJ Publishing Group Ltd.

  6. Prion diseases of the brain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lutz, Kira; Urbach, Horst

    2015-01-01

    The prion diseases of the brain, especially Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, are rare fatal neurodegenerative disorders. A definitive CJD diagnosis is currently only possible by a brain biopsy or post mortem autopsy. The diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is based on clinical signs, pathognomonic EEG, on typical MRI findings and the examination of the cerebrospinal fluid. Using the MRI the diagnosis Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease can be confirmed or excluded with high certainty. The MRI examination should contain diffusion-weighted and FLAIR imaging sequences. This review article provides an overview of the prion diseases of the brain with the corresponding imaging findings.

  7. The inhibition of prions through blocking prion conversion by permanently charged branched polyamines of low cytotoxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lim, Yong-beom; Mays, Charles E; Kim, Younghwan; Titlow, William B; Ryou, Chongsuk

    2010-03-01

    Branched polyamines are effective in inhibiting prions in a cationic surface charge density dependent manner. However, toxicity associated with branched polyamines, in general, often hampers the successful application of the compounds to treat prion diseases. Here, we report that constitutively maintained cationic properties in branched polyamines reduced the intrinsic toxicity of the compounds while retaining the anti-prion activities. In prion-infected neuroblastoma cells, quaternization of amines in polyethyleneimine (PEI) and polyamidoamine (PAMAM) dendrimers markedly increased the nontoxic concentration ranges of the compounds and still supported, albeit reduced, an appreciable level of anti-prion activity in clearing prions from the infected cells. Furthermore, quaternized PEI was able to degrade prions at acidic pH conditions and inhibit the in vitro prion propagation facilitated by conversion of the normal prion protein isoform to its misfolded counterpart, although such activities were decreased by quaternization. Quaternized PAMAM was least effective in degrading prions but efficiently inhibited prion conversion with the same efficacy as unmodified PAMAM. Our results suggest that quaternization represents an effective strategy for developing nontoxic branched polyamines with potent anti-prion activity. This study highlights the importance of polyamine structural control for developing polyamine-based anti-prion agents and understanding of an action mechanism of quaternized branched polyamines. Copyright (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Prions And Prion Diseases | Obi | African Journal of Clinical and ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Patients also may experience involuntary jerking movements called myoclonus, unusual sensation, insomnia, and confusion or memory problems. In the later stages of the disease, patients may have severe mental impairment (dementia) and may lose the ability to move or speak. Well known prion diseases include scrapie ...

  9. Quinacrine reactivity with prion proteins and prion-derived peptides

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Zawada, Zbigniew; Šafařík, Martin; Dvořáková, E.; Janoušková, O.; Březinová, Anna; Stibor, Ivan; Holada, K.; Bouř, Petr; Hlaváček, Jan; Šebestík, Jaroslav

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 44, č. 5 (2013), s. 1279-1292 ISSN 0939-4451 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA203/07/1517 Institutional support: RVO:61388963 Keywords : quinacrine * prion protein and peptide model reactions * solid phase and recombinant synthesis Subject RIV: CE - Biochemistry Impact factor: 3.653, year: 2013

  10. Hepatic encephalopathy. Imaging Findings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carrillo, Maria Claudia; Bermudez Munoz, Sonia; J Morillo, Anibal

    2007-01-01

    Hepatic encephalopathy occurs in patients with chronic hepatic insufficiency and can produce abnormalities in the central nervous system, which can be observed in MRI studies. Traditionally, these imaging findings include symmetrical hyper intensities in T1-weighted sequences in the basal ganglia (mainly globus pallidus), involving also the substantia nigra, mesencephalic tegmentum, frontal and occipital cortex. These areas appear of normal intensity in T2-weighted imaging sequences. Other entities that can lead to similar findings include manganese intoxication and type-1 neurofibromatosis. Currently, with the advent of MR spectroscopy, abnormalities in patients with clinical and subclinical hepatic encephalopathy have been described. After hepatic transplantation, hyper intensities of the basal ganglia and the MR spectroscopic findings may disappear within 3 months to 1 year, suggesting a functional, more than a structural damage. This article will demonstrate the MR findings of patients with hepatic encephalopathy due to chronic hepatic insufficiency.

  11. [Hashimoto's encephalopathy and autoantibodies].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoneda, Makoto

    2013-04-01

    Encephalopathy occasionally occurs in association with thyroid disorders, but most of these are treatable. These encephalopathies include a neuropsychiatric disorder associated with hypothyroidism, called myxedema encephalopathy. Moreover, Hashimoto's encephalopathy (HE) has been recognized as a new clinical disease based on an autoimmune mechanism associated with Hashimoto's thyroiditis. Steroid treatment was successfully administered to these patients. Recently, we discovered that the serum autoantibodies against the NH2-terminal of α-enolase (NAE) are highly specific diagnostic biomarkers for HE. Further, we analyzed serum anti-NAE autoantibodies and the clinical features in many cases of HE from institutions throughout Japan and other countries. Approximately half of assessed HE patients carry anti-NAE antibodies. The age was widely distributed with 2 peaks (20-30 years and 50-70 years). Most HE patients were in euthyroid states, and all patients had anti-thyroid (TG) antibodies and anti-thyroid peroxidase (TPO) antibodies. Anti-TSH receptor (TSH-R) antibodies were observed in some cases. The common neuropsychiatry features are consciousness disturbance and psychosis, followed by cognitive dysfunction, involuntary movements, seizures, and ataxia. Abnormalities on electroencephalography (EEG) and decreased cerebral blood flow on brain SPECT were common findings, whereas abnormal findings on brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) were rare. HE patients have various clinical phenotypes such as the acute encephalopathy form, the chronic psychiatric form, and other particular clinical forms, including limbic encephalitis, progressive cerebellar ataxia, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD)-like form. The cerebellar ataxic form of HE clinically mimics spinocerebellar degeneration (SCD) and is characterized by the absence of nystagmus, absent or mild cerebellar atrophy, and lazy background activities on EEG. Taken together, these data suggest that the possibility of

  12. Spongiform leucoencephalopathy following intravenous heroin abuse: Radiological and histopathological findings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Robertson, A.S.; Jain, S.; O'Neil, R.A.

    2001-01-01

    A case of spongiform leucoencephalopathy in a known intravenous heroin abuser is presented. To our knowledge, this is the only case of heroin-related spongiform leucoencephalopathy reported in Australia. The relationship to intravenous rather than inhaled heroin is particularly unusual with only one other possible case documented in the literature. The imaging and histopathological findings are described. Neurological examination revealed disorientation in time and place, memory loss and cognitive impairment but no focal signs. Biochemical and haematological profiles were normal. Viral serology was positive for hepatitis C but negative for hepatitis B and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Cerebral CT revealed diffuse symmetrical hypodensity of the cerebral white matter. The ventricles and subarachnoid spaces were of normal size. Magnetic resonance imaging showed diffuse symmetrical signal abnormality in the cerebral white matter. These changes were hyperintense on proton density, T2-weighted, modified T2-weighted (FLAIR) and diffusion-weighted images. T1 -weighted scans showed corresponding hypointensity. There was no enhancement after intravenous gadolinium. Cerebral spinal fluid (CSF) specimens were negative for a variety of virological, immunological and bacteriological markers. No viral or bacterial growth was demonstrated. Oligoclonal bands for multiple sclerosis and Protein 134 for Wilson's disease were negative. Right frontal brain biopsy showed spongiform white matter and degenerative change with prominent fibrous gliosis. In severely affected areas, loss of normal myelin staining and axonal loss were present, accompanied by scattered foamy macrophages. Loss of oligodendroglial nuclei was also present. There was no evidence of inflammation or progressive multifocal leucoencephalopathy. No bacteria or virus particles were seen on electron microscopic examination of the brain tissue. Following the biopsy, the patient discharged himself from hospital and the

  13. Soluble Aβ aggregates can inhibit prion propagation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sarell, Claire J; Quarterman, Emma; Yip, Daniel C-M; Terry, Cassandra; Nicoll, Andrew J; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Farrow, Mark A; Walsh, Dominic M; Collinge, John

    2017-11-01

    Mammalian prions cause lethal neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) and consist of multi-chain assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP C ). Ligands that bind to PrP C can inhibit prion propagation and neurotoxicity. Extensive prior work established that certain soluble assemblies of the Alzheimer's disease (AD)-associated amyloid β-protein (Aβ) can tightly bind to PrP C , and that this interaction may be relevant to their toxicity in AD. Here, we investigated whether such soluble Aβ assemblies might, conversely, have an inhibitory effect on prion propagation. Using cellular models of prion infection and propagation and distinct Aβ preparations, we found that the form of Aβ assemblies which most avidly bound to PrP in vitro also inhibited prion infection and propagation. By contrast, forms of Aβ which exhibit little or no binding to PrP were unable to attenuate prion propagation. These data suggest that soluble aggregates of Aβ can compete with prions for binding to PrP C and emphasize the bidirectional nature of the interplay between Aβ and PrP C in Alzheimer's and prion diseases. Such inhibitory effects of Aβ on prion propagation may contribute to the apparent fall-off in the incidence of sporadic CJD at advanced age where cerebral Aβ deposition is common. © 2017 The Authors.

  14. Yeast prions and human prion-like proteins: sequence features and prediction methods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cascarina, Sean M; Ross, Eric D

    2014-06-01

    Prions are self-propagating infectious protein isoforms. A growing number of prions have been identified in yeast, each resulting from the conversion of soluble proteins into an insoluble amyloid form. These yeast prions have served as a powerful model system for studying the causes and consequences of prion aggregation. Remarkably, a number of human proteins containing prion-like domains, defined as domains with compositional similarity to yeast prion domains, have recently been linked to various human degenerative diseases, including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. This suggests that the lessons learned from yeast prions may help in understanding these human diseases. In this review, we examine what has been learned about the amino acid sequence basis for prion aggregation in yeast, and how this information has been used to develop methods to predict aggregation propensity. We then discuss how this information is being applied to understand human disease, and the challenges involved in applying yeast prediction methods to higher organisms.

  15. Genetics Home Reference: prion disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... which have overlapping signs and symptoms, include familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), and fatal ... Sc . Sporadic forms of prion disease include sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), sporadic fatal insomnia (sFI), and variably protease- ...

  16. The complexity and implications of yeast prion domains

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-01-01

    Prions are infectious proteins with altered conformations converted from otherwise normal host proteins. While there is only one known mammalian prion protein, PrP, a handful of prion proteins have been identified in the yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Yeast prion proteins usually have a defined region called prion domain (PrD) essential for prion properties, which are typically rich in glutamine (Q) and asparagine (N). Despite sharing several common features, individual yeast PrDs are generally intricate and divergent in their compositional characteristics, which potentially implicates their prion phenotypes, such as prion-mediated transcriptional regulations. PMID:22156731

  17. An insight into the complex prion-prion interaction network in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Du, Zhiqiang; Valtierra, Stephanie; Li, Liming

    2014-01-01

    The budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae is a valuable model system for studying prion-prion interactions as it contains multiple prion proteins. A recent study from our laboratory showed that the existence of Swi1 prion ([SWI(+)]) and overproduction of Swi1 can have strong impacts on the formation of 2 other extensively studied yeast prions, [PSI(+)] and [PIN(+)] ([RNQ(+)]) (Genetics, Vol. 197, 685-700). We showed that a single yeast cell is capable of harboring at least 3 heterologous prion elements and these prions can influence each other's appearance positively and/or negatively. We also showed that during the de novo [PSI(+)] formation process upon Sup35 overproduction, the aggregation patterns of a preexisting inducer ([RNQ(+)] or [SWI(+)]) can undergo significant remodeling from stably transmitted dot-shaped aggregates to aggregates that co-localize with the newly formed Sup35 aggregates that are ring/ribbon/rod- shaped. Such co-localization disappears once the newly formed [PSI(+)] prion stabilizes. Our finding provides strong evidence supporting the "cross-seeding" model for prion-prion interactions and confirms earlier reports that the interactions among different prions and their prion proteins mostly occur at the initiation stages of prionogenesis. Our results also highlight a complex prion interaction network in yeast. We believe that elucidating the mechanism underlying the yeast prion-prion interaction network will not only provide insight into the process of prion de novo generation and propagation in yeast but also shed light on the mechanisms that govern protein misfolding, aggregation, and amyloidogenesis in higher eukaryotes.

  18. Yeast and Fungal Prions: Amyloid-Handling Systems, Amyloid Structure, and Prion Biology.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wickner, R B; Edskes, H K; Gorkovskiy, A; Bezsonov, E E; Stroobant, E E

    2016-01-01

    Yeast prions (infectious proteins) were discovered by their outré genetic properties and have become important models for an array of human prion and amyloid diseases. A single prion protein can become any of many distinct amyloid forms (called prion variants or strains), each of which is self-propagating, but with different biological properties (eg, lethal vs mild). The folded in-register parallel β sheet architecture of the yeast prion amyloids naturally suggests a mechanism by which prion variant information can be faithfully transmitted for many generations. The yeast prions rely on cellular chaperones for their propagation, but can be cured by various chaperone imbalances. The Btn2/Cur1 system normally cures most variants of the [URE3] prion that arise. Although most variants of the [PSI+] and [URE3] prions are toxic or lethal, some are mild in their effects. Even the most mild forms of these prions are rare in the wild, indicating that they too are detrimental to yeast. The beneficial [Het-s] prion of Podospora anserina poses an important contrast in its structure, biology, and evolution to the yeast prions characterized thus far. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  19. Chronic wasting disease prions are not transmissible to transgenic mice overexpressing human prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandberg, Malin K; Al-Doujaily, Huda; Sigurdson, Christina J; Glatzel, Markus; O'Malley, Catherine; Powell, Caroline; Asante, Emmanuel A; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Brandner, Sebastian; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Collinge, John

    2010-10-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a prion disease that affects free-ranging and captive cervids, including mule deer, white-tailed deer, Rocky Mountain elk and moose. CWD-infected cervids have been reported in 14 USA states, two Canadian provinces and in South Korea. The possibility of a zoonotic transmission of CWD prions via diet is of particular concern in North America where hunting of cervids is a popular sport. To investigate the potential public health risks posed by CWD prions, we have investigated whether intracerebral inoculation of brain and spinal cord from CWD-infected mule deer transmits prion infection to transgenic mice overexpressing human prion protein with methionine or valine at polymorphic residue 129. These transgenic mice have been utilized in extensive transmission studies of human and animal prion disease and are susceptible to BSE and vCJD prions, allowing comparison with CWD. Here, we show that these mice proved entirely resistant to infection with mule deer CWD prions arguing that the transmission barrier associated with this prion strain/host combination is greater than that observed with classical BSE prions. However, it is possible that CWD may be caused by multiple prion strains. Further studies will be required to evaluate the transmission properties of distinct cervid prion strains as they are characterized.

  20. Investigation of metabolic encephalopathy

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    cycle defects is the X-linked recessive disorder, ornithine ... life, or if the child is fed the compounds that they are unable .... as learning difficulties, drowsiness and avoidance of ... Table 2. Laboratory investigation of suspected metabolic encephalopathy. Laboratory .... Clinical approach to treatable inborn metabolic diseases:.

  1. Management of Hepatic Encephalopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Wright

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Hepatic encephalopathy (HE, the neuropsychiatric presentation of liver disease, is associated with high morbidity and mortality. Reduction of plasma ammonia remains the central therapeutic strategy, but there is a need for newer novel therapies. We discuss current evidence supporting the use of interventions for both the general management of chronic HE and that necessary for more acute and advanced disease.

  2. Encephalopathy and liver transplantation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chavarria, Laia; Cordoba, Juan

    2013-06-01

    Liver transplantation (LT) candidates experience frequently episodic or persistent hepatic encephalopathy. In addition, these patients can exhibit neurological comorbidities that contribute to cognitive impairment in the pre-transplant period. Assessment of the respective contribution of hepatic encephalopathy or comorbidities in the cognitive manifestations is critical to estimate the neurological benefits of restoring liver function. Magnetic resonance imaging and spectroscopy are useful to assess the impact of liver failure or comorbidities. This assessment is critical to decide liver transplant in difficult cases. In the early postoperative period, LT is commonly complicated by a confusional syndrome. The possible role of persisting hepatic encephalopathy in its development has not been clearly established. The origin is usually considered multifactorial and relates to complications following LT, such as infections, rejection, primary liver dysfunction, immunosuppressors, etc.… The diagnosis and treatment is based in the recognition of comorbidities and optimal care of metabolic disturbances. Several studies have demonstrated recovery of cognitive function after LT in patients that have exhibited hepatic encephalopathy. However, some deficits may persist specifically among patients with persistent HE. Other factors present before LT that contribute to a worse neuropsychological outcome after LT are diabetes mellitus and alcohol consumption. Long-term after LT, cognitive function may worsen in relation to vascular risk factors.

  3. GRIN2B encephalopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Platzer, Konrad; Yuan, Hongjie; Schuetz, Hannah

    2017-01-01

    BACKGROUND: We aimed for a comprehensive delineation of genetic, functional and phenotypic aspects of GRIN2B encephalopathy and explored potential prospects of personalised medicine. METHODS: Data of 48 individuals with de novo GRIN2B variants were collected from several diagnostic and research c...

  4. S. pombe placed on the prion map

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacqueline Hayles

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Schizosaccharomyces pombe has been used extensively as a model organism, however it is only recently that the first prion in this organism, a copper transporter protein encoded by ctr4, has been conclusively demonstrated. Prions are found in a wide range of organisms and have been implicated in a number of human neurodegenerative diseases. Research into the biology of prions has been carried out mainly in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, however there are many questions still to be addressed. Now, with the identification of the Ctr4 prion in S. pombe, further work in the two yeasts and comparisons of prion biology in these organisms should lead to a greater understanding of prions and their role in disease.

  5. Prions: the danger of biochemical weapons

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eric Almeida Xavier

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The knowledge of biotechnology increases the risk of using biochemical weapons for mass destruction. Prions are unprecedented infectious pathogens that cause a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases by a novel mechanism. They are transmissible particles that are devoid of nucleic acid. Due to their singular characteristics, Prions emerge as potential danger since they can be used in the development of such weapons. Prions cause fatal infectious diseases, and to date there is no therapeutic or prophylactic approach against these diseases. Furthermore, Prions are resistant to food-preparation treatments such as high heat and can find their way from the digestive system into the nervous system; recombinant Prions are infectious either bound to soil particles or in aerosols. Therefore, lethal Prions can be developed by malicious researchers who could use it to attack political enemies since such weapons cause diseases that could be above suspicion.

  6. A role for astroglia in prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguzzi, Adriano; Liu, Yingjun

    2017-12-04

    In this issue of JEM, Krejciova et al. (https://doi.org/10.1084/jem.20161547) report that astrocytes derived from human iPSCs can replicate human CJD prions. These observations provide a new, potentially very valuable model for studying human prions in cellula and for identifying antiprion compounds that might serve as clinical candidates. Furthermore, they add to the evidence that astrocytes may not be just innocent bystanders in prion diseases. © 2017 Aguzzi and Liu.

  7. Lichens: Unexpected anti-prion agents?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rodriguez, Cynthia M.; Bennett, James P.; Johnson, Christopher J.

    2012-01-01

    The prion diseases sheep scrapie and cervid chronic wasting disease are transmitted, in part, via an environmental reservoir of infectivity; prions released from infected animals persist in the environment and can cause disease years later. Central to controlling disease transmission is the identification of methods capable of inactivating these agents on the landscape. We have found that certain lichens, common, ubiquitous, symbiotic organisms, possess a serine protease capable of degrading prion protein (PrP) from prion-infected animals. The protease functions against a range of prion strains from various hosts and reduces levels of abnormal PrP by at least two logs. We have now tested more than 20 lichen species from several geographical locations and from various taxa and found that approximately half of these species degrade PrP. Critical next steps include examining the effect of lichens on prion infectivity and cloning the protease responsible for PrP degradation. The impact of lichens on prions in the environment remains unknown. We speculate that lichens could have the potential to degrade prions when they are shed from infected animals onto lichens or into environments where lichens are abundant. In addition, lichens are frequently consumed by cervids and many other animals and the effect of dietary lichens on prion disease transmission should also be considered.

  8. Accelerating Yeast Prion Biology using Droplet Microfluidics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ung, Lloyd; Rotem, Assaf; Jarosz, Daniel; Datta, Manoshi; Lindquist, Susan; Weitz, David

    2012-02-01

    Prions are infectious proteins in a misfolded form, that can induce normal proteins to take the misfolded state. Yeast prions are relevant, as a model of human prion diseases, and interesting from an evolutionary standpoint. Prions may also be a form of epigenetic inheritance, which allow yeast to adapt to stressful conditions at rates exceeding those of random mutations and propagate that adaptation to their offspring. Encapsulation of yeast in droplet microfluidic devices enables high-throughput measurements with single cell resolution, which would not be feasible using bulk methods. Millions of populations of yeast can be screened to obtain reliable measurements of prion induction and loss rates. The population dynamics of clonal yeast, when a fraction of the cells are prion expressing, can be elucidated. Furthermore, the mechanism by which certain strains of bacteria induce yeast to express prions in the wild can be deduced. Integrating the disparate fields of prion biology and droplet microfluidics reveals a more complete picture of how prions may be more than just diseases and play a functional role in yeast.

  9. Accelerated high fidelity prion amplification within and across prion species barriers.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kristi M Green

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available Experimental obstacles have impeded our ability to study prion transmission within and, more particularly, between species. Here, we used cervid prion protein expressed in brain extracts of transgenic mice, referred to as Tg(CerPrP, as a substrate for in vitro generation of chronic wasting disease (CWD prions by protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA. Characterization of this infectivity in Tg(CerPrP mice demonstrated that serial PMCA resulted in the high fidelity amplification of CWD prions with apparently unaltered properties. Using similar methods to amplify mouse RML prions and characterize the resulting novel cervid prions, we show that serial PMCA abrogated a transmission barrier that required several hundred days of adaptation and subsequent stabilization in Tg(CerPrP mice. While both approaches produced cervid prions with characteristics distinct from CWD, the subtly different properties of the resulting individual prion isolates indicated that adaptation of mouse RML prions generated multiple strains following inter-species transmission. Our studies demonstrate that combined transgenic mouse and PMCA approaches not only expedite intra- and inter-species prion transmission, but also provide a facile means of generating and characterizing novel prion strains.

  10. Subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy (Binswanger disease)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Settanni, F.; Dumont, P.; Casella, C.L.; Pascuzzi, L.; Cecilio, S.; Caldas, J.G.

    1992-01-01

    Four patients with variable clinical and tomographic features were diagnosed as having subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy (Binswanger disease). This diagnosis was done based on the presence of subacute progression of focal cerebral deficits, presence of hypertension, systemic vascular disease and dementia. The pathogenesis of subcortical arteriosclerotic encephalopathy is unknown; possible mechanism include diffuse ischemia and fluid transudation with subsequent gliosis related to subacute hypertensive encephalopathy. (author)

  11. Defining the conformational features of anchorless, poorly neuroinvasive prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cyrus Bett

    Full Text Available Infectious prions cause diverse clinical signs and form an extraordinary range of structures, from amorphous aggregates to fibrils. How the conformation of a prion dictates the disease phenotype remains unclear. Mice expressing GPI-anchorless or GPI-anchored prion protein exposed to the same infectious prion develop fibrillar or nonfibrillar aggregates, respectively, and show a striking divergence in the disease pathogenesis. To better understand how a prion's physical properties govern the pathogenesis, infectious anchorless prions were passaged in mice expressing anchorless prion protein and the resulting prions were biochemically characterized. Serial passage of anchorless prions led to a significant decrease in the incubation period to terminal disease and altered the biochemical properties, consistent with a transmission barrier effect. After an intraperitoneal exposure, anchorless prions were only weakly neuroinvasive, as prion plaques rarely occurred in the brain yet were abundant in extracerebral sites such as heart and adipose tissue. Anchorless prions consistently showed very high stability in chaotropes or when heated in SDS, and were highly resistant to enzyme digestion. Consistent with the results in mice, anchorless prions from a human patient were also highly stable in chaotropes. These findings reveal that anchorless prions consist of fibrillar and highly stable conformers. The additional finding from our group and others that both anchorless and anchored prion fibrils are poorly neuroinvasive strengthens the hypothesis that a fibrillar prion structure impedes efficient CNS invasion.

  12. Localization of A11-reactive oligomeric species in prion diseases

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Aidt, Frederik H; Hasholt, Lis F; Christiansen, Michael

    2013-01-01

    To investigate in prion diseases the in-situ localization of prion protein oligomers sharing a common epitope with amyloid oligomers involved in a range of neurodegenerative diseases.......To investigate in prion diseases the in-situ localization of prion protein oligomers sharing a common epitope with amyloid oligomers involved in a range of neurodegenerative diseases....

  13. Genetics Home Reference: glycine encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... seizures. As they get older, many develop intellectual disability, abnormal movements, and behavioral problems. Other atypical types of glycine encephalopathy appear later in childhood or adulthood ...

  14. Direct Detection of Soil-Bound Prions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Genovesi, Sacha; Leita, Liviana; Sequi, Paolo; Andrighetto, Igino; Sorgato, M. Catia; Bertoli, Alessandro

    2007-01-01

    Scrapie and chronic wasting disease are contagious prion diseases affecting sheep and cervids, respectively. Studies have indicated that horizontal transmission is important in sustaining these epidemics, and that environmental contamination plays an important role in this. In the perspective of detecting prions in soil samples from the field by more direct methods than animal-based bioassays, we have developed a novel immuno-based approach that visualises in situ the major component (PrPSc) of prions sorbed onto agricultural soil particles. Importantly, the protocol needs no extraction of the protein from soil. Using a cell-based assay of infectivity, we also report that samples of agricultural soil, or quartz sand, acquire prion infectivity after exposure to whole brain homogenates from prion-infected mice. Our data provide further support to the notion that prion-exposed soils retain infectivity, as recently determined in Syrian hamsters intracerebrally or orally challanged with contaminated soils. The cell approach of the potential infectivity of contaminated soil is faster and cheaper than classical animal-based bioassays. Although it suffers from limitations, e.g. it can currently test only a few mouse prion strains, the cell model can nevertheless be applied in its present form to understand how soil composition influences infectivity, and to test prion-inactivating procedures. PMID:17957252

  15. Direct detection of soil-bound prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sacha Genovesi

    Full Text Available Scrapie and chronic wasting disease are contagious prion diseases affecting sheep and cervids, respectively. Studies have indicated that horizontal transmission is important in sustaining these epidemics, and that environmental contamination plays an important role in this. In the perspective of detecting prions in soil samples from the field by more direct methods than animal-based bioassays, we have developed a novel immuno-based approach that visualises in situ the major component (PrP(Sc of prions sorbed onto agricultural soil particles. Importantly, the protocol needs no extraction of the protein from soil. Using a cell-based assay of infectivity, we also report that samples of agricultural soil, or quartz sand, acquire prion infectivity after exposure to whole brain homogenates from prion-infected mice. Our data provide further support to the notion that prion-exposed soils retain infectivity, as recently determined in Syrian hamsters intracerebrally or orally challenged with contaminated soils. The cell approach of the potential infectivity of contaminated soil is faster and cheaper than classical animal-based bioassays. Although it suffers from limitations, e.g. it can currently test only a few mouse prion strains, the cell model can nevertheless be applied in its present form to understand how soil composition influences infectivity, and to test prion-inactivating procedures.

  16. Prion pathogenesis and secondary lymphoid organs (SLO)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabbott, Neil A.

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are subacute neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and a range of domestic and free-ranging animal species. These diseases are characterized by the accumulation of PrPSc, an abnormally folded isoform of the cellular prion protein (PrPC), in affected tissues. The pathology during prion disease appears to occur almost exclusively within the central nervous system. The extensive neurodegeneration which occurs ultimately leads to the death of the host. An intriguing feature of the prion diseases, when compared with other protein-misfolding diseases, is their transmissibility. Following peripheral exposure, some prion diseases accumulate to high levels within lymphoid tissues. The replication of prions within lymphoid tissue has been shown to be important for the efficient spread of disease to the brain. This article describes recent progress in our understanding of the cellular mechanisms that influence the propagation of prions from peripheral sites of exposure (such as the lumen of the intestine) to the brain. A thorough understanding of these events will lead to the identification of important targets for therapeutic intervention, or alternatively, reveal additional processes that influence disease susceptibility to peripherally-acquired prion diseases. PMID:22895090

  17. Covalent surface modification of prions: a mass spectrometry-based means of detecting distinctive structural features of prion strains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prions (PrPSc) are molecular pathogens that are able to convert the isosequential normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a prion. The only demonstrated differences between PrPC and PrPSc is conformational, they are isoforms. A given host can be infected by more than one kind or strain of prion. F...

  18. Molecular Pathology of Human Prion Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2009-03-01

    Full Text Available Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative conditions in humans and animals. In this review, we summarize the molecular background of phenotypic variability, relation of prion protein (PrP to other proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases, and pathogenesis of neuronal vulnerability. PrP exists in different forms that may be present in both diseased and non-diseased brain, however, abundant disease-associated PrP together with tissue pathology characterizes prion diseases and associates with transmissibility. Prion diseases have different etiological background with distinct pathogenesis and phenotype. Mutations of the prion protein gene are associated with genetic forms. The codon 129 polymorphism in combination with the Western blot pattern of PrP after proteinase K digestion serves as a basis for molecular subtyping of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Tissue damage may result from several parallel, interacting or subsequent pathways that involve cellular systems associated with synapses, protein processing, oxidative stress, autophagy, and apoptosis.

  19. Prion replication without host adaptation during interspecies transmissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bian, Jifeng; Khaychuk, Vadim; Angers, Rachel C; Fernández-Borges, Natalia; Vidal, Enric; Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Kim, Sehun; Calvi, Carla L; Bartz, Jason C; Hoover, Edward A; Agrimi, Umberto; Richt, Jürgen A; Castilla, Joaquín; Telling, Glenn C

    2017-01-31

    Adaptation of prions to new species is thought to reflect the capacity of the host-encoded cellular form of the prion protein (PrP C ) to selectively propagate optimized prion conformations from larger ensembles generated in the species of origin. Here we describe an alternate replicative process, termed nonadaptive prion amplification (NAPA), in which dominant conformers bypass this requirement during particular interspecies transmissions. To model susceptibility of horses to prions, we produced transgenic (Tg) mice expressing cognate PrP C Although disease transmission to only a subset of infected TgEq indicated a significant barrier to EqPrP C conversion, the resulting horse prions unexpectedly failed to cause disease upon further passage to TgEq. TgD expressing deer PrP C was similarly refractory to deer prions from diseased TgD infected with mink prions. In both cases, the resulting prions transmitted to mice expressing PrP C from the species of prion origin, demonstrating that transmission barrier eradication of the originating prions was ephemeral and adaptation superficial in TgEq and TgD. Horse prions produced in vitro by protein misfolding cyclic amplification of mouse prions using horse PrP C also failed to infect TgEq but retained tropism for wild-type mice. Concordant patterns of neuropathology and prion deposition in susceptible mice infected with NAPA prions and the corresponding prion of origin confirmed preservation of strain properties. The comparable responses of both prion types to guanidine hydrochloride denaturation indicated this occurs because NAPA precludes selection of novel prion conformations. Our findings provide insights into mechanisms regulating interspecies prion transmission and a framework to reconcile puzzling epidemiological features of certain prion disorders.

  20. Prussian blue caged in spongiform adsorbents using diatomite and carbon nanotubes for elimination of cesium.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Baiyang; Fugetsu, Bunshi; Yu, Hongwen; Abe, Yoshiteru

    2012-05-30

    We developed a spongiform adsorbent that contains Prussian blue, which showed a high capacity for eliminating cesium. An in situ synthesizing approach was used to synthesize Prussian blue inside diatomite cavities. Highly dispersed carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were used to form CNT networks that coated the diatomite to seal in the Prussian blue particles. These ternary (CNT/diatomite/Prussian-blue) composites were mixed with polyurethane (PU) prepolymers to produce a quaternary (PU/CNT/diatomite/Prussian-blue), spongiform adsorbent with an in situ foaming procedure. Prussian blue was permanently immobilized in the cell walls of the spongiform matrix and preferentially adsorbed cesium with a theoretical capacity of 167 mg/g cesium. Cesium was absorbed primarily by an ion-exchange mechanism, and the absorption was accomplished by self-uptake of radioactive water by the quaternary spongiform adsorbent. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. Screening of subclinical hepatic encephalopathy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Groeneweg, M; Moerland, W; Quero, J C; Hop, W C; Krabbe, P F; Schalm, S W

    BACKGROUND/AIMS: Subclinical hepatic encephalopathy adversely affects daily functioning. The aim of this study was to determine which elements of daily life have predictive value for subclinical hepatic encephalopathy. METHODS: The study was performed in 179 outpatients with liver cirrhosis.

  2. Serial MRI in early Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease with a point mutation of prion protein at codon 180

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ishida, S.; Sugino, M.; Shinoda, K.; Ohsawa, N.; Koizumi, N.; Ohta, T.; Kitamoto, T.; Tateishi, J.

    1995-01-01

    We report a 66-year-old woman with histologically diagnosed Creutzfeld-Jacob disease (CJD), followed with MRI from an early clinical stage. MRI demonstrated expansion of the high cortical signal on T2-weighted images, which differs from previous MRI reports of CJD. This patient followed an atypical clinical course: 16 months had passed before she developed akinetic mutism, and periodic sharp waves had not been detected on EEG after 2 years in spite of her akinetic mutism. Brain biopsy showed primary spongiform changes in the grey matter, and a point mutation of the prion protein gene at codon 180 was discovered using polymerase chain reaction direct sequencing and Tth 111 I cutting. This is the first case with the point mutation of the codon 180 variant with an atypical clinical course and characteristic MRI findings. (orig.)

  3. Multiorgan detection and characterization of protease-resistant prion protein in a case of variant CJD examined in the United States.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvio Notari

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD is a prion disease thought to be acquired by the consumption of prion-contaminated beef products. To date, over 200 cases have been identified around the world, but mainly in the United Kingdom. Three cases have been identified in the United States; however, these subjects were likely exposed to prion infection elsewhere. Here we report on the first of these subjects.Neuropathological and genetic examinations were carried out using standard procedures. We assessed the presence and characteristics of protease-resistant prion protein (PrP(res in brain and 23 other organs and tissues using immunoblots performed directly on total homogenate or following sodium phosphotungstate precipitation to increase PrP(res detectability. The brain showed a lack of typical spongiform degeneration and had large plaques, likely stemming from the extensive neuronal loss caused by the long duration (32 months of the disease. The PrP(res found in the brain had the typical characteristics of the PrP(res present in vCJD. In addition to the brain and other organs known to be prion positive in vCJD, such as the lymphoreticular system, pituitary and adrenal glands, and gastrointestinal tract, PrP(res was also detected for the first time in the dura mater, liver, pancreas, kidney, ovary, uterus, and skin.Our results indicate that the number of organs affected in vCJD is greater than previously realized and further underscore the risk of iatrogenic transmission in vCJD.

  4. De novo generation of infectious prions with bacterially expressed recombinant prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Zhihong; Zhang, Yi; Wang, Fei; Wang, Xinhe; Xu, Yuanyuan; Yang, Huaiyi; Yu, Guohua; Yuan, Chonggang; Ma, Jiyan

    2013-12-01

    The prion hypothesis is strongly supported by the fact that prion infectivity and the pathogenic conformer of prion protein (PrP) are simultaneously propagated in vitro by the serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA). However, due to sPMCA's enormous amplification power, whether an infectious prion can be formed de novo with bacterially expressed recombinant PrP (rPrP) remains to be satisfactorily resolved. To address this question, we performed unseeded sPMCA with rPrP in a laboratory that has never been exposed to any native prions. Two types of proteinase K (PK)-resistant and self-perpetuating recombinant PrP conformers (rPrP-res) with PK-resistant cores of 17 or 14 kDa were generated. A bioassay revealed that rPrP-res(17kDa) was highly infectious, causing prion disease in wild-type mice with an average survival time of about 172 d. In contrast, rPrP-res(14kDa) completely failed to induce any disease. Our findings reveal that sPMCA is sufficient to initiate various self-perpetuating PK-resistant rPrP conformers, but not all of them possess in vivo infectivity. Moreover, generating an infectious prion in a prion-free environment establishes that an infectious prion can be formed de novo with bacterially expressed rPrP.

  5. Increased infectivity of anchorless mouse scrapie prions in transgenic mice overexpressing human prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Race, Brent; Phillips, Katie; Meade-White, Kimberly; Striebel, James; Chesebro, Bruce

    2015-06-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is found in all mammals, mostly as a glycoprotein anchored to the plasma membrane by a C-terminal glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) linkage. Following prion infection, host protease-sensitive prion protein (PrPsen or PrPC) is converted into an abnormal, disease-associated, protease-resistant form (PrPres). Biochemical characteristics, such as the PrP amino acid sequence, and posttranslational modifications, such as glycosylation and GPI anchoring, can affect the transmissibility of prions as well as the biochemical properties of the PrPres generated. Previous in vivo studies on the effects of GPI anchoring on prion infectivity have not examined cross-species transmission. In this study, we tested the effect of lack of GPI anchoring on a species barrier model using mice expressing human PrP. In this model, anchorless 22L prions derived from tg44 mice were more infectious than 22L prions derived from C57BL/10 mice when tested in tg66 transgenic mice, which expressed wild-type anchored human PrP at 8- to 16-fold above normal. Thus, the lack of the GPI anchor on the PrPres from tg44 mice appeared to reduce the effect of the mouse-human PrP species barrier. In contrast, neither source of prions induced disease in tgRM transgenic mice, which expressed human PrP at 2- to 4-fold above normal. Prion protein (PrP) is found in all mammals, usually attached to cells by an anchor molecule called GPI. Following prion infection, PrP is converted into a disease-associated form (PrPres). While most prion diseases are species specific, this finding is not consistent, and species barriers differ in strength. The amino acid sequence of PrP varies among species, and this variability affects prion species barriers. However, other PrP modifications, including glycosylation and GPI anchoring, may also influence cross-species infectivity. We studied the effect of PrP GPI anchoring using a mouse-to-human species barrier model. Experiments showed that prions produced by

  6. Ex vivo mammalian prions are formed of paired double helical prion protein fibrils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Terry, Cassandra; Wenborn, Adam; Gros, Nathalie; Sells, Jessica; Joiner, Susan; Hosszu, Laszlo L P; Tattum, M Howard; Panico, Silvia; Clare, Daniel K; Collinge, John; Saibil, Helen R; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F

    2016-05-01

    Mammalian prions are hypothesized to be fibrillar or amyloid forms of prion protein (PrP), but structures observed to date have not been definitively correlated with infectivity and the three-dimensional structure of infectious prions has remained obscure. Recently, we developed novel methods to obtain exceptionally pure preparations of prions from mouse brain and showed that pathogenic PrP in these high-titre preparations is assembled into rod-like assemblies. Here, we have used precise cell culture-based prion infectivity assays to define the physical relationship between the PrP rods and prion infectivity and have used electron tomography to define their architecture. We show that infectious PrP rods isolated from multiple prion strains have a common hierarchical assembly comprising twisted pairs of short fibres with repeating substructure. The architecture of the PrP rods provides a new structural basis for understanding prion infectivity and can explain the inability to systematically generate high-titre synthetic prions from recombinant PrP. © 2016 The Authors.

  7. PrionScan: an online database of predicted prion domains in complete proteomes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Espinosa Angarica, Vladimir; Angulo, Alfonso; Giner, Arturo; Losilla, Guillermo; Ventura, Salvador; Sancho, Javier

    2014-02-05

    Prions are a particular type of amyloids related to a large variety of important processes in cells, but also responsible for serious diseases in mammals and humans. The number of experimentally characterized prions is still low and corresponds to a handful of examples in microorganisms and mammals. Prion aggregation is mediated by specific protein domains with a remarkable compositional bias towards glutamine/asparagine and against charged residues and prolines. These compositional features have been used to predict new prion proteins in the genomes of different organisms. Despite these efforts, there are only a few available data sources containing prion predictions at a genomic scale. Here we present PrionScan, a new database of predicted prion-like domains in complete proteomes. We have previously developed a predictive methodology to identify and score prionogenic stretches in protein sequences. In the present work, we exploit this approach to scan all the protein sequences in public databases and compile a repository containing relevant information of proteins bearing prion-like domains. The database is updated regularly alongside UniprotKB and in its present version contains approximately 28000 predictions in proteins from different functional categories in more than 3200 organisms from all the taxonomic subdivisions. PrionScan can be used in two different ways: database query and analysis of protein sequences submitted by the users. In the first mode, simple queries allow to retrieve a detailed description of the properties of a defined protein. Queries can also be combined to generate more complex and specific searching patterns. In the second mode, users can submit and analyze their own sequences. It is expected that this database would provide relevant insights on prion functions and regulation from a genome-wide perspective, allowing researches performing cross-species prion biology studies. Our database might also be useful for guiding experimentalists

  8. Propagation of Mammalian Prions in Yeast

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Harris, David A

    2006-01-01

    ...: the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This unicellular organism offers a number of potential advantages for the study of prion biology, including rapid generation time, ease of culturing, and facile genetics...

  9. A quantitative assessment of the risk of transmission of bovine spongiform encephalopathy by tallow-based calf milk-replacer

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paisley, Larry; Hostrup-Pedersen, J.

    2004-01-01

    three different levels of impurities, six different distributions of the BSE infectivity titers of CNS tissues and with and without inclusion of specified risk material (SRM). Our results suggest that tallow-based CMR could have been responsible for some BSE infections in nearly all simulations...

  10. Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy (PRES)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moron E, Fanny E; Diaz Marchan, Pedro

    2005-01-01

    The Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES) is a clinical Syndrome composed of cephalea, alteration in vision and convulsions, usually observed in patients with sudden elevation of arterial pressure. The imagenologic evidence shows reversible vasogenic brain edema without stroke. Its location is predominantly posterior; it affects the cortex and the subcortical white matter of the occipital, parietal and temporal lobes. The treatment with antihypertensive drugs and the removing of immunosupressor medication are generally associated with complete neurological recovery; this is reflected also in the images which return to their basal condition. The untreated hypertension, on the other side, can result in a progressive defect of the autoregulation system of the central nervous system with cerebral hemorrhage, irreversible brain stroke, coma and death

  11. Diabetic encephalopathy: a cerebrovascular disorder?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Manschot, S.M.

    2006-01-01

    Animal study: The aim was to investigate the role of vascular disturbances in the development of experimental diabetic encephalopathy. We describe the effects of treatment with the Angiotensin Converting Enzyme(ACE)-inhibitor enalapril (treatment aimed at the

  12. Dopamine agents for hepatic encephalopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Junker, Anders Ellekær; Als-Nielsen, Bodil; Gluud, Christian

    2014-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Patients with hepatic encephalopathy may present with extrapyramidal symptoms and changes in basal ganglia. These changes are similar to those seen in patients with Parkinson's disease. Dopamine agents (such as bromocriptine and levodopa, used for patients with Parkinson's disease) have...... therefore been assessed as a potential treatment for patients with hepatic encephalopathy. OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the beneficial and harmful effects of dopamine agents versus placebo or no intervention for patients with hepatic encephalopathy. SEARCH METHODS: Trials were identified through the Cochrane...... hepatic encephalopathy that were published during 1979 to 1982 were included. Three trials assessed levodopa, and two trials assessed bromocriptine. The mean daily dose was 4 grams for levodopa and 15 grams for bromocriptine. The median duration of treatment was 14 days (range seven to 56 days). None...

  13. Dissociation of recombinant prion autocatalysis from infectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Noble, Geoffrey P; Supattapone, Surachai

    2015-01-01

    Within the mammalian prion field, the existence of recombinant prion protein (PrP) conformers with self-replicating (ie. autocatalytic) activity in vitro but little to no infectious activity in vivo challenges a key prediction of the protein-only hypothesis of prion replication--that autocatalytic PrP conformers should be infectious. To understand this dissociation of autocatalysis from infectivity, we recently performed a structural and functional comparison between a highly infectious and non-infectious pair of autocatalytic recombinant PrP conformers derived from the same initial prion strain. (1) We identified restricted, C-terminal structural differences between these 2 conformers and provided evidence that these relatively subtle differences prevent the non-infectious conformer from templating the conversion of native PrP(C) substrates containing a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor. (1) In this article we discuss a model, consistent with these findings, in which recombinant PrP, lacking post-translational modifications and associated folding constraints, is capable of adopting a wide variety of autocatalytic conformations. Only a subset of these recombinant conformers can be adopted by post-translationally modified native PrP(C), and this subset represents the recombinant conformers with high specific infectivity. We examine this model's implications for the generation of highly infectious recombinant prions and the protein-only hypothesis of prion replication.

  14. Soil clay content underlies prion infection odds

    Science.gov (United States)

    David, Walter W.; Walsh, D.P.; Farnsworth, Matthew L.; Winkelman, D.L.; Miller, M.W.

    2011-01-01

    Environmental factors-especially soil properties-have been suggested as potentially important in the transmission of infectious prion diseases. Because binding to montmorillonite (an aluminosilicate clay mineral) or clay-enriched soils had been shown to enhance experimental prion transmissibility, we hypothesized that prion transmission among mule deer might also be enhanced in ranges with relatively high soil clay content. In this study, we report apparent influences of soil clay content on the odds of prion infection in free-ranging deer. Analysis of data from prion-infected deer herds in northern Colorado, USA, revealed that a 1% increase in the clay-sized particle content in soils within the approximate home range of an individual deer increased its odds of infection by up to 8.9%. Our findings suggest that soil clay content and related environmental properties deserve greater attention in assessing risks of prion disease outbreaks and prospects for their control in both natural and production settings. ?? 2011 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved.

  15. Glycoform-selective prion formation in sporadic and familial forms of prion disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xiao, X.; Yuan, J.; Haïk, S.; Cali, I.; Zhan, Y.; Moudjou, M.; Li, B.; Laplanche, J.L.; Laude, H.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Gambetti, P.

    2013-01-01

    The four glycoforms of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) variably glycosylated at the two N-linked glycosylation sites are converted into their pathological forms (PrP(Sc)) in most cases of sporadic prion diseases. However, a prominent molecular characteristic of PrP(Sc) in the recently identified

  16. Prion pathogenesis and secondary lymphoid organs (SLO): tracking the SLO spread of prions to the brain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mabbott, Neil A

    2012-01-01

    Prion diseases are subacute neurodegenerative diseases that affect humans and a range of domestic and free-ranging animal species. These diseases are characterized by the accumulation of PrP (Sc), an abnormally folded isoform of the cellular prion protein (PrP (C)), in affected tissues. The pathology during prion disease appears to occur almost exclusively within the central nervous system. The extensive neurodegeneration which occurs ultimately leads to the death of the host. An intriguing feature of the prion diseases, when compared with other protein-misfolding diseases, is their transmissibility. Following peripheral exposure, some prion diseases accumulate to high levels within lymphoid tissues. The replication of prions within lymphoid tissue has been shown to be important for the efficient spread of disease to the brain. This article describes recent progress in our understanding of the cellular mechanisms that influence the propagation of prions from peripheral sites of exposure (such as the lumen of the intestine) to the brain. A thorough understanding of these events will lead to the identification of important targets for therapeutic intervention, or alternatively, reveal additional processes that influence disease susceptibility to peripherally-acquired prion diseases.

  17. Prussian blue caged in spongiform adsorbents using diatomite and carbon nanotubes for elimination of cesium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hu, Baiyang [Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810 (Japan); Fugetsu, Bunshi, E-mail: hu@ees.hokudai.ac.jp [Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810 (Japan); Yu, Hongwen [Graduate School of Environmental Science, Hokkaido University, Sapporo 060-0810 (Japan); Abe, Yoshiteru [Kyoei Engineering Corporation, Niigata 959-1961 (Japan)

    2012-05-30

    Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Prussian blue was sealed in cavities of diatomite using carbon nanotubes. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer The caged Prussian blue after being permanently immobilized in polyurethane spongy showed a 167 mg/g capability for absorbing cesium. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Cesium elimination was accomplished by simply adding the Prussian-blue based spongiform adsorbent to radioactive water. - Abstract: We developed a spongiform adsorbent that contains Prussian blue, which showed a high capacity for eliminating cesium. An in situ synthesizing approach was used to synthesize Prussian blue inside diatomite cavities. Highly dispersed carbon nanotubes (CNTs) were used to form CNT networks that coated the diatomite to seal in the Prussian blue particles. These ternary (CNT/diatomite/Prussian-blue) composites were mixed with polyurethane (PU) prepolymers to produce a quaternary (PU/CNT/diatomite/Prussian-blue), spongiform adsorbent with an in situ foaming procedure. Prussian blue was permanently immobilized in the cell walls of the spongiform matrix and preferentially adsorbed cesium with a theoretical capacity of 167 mg/g cesium. Cesium was absorbed primarily by an ion-exchange mechanism, and the absorption was accomplished by self-uptake of radioactive water by the quaternary spongiform adsorbent.

  18. A systematic investigation of production of synthetic prions from recombinant prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmidt, Christian; Fizet, Jeremie; Properzi, Francesca; Batchelor, Mark; Sandberg, Malin K; Edgeworth, Julie A; Afran, Louise; Ho, Sammy; Badhan, Anjna; Klier, Steffi; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Brandner, Sebastian; Hosszu, Laszlo L P; Tattum, M Howard; Jat, Parmjit; Clarke, Anthony R; Klöhn, Peter C; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Jackson, Graham S; Collinge, John

    2015-12-01

    According to the protein-only hypothesis, infectious mammalian prions, which exist as distinct strains with discrete biological properties, consist of multichain assemblies of misfolded cellular prion protein (PrP). A critical test would be to produce prion strains synthetically from defined components. Crucially, high-titre 'synthetic' prions could then be used to determine the structural basis of infectivity and strain diversity at the atomic level. While there have been multiple reports of production of prions from bacterially expressed recombinant PrP using various methods, systematic production of high-titre material in a form suitable for structural analysis remains a key goal. Here, we report a novel high-throughput strategy for exploring a matrix of conditions, additives and potential cofactors that might generate high-titre prions from recombinant mouse PrP, with screening for infectivity using a sensitive automated cell-based bioassay. Overall, approximately 20,000 unique conditions were examined. While some resulted in apparently infected cell cultures, this was transient and not reproducible. We also adapted published methods that reported production of synthetic prions from recombinant hamster PrP, but again did not find evidence of significant infectious titre when using recombinant mouse PrP as substrate. Collectively, our findings are consistent with the formation of prion infectivity from recombinant mouse PrP being a rare stochastic event and we conclude that systematic generation of prions from recombinant PrP may only become possible once the detailed structure of authentic ex vivo prions is solved. © 2015 The Authors.

  19. Kosmotropic anions promote conversion of recombinant prion protein into a PrPSc-like misfolded form.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rodrigo Diaz-Espinoza

    Full Text Available Prions are self-propagating proteins involved in transmissible spongiform encephalopaties in mammals. An aberrant conformation with amyloid-like features of a cell surface protein, termed prion protein (PrP, is thought to be the essential component of the infectious particle, though accessory co-factor molecules such as lipids and nucleotides may be involved. The cellular co-factors and environmental conditions implicated in PrP misfolding are not completely understood. To address this issue, several studies have been done inducing misfolding of recombinant PrP (recPrP into classical amyloid structures using partially denaturing conditions. In this work, we report that misfolding of recPrP into PrP(Sc-like aggregates can be induced by simply incubating the protein in the presence of kosmotropic salts at concentrations that are known to retain or increase the stability of the protein. We used a simple experimental reaction (protein, buffer and salts submitted to agitation/incubation cycles at physiological temperature and pH. The formation of protease resistant-recPrP was time and salt-concentration dependent and required the presence of kosmotropic anions such as F(- or SO(4(-2. The molecular weights of the protease resistant recPrP fragments are reminiscent of those found in degradation assays of bona fide PrP(Sc. The aggregates also exhibited PrP(Sc-like ultrastructural features including rod-shape morphology under electron microscope, high beta-sheet content and thioflavin-T positive signal. The formation of recPrP aggregates with PrP(Sc biochemical features under conditions closer to physiological in the absence of organic co-factor molecules provides a simple setup that may prove helpful to understand the molecular mechanism of PrP misfolding.

  20. Prions in Variably Protease-Sensitive Prionopathy: An Update

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zou, W.Q.; Gambetti, P.; Xiao, X.; Yuan, J.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Pirisinu, L.

    2013-01-01

    Human prion diseases, including sporadic, familial, and acquired forms such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), are caused by prions in which an abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) derived from its normal cellular isoform (PrPC) is the only known component. The recently-identified variably

  1. Defining the Conformational Features of Anchorless, Poorly Neuroinvasive Prions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bett, C.; Kurt, T.D.; Lucero, M.; Trejo, M.; Rozemuller, A.J.M.; Kong, Q.Z.; Nilsson, K.P.R.; Masliah, E.; Oldstone, M.B.; Sigurdson, C.J.

    2013-01-01

    Infectious prions cause diverse clinical signs and form an extraordinary range of structures, from amorphous aggregates to fibrils. How the conformation of a prion dictates the disease phenotype remains unclear. Mice expressing GPI-anchorless or GPI-anchored prion protein exposed to the same

  2. Prion disease tempo determined by host-dependent substrate reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mays, C.E.; Kim, C.; Haldiman, T.; Merwe, v.d. J.; Lau, A.; Yang, J.; Grams, J.; Bari, Di M.A.; Nonno, R.; Telling, G.C.; Kong, Q.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; McKenzie, D.; Westaway, D.; Safar, J.G.

    2014-01-01

    The symptoms of prion infection can take years or decades to manifest following the initial exposure. Molecular markers of prion disease include accumulation of the misfolded prion protein (PrPSc), which is derived from its cellular precursor (PrPC), as well as downregulation of the PrP-like Shadoo

  3. The PRNP gene polymorphism in Rough-coated Pomeranian ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Prion protein (PrP) is a membrane glycoprotein whose abnormal form is believed to cause a group of disorders known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), which affect the brain and nervous system of both human beings and animals. The most familiar TSEs are Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD) in human ...

  4. PrPCWD lymphoid cell targets in early and advanced chronic wasting disease of mule deer

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sigurdson, C.J.; Barillas-Mury, C.; Miller, M.W.; Oesch, B.; Keulen, van L.J.M.; Langeveld, J.P.M.; Hoover, E.A.

    2002-01-01

    Up to 15% of free-ranging mule deer in northeastern Colorado and southeastern Wyoming, USA, are afflicted with a prion disease, or transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE), known as chronic wasting disease (CWD). CWD is similar to a subset of TSEs including scrapie and variant Creutzfeldt¿Jakob

  5. 76 FR 71294 - Prions; Proposed Amendment To Clarify Product Performance Data for Products With Prion-Related...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-17

    ... (FIFRA), and to amend its regulations to expressly include prion within the regulatory definition of pest... observed by the user including, but not limited to, microorganisms infectious to man in any area of the... prion within the regulatory definition of pest. EPA currently considers a prion to be a pest under FIFRA...

  6. MRI finding of ethylmalonic encephalopathy: case report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kim, Jin Yong; Lee, Shi Kyung; Han, Chun Hwan; Rho, Eun Jin

    2002-01-01

    Ethylmalonic encephalopathy is a rare syndrom characterized by developmental delay, acrocyanosis, petechiae, chronic diarrhea, and ethylmalonic, lactic, and methylsuccinic aciduria. We report the MRI finding of ethylmalonic encephalopathy including previously unreported intracranial hematoma

  7. Mammalian amyloidogenic proteins promote prion nucleation in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chandramowlishwaran, Pavithra; Sun, Meng; Casey, Kristin L; Romanyuk, Andrey V; Grizel, Anastasiya V; Sopova, Julia V; Rubel, Aleksandr A; Nussbaum-Krammer, Carmen; Vorberg, Ina M; Chernoff, Yury O

    2018-03-02

    Fibrous cross-β aggregates (amyloids) and their transmissible forms (prions) cause diseases in mammals (including humans) and control heritable traits in yeast. Initial nucleation of a yeast prion by transiently overproduced prion-forming protein or its (typically, QN-rich) prion domain is efficient only in the presence of another aggregated (in most cases, QN-rich) protein. Here, we demonstrate that a fusion of the prion domain of yeast protein Sup35 to some non-QN-rich mammalian proteins, associated with amyloid diseases, promotes nucleation of Sup35 prions in the absence of pre-existing aggregates. In contrast, both a fusion of the Sup35 prion domain to a multimeric non-amyloidogenic protein and the expression of a mammalian amyloidogenic protein that is not fused to the Sup35 prion domain failed to promote prion nucleation, further indicating that physical linkage of a mammalian amyloidogenic protein to the prion domain of a yeast protein is required for the nucleation of a yeast prion. Biochemical and cytological approaches confirmed the nucleation of protein aggregates in the yeast cell. Sequence alterations antagonizing or enhancing amyloidogenicity of human amyloid-β (associated with Alzheimer's disease) and mouse prion protein (associated with prion diseases), respectively, antagonized or enhanced nucleation of a yeast prion by these proteins. The yeast-based prion nucleation assay, developed in our work, can be employed for mutational dissection of amyloidogenic proteins. We anticipate that it will aid in the identification of chemicals that influence initial amyloid nucleation and in searching for new amyloidogenic proteins in a variety of proteomes. © 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  8. Generic amyloidogenicity of mammalian prion proteins from species susceptible and resistant to prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nyström, Sofie; Hammarström, Per

    2015-05-11

    Prion diseases are lethal, infectious diseases associated with prion protein (PrP) misfolding. A large number of mammals are susceptible to both sporadic and acquired prion diseases. Although PrP is highly conserved and ubiquitously expressed in all mammals, not all species exhibit prion disease. By employing full length recombinant PrP from five known prion susceptible species (human, cattle, cat, mouse and hamster) and two species considered to be prion resistant (pig and dog) the amyloidogenicity of these PrPs has been delineated. All the mammalian PrPs, even from resistant species, were swiftly converted from the native state to amyloid-like structure when subjected to a native condition conversion assay. The PrPs displayed amyloidotypic tinctorial and ultrastructural hallmarks. Self-seeded conversion of the PrPs displayed significantly decreased lag phases demonstrating that nucleation dependent polymerization is a dominating mechanism in the fibrillation process. Fibrils from Aβ1-40, Aβ1-42, Lysozyme, Insulin and Transthyretin did not accelerate conversion of HuPrP whereas fibrils from HuPrP90-231 and HuPrP121-231 as well as full length PrPs of all PrPs efficiently seeded conversion showing specificity of the assay requiring the C-terminal PrP sequence. Our findings have implications for PrP misfolding and could have ramifications in the context of prion resistant species and silent carriers.

  9. Prions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zijderveld, van F.G.

    2007-01-01

    The report 'Zoonoses and Zoonotic Agents in Humans, Food, Animals and Feed in The Netherlands 2003 - 2006' is based on data that is reported annually to the European Commission, in accordance with the Directive 2003/99/EC on the monitoring of zoonoses and zoonotic agents. They are supplemented with

  10. Sepsis Associated Encephalopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Neera Chaudhry

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Sepsis associated encephalopathy (SAE is a common but poorly understood neurological complication of sepsis. It is characterized by diffuse brain dysfunction secondary to infection elsewhere in the body without overt CNS infection. The pathophysiology of SAE is complex and multifactorial including a number of intertwined mechanisms such as vascular damage, endothelial activation, breakdown of the blood brain barrier, altered brain signaling, brain inflammation, and apoptosis. Clinical presentation of SAE may range from mild symptoms such as malaise and concentration deficits to deep coma. The evaluation of cognitive dysfunction is made difficult by the absence of any specific investigations or biomarkers and the common use of sedation in critically ill patients. SAE thus remains diagnosis of exclusion which can only be made after ruling out other causes of altered mentation in a febrile, critically ill patient by appropriate investigations. In spite of high mortality rate, management of SAE is limited to treatment of the underlying infection and symptomatic treatment for delirium and seizures. It is important to be aware of this condition because SAE may present in early stages of sepsis, even before the diagnostic criteria for sepsis can be met. This review discusses the diagnostic approach to patients with SAE along with its epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical presentation, and differential diagnosis.

  11. Benzodiazepine receptor antagonists for hepatic encephalopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Als-Nielsen, B; Gluud, L L; Gluud, C

    2004-01-01

    Hepatic encephalopathy may be associated with accumulation of substances that bind to a receptor-complex in the brain resulting in neural inhibition. Benzodiazepine receptor antagonists may have a beneficial effect on patients with hepatic encephalopathy.......Hepatic encephalopathy may be associated with accumulation of substances that bind to a receptor-complex in the brain resulting in neural inhibition. Benzodiazepine receptor antagonists may have a beneficial effect on patients with hepatic encephalopathy....

  12. An unusual cause of anemia and encephalopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sanjeev Kumar Sharma

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The authors present here an interesting case of recent onset anemia that was associated with an encephalopathy of the unusual cause.Although severe anemia can theoretically result in anemic hypoxia and can then lead to hypoxic encephalopathy, it is not a primary cause of encephalopathy. More frequently anemia can contribute together with other multiple causes of encephalopathy, such as infections, metabolic abnormalities, trauma, hepatic dysfunction, hypertension, toxins.

  13. Recent advances in hepatic encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeMorrow, Sharon

    2017-01-01

    Hepatic encephalopathy describes the array of neurological alterations that occur during acute liver failure or chronic liver injury. While key players in the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy, such as increases in brain ammonia, alterations in neurosteroid levels, and neuroinflammation, have been identified, there is still a paucity in our knowledge of the precise pathogenic mechanism. This review gives a brief overview of our understanding of the pathogenesis of hepatic encephalopathy and then summarizes the significant recent advances made in clinical and basic research contributing to our understanding, diagnosis, and possible treatment of hepatic encephalopathy. A literature search using the PubMed database was conducted in May 2017 using “hepatic encephalopathy” as a keyword, and selected manuscripts were limited to those research articles published since May 2014. While the authors acknowledge that many significant advances have been made in the understanding of hepatic encephalopathy prior to May 2014, we have limited the scope of this review to the previous three years only. PMID:29026534

  14. Lions and prions and deer demise.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael W Miller

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Contagious prion diseases--scrapie of sheep and chronic wasting disease of several species in the deer family--give rise to epidemics that seem capable of compromising host population viability. Despite this prospect, the ecological consequences of prion disease epidemics in natural populations have received little consideration. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Using a cohort study design, we found that prion infection dramatically lowered survival of free-ranging adult (>2-year-old mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus: estimated average life expectancy was 5.2 additional years for uninfected deer but only 1.6 additional years for infected deer. Prion infection also increased nearly fourfold the rate of mountain lions (Puma concolor preying on deer, suggesting that epidemics may alter predator-prey dynamics by facilitating hunting success. Despite selective predation, about one fourth of the adult deer we sampled were infected. High prevalence and low survival of infected deer provided a plausible explanation for the marked decline in this deer population since the 1980s. CONCLUSION: Remarkably high infection rates sustained in the face of intense predation show that even seemingly complete ecosystems may offer little resistance to the spread and persistence of contagious prion diseases. Moreover, the depression of infected populations may lead to local imbalances in food webs and nutrient cycling in ecosystems in which deer are important herbivores.

  15. Inactivation of prion infectivity by ionizing rays

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gominet, M. [Ionisos, ZI les Chatinieres, F01120 Dagneux (France); Vadrot, C.; Austruy, G. [Paris V University, Central Pharmacy of Hospitals, 4 avenue de l' Observatoire, F-75006, Paris (France); Darbord, J.C. [Paris V University, Central Pharmacy of Hospitals, 4 avenue de l' Observatoire, F-75006, Paris (France)], E-mail: darbord@pharmacie.univ-paris5.fr

    2007-11-15

    Inactivation of prion deposits on medical devices or prion contamination in pharmaceutical raw materials is considered as impossible by using gamma irradiation. Early, the guideline WHO/CDS/CSR/APH/2000 has described irradiation as an ineffective process. But, in 2003, S. Miekka et al. noted radiation inactivation of prions in a particular application to purify human albumin, shown by the physical denaturation of the infectious protein (PrP). The aim of our study was to determine the inactivation of prions with a scrapie model (strain C506M3) by irradiating standardised preparations. Results: Gamma irradiation was partially effective, showing a 4-5 log reduction on exposure to 50 kGy. A characteristic effect-dose curve was not observed (25, 50 and 100 kGy), only an increase in the incubation period of the murine disease (229 days with 25 kGy to 290 days with 100 kGy) compared with 170 days without irradiation. Since the inactivation was not a total one, the observed effect is significant. It is proposed that further work be undertaken with the model to investigate the application of gamma radiation known levels of prion contamination.

  16. Inactivation of prion infectivity by ionizing rays

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gominet, M.; Vadrot, C.; Austruy, G.; Darbord, J.C.

    2007-01-01

    Inactivation of prion deposits on medical devices or prion contamination in pharmaceutical raw materials is considered as impossible by using gamma irradiation. Early, the guideline WHO/CDS/CSR/APH/2000 has described irradiation as an ineffective process. But, in 2003, S. Miekka et al. noted radiation inactivation of prions in a particular application to purify human albumin, shown by the physical denaturation of the infectious protein (PrP). The aim of our study was to determine the inactivation of prions with a scrapie model (strain C506M3) by irradiating standardised preparations. Results: Gamma irradiation was partially effective, showing a 4-5 log reduction on exposure to 50 kGy. A characteristic effect-dose curve was not observed (25, 50 and 100 kGy), only an increase in the incubation period of the murine disease (229 days with 25 kGy to 290 days with 100 kGy) compared with 170 days without irradiation. Since the inactivation was not a total one, the observed effect is significant. It is proposed that further work be undertaken with the model to investigate the application of gamma radiation known levels of prion contamination

  17. CT and MRI findings of cyclosporine-related encephalopathy and hypertensive encephalopathy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yamamoto, Akira; Hayakawa, Katsumi; Houjyou, Makoto

    2002-01-01

    We present the MRI and CT findings of one child with cyclosporine-related encephalopathy, and one child with hypertensive encephalopathy following cyclosporine-related encephalopathy. The imaging findings were shown well on T2-weighted and fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) MR images. Cyclosporine-related encephalopathy was distributed predominantly in the posterior white matter. Hypertensive encephalopathy showed similar changes of CT attenuation, but with wider distribution. These two disorders seem to have the same pathogenesis. (orig.)

  18. Secretin receptor involvement in prion-infected cells and animals.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kimura, Tomohiro; Nishizawa, Keiko; Oguma, Ayumi; Nishimura, Yuki; Sakasegawa, Yuji; Teruya, Kenta; Nishijima, Ichiko; Doh-ura, Katsumi

    2015-07-08

    The cellular mechanisms behind prion biosynthesis and metabolism remain unclear. Here we show that secretin signaling via the secretin receptor regulates abnormal prion protein formation in prion-infected cells. Animal studies demonstrate that secretin receptor deficiency slightly, but significantly, prolongs incubation time in female but not male mice. This gender-specificity is consistent with our finding that prion-infected cells are derived from females. Therefore, our results provide initial insights into the reasons why age of disease onset in certain prion diseases is reported to occur slightly earlier in females than males. Copyright © 2015 Federation of European Biochemical Societies. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Grass Plants Bind, Retain, Uptake, and Transport Infectious Prions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra Pritzkow

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Prions are the protein-based infectious agents responsible for prion diseases. Environmental prion contamination has been implicated in disease transmission. Here, we analyzed the binding and retention of infectious prion protein (PrPSc to plants. Small quantities of PrPSc contained in diluted brain homogenate or in excretory materials (urine and feces can bind to wheat grass roots and leaves. Wild-type hamsters were efficiently infected by ingestion of prion-contaminated plants. The prion-plant interaction occurs with prions from diverse origins, including chronic wasting disease. Furthermore, leaves contaminated by spraying with a prion-containing preparation retained PrPSc for several weeks in the living plant. Finally, plants can uptake prions from contaminated soil and transport them to aerial parts of the plant (stem and leaves. These findings demonstrate that plants can efficiently bind infectious prions and act as carriers of infectivity, suggesting a possible role of environmental prion contamination in the horizontal transmission of the disease.

  20. Grass plants bind, retain, uptake, and transport infectious prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritzkow, Sandra; Morales, Rodrigo; Moda, Fabio; Khan, Uffaf; Telling, Glenn C; Hoover, Edward; Soto, Claudio

    2015-05-26

    Prions are the protein-based infectious agents responsible for prion diseases. Environmental prion contamination has been implicated in disease transmission. Here, we analyzed the binding and retention of infectious prion protein (PrP(Sc)) to plants. Small quantities of PrP(Sc) contained in diluted brain homogenate or in excretory materials (urine and feces) can bind to wheat grass roots and leaves. Wild-type hamsters were efficiently infected by ingestion of prion-contaminated plants. The prion-plant interaction occurs with prions from diverse origins, including chronic wasting disease. Furthermore, leaves contaminated by spraying with a prion-containing preparation retained PrP(Sc) for several weeks in the living plant. Finally, plants can uptake prions from contaminated soil and transport them to aerial parts of the plant (stem and leaves). These findings demonstrate that plants can efficiently bind infectious prions and act as carriers of infectivity, suggesting a possible role of environmental prion contamination in the horizontal transmission of the disease. Copyright © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  1. Experimental Models of Inherited PrP Prion Diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watts, Joel C; Prusiner, Stanley B

    2017-11-01

    The inherited prion protein (PrP) prion disorders, which include familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease, and fatal familial insomnia, constitute ∼10%-15% of all PrP prion disease cases in humans. Attempts to generate animal models of these disorders using transgenic mice expressing mutant PrP have produced variable results. Although many lines of mice develop spontaneous signs of neurological illness with accompanying prion disease-specific neuropathological changes, others do not. Furthermore, demonstrating the presence of protease-resistant PrP species and prion infectivity-two of the hallmarks of the PrP prion disorders-in the brains of spontaneously sick mice has proven particularly challenging. Here, we review the progress that has been made toward developing accurate mouse models of the inherited PrP prion disorders. Copyright © 2017 Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press; all rights reserved.

  2. LGI1 antibody encephalopathy overlapping with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Boaz; Yoo, Patrick; Sutherland, Tom; Boyd, Alison; Stehmann, Christiane; McLean, Catriona

    2016-01-01

    Objective: To report a rare case of leucine-rich, glioma inactivated 1 (LGI1) antibody–mediated autoimmune encephalopathy clinically overlapping with pathologically confirmed sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Methods: The patient was investigated with repeated brain MRI, EEG, CSF examination, whole-body fluorodeoxy-glucose positron emission tomography, genetic analysis of the prion protein gene (PRNP), and extensive serologic screening for paraneoplastic and autoimmune encephalopathy markers. Written informed consent was obtained from the patient's next of kin for access to clinical files for research purposes and for publication. Results: The patient was a 77-year-old man who presented with faciobrachial dystonic seizures (FBDS) secondary to LGI1 antibody–mediated autoimmune encephalopathy, with suggestive MRI findings and a complete response to treatment with combinatorial immunosuppression. Stereotactic biopsy of a nonenhancing T1 hyperintense basal ganglia lesion during the initial FBDS phase, albeit following immunosuppression, did not disclose evidence of lymphocytic inflammation. Following full remission of the FBDS, the patient manifested a rapidly progressive dementia associated with gross motor decline confirmed to be CJD at autopsy (molecular subtype VV3), with no evidence of a pathogenic PRNP mutation. Conclusions: Our patient highlights that these rare diseases are not invariably mutually exclusive and underscores the benefits of comprehensive neuropathologic examination of the brain to achieve an accurate diagnosis, especially in complex cases when the clinical trajectory dramatically deviates and a concomitant disease may need to be conscientiously considered to best explain the new clinical course. PMID:27354985

  3. Comparison of MRI, CT, TCD and SPECT in patients with spongiform leukoencephalopathy after inhaling heroin vapor

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Qun; Lu Bingxun; Yuan Huijuan

    2002-01-01

    Objective: To compare the characteristics of MRI, CT, single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and transcranial Doppler sonography (TCD) in patients with spongiform leukoencephalopathy after inhaling heroin vapor. Methods: Seventeen patients were investigated. MRI or CT was scanned in 17 patients, SPECT in 9 patients' and TCD in 11 patients. Results: MRI or CT: Brain MRI and CT revealed extensive symmetric white matter involvement of bilateral cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres and the brainstem. The lesions, which showed no contrast enhancement, were hypodense on CT and hypointense on T 1 -weighted and hyperintense on T 2 -weighted MRI. SPECT: The regional cerebral blood flows (rCBF) of white matter involvement on bilateral cerebral and cerebellar hemispheres was reduced obviously. The rCBF of temporal lobes, parietal lobes, occipital lobes, cerebellar hemispheres, and basal ganglion was reduced in varying degrees. TCD: The systolic peak became sharpened, and end-diastolic flow velocity and mean flow velocity were reduced obviously and pulsatile index was increased markedly in patients with spongiform leukoencephalopathy after inhaling heroin vapor. Conclusion: The characteristic manifestations of MRI and CT imaging may be regarded as the main foundation of diagnosing spongiform leukoencephalopathy after inhaling heroin vapor; SPECT and TCD can help comprehend the changes of hemodynamics of cerebral vessels and the degree of cerebral ischemia in patients with spongiform leukoencephalopathy after inhaling heroin vapor

  4. Effects of solution chemistry and aging time on prion protein adsorption and replication of soil-bound prions.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel E Saunders

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Prion interactions with soil may play an important role in the transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD and scrapie. Prions are known to bind to a wide range of soil surfaces, but the effects of adsorption solution chemistry and long-term soil binding on prion fate and transmission risk are unknown. We investigated HY TME prion protein (PrP(Sc adsorption to soil minerals in aqueous solutions of phosphate buffered saline (PBS, sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and deionized water using western blotting. The replication efficiency of bound prions following adsorption in these solutions was also evaluated by protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA. Aging studies investigated PrP(Sc desorption and replication efficiency up to one year following adsorption in PBS or DI water. Results indicate that adsorption solution chemistry can affect subsequent prion replication or desorption ability, especially after incubation periods of 30 d or longer. Observed effects were minor over the short-term (7 d or less. Results of long-term aging experiments demonstrate that unbound prions or prions bound to a diverse range of soil surfaces can readily replicate after one year. Our results suggest that while prion-soil interactions can vary with solution chemistry, prions bound to soil could remain a risk for transmitting prion diseases after months in the environment.

  5. Prion Protein on Astrocytes or in Extracellular Fluid Impedes Neurodegeneration Induced by Truncated Prion Protein

    OpenAIRE

    Race, Brent; Meade-White, Kimberly; Race, Richard; Baumann, Frank; Aguzzi, Adriano; Chesebro, Bruce

    2009-01-01

    Prion protein (PrP) is a host-encoded membrane-anchored glycoprotein which is required for susceptibility to prion disease. PrP may also be important for normal brain functions such as hippocampal spatial memory. Previously transgenic mice expressing amino terminally truncated mouse PrP (Δ32–134) spontaneously developed a fatal disease associated with degeneration of cerebellar granular neurons as well as vacuolar degeneration of deep cerebellar and brain stem white matter. This disease could...

  6. Amyloid cores in prion domains: Key regulators for prion conformational conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernández, María Rosario; Batlle, Cristina; Gil-García, Marcos; Ventura, Salvador

    2017-01-02

    Despite the significant efforts devoted to decipher the particular protein features that encode for a prion or prion-like behavior, they are still poorly understood. The well-characterized yeast prions constitute an ideal model system to address this question, because, in these proteins, the prion activity can be univocally assigned to a specific region of their sequence, known as the prion forming domain (PFD). These PFDs are intrinsically disordered, relatively long and, in many cases, of low complexity, being enriched in glutamine/asparagine residues. Computational analyses have identified a significant number of proteins having similar domains in the human proteome. The compositional bias of these regions plays an important role in the transition of the prions to the amyloid state. However, it is difficult to explain how composition alone can account for the formation of specific contacts that position correctly PFDs and provide the enthalpic force to compensate for the large entropic cost of immobilizing these domains in the initial assemblies. We have hypothesized that short, sequence-specific, amyloid cores embedded in PFDs can perform these functions and, accordingly, act as preferential nucleation centers in both spontaneous and seeded aggregation. We have shown that the implementation of this concept in a prediction algorithm allows to score the prion propensities of putative PFDs with high accuracy. Recently, we have provided experimental evidence for the existence of such amyloid cores in the PFDs of Sup35, Ure2, Swi1, and Mot3 yeast prions. The fibrils formed by these short stretches may recognize and promote the aggregation of the complete proteins inside cells, being thus a promising tool for targeted protein inactivation.

  7. Role of Prion Replication in the Strain-dependent Brain Regional Distribution of Prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Ping Ping; Morales, Rodrigo; Duran-Aniotz, Claudia; Moreno-Gonzalez, Ines; Khan, Uffaf; Soto, Claudio

    2016-06-10

    One intriguing feature of prion diseases is their strain variation. Prion strains are differentiated by the clinical consequences they generate in the host, their biochemical properties, and their potential to infect other animal species. The selective targeting of these agents to specific brain structures have been extensively used to characterize prion strains. However, the molecular basis dictating strain-specific neurotropism are still elusive. In this study, isolated brain structures from animals infected with four hamster prion strains (HY, DY, 139H, and SSLOW) were analyzed for their content of protease-resistant PrP(Sc) Our data show that these strains have different profiles of PrP deposition along the brain. These patterns of accumulation, which were independent of regional PrP(C) production, were not reproduced by in vitro replication when different brain regions were used as substrate for the misfolding-amplification reaction. On the contrary, our results show that in vitro replication efficiency depended exclusively on the amount of PrP(C) present in each part of the brain. Our results suggest that the variable regional distribution of PrP(Sc) in distinct strains is not determined by differences on prion formation, but on other factors or cellular pathways. Our findings may contribute to understand the molecular mechanisms of prion pathogenesis and strain diversity. © 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  8. Prion diseases and adult neurogenesis: how do prions counteract the brain's endogenous repair machinery?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Relaño-Ginés, Aroa; Lehmann, Sylvain; Crozet, Carole

    2014-01-01

    Scientific advances in stem cell biology and adult neurogenesis have raised the hope that neurodegenerative disorders could benefit from stem cell-based therapy. Adult neurogenesis might be part of the physiological regenerative process, however it might become impaired by the disease's mechanism and therefore contribute to neurodegeneration. In prion disorders this endogenous repair system has rarely been studied. Whether adult neurogenesis plays a role or not in brain repair or in the propagation of prion pathology remains unclear. We have recently investigated the status of adult neural stem cells isolated from prion-infected mice. We were able to show that neural stem cells accumulate and replicate prions thus resulting in an alteration of their neuronal destiny. We also reproduced these results in adult neural stem cells, which were infected in vitro. The fact that endogenous adult neurogenesis could be altered by the accumulation of misfolded prion protein represents another great challenge. Inhibiting prion propagation in these cells would thus help the endogenous neurogenesis to compensate for the injured neuronal system. Moreover, understanding the endogenous modulation of the neurogenesis system would help develop effective neural stem cell-based therapies.

  9. Psychopathology and Hepatic Encephalopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    João Gama Marques

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Since Hippocrates that neuropsychiatric illness secondary to liver disease fascinates physicians, but only in the XIX century Marcel Nencki and Ivan Pavlov suggested the relation between high concentrations of ammonia and Hepatic Encephalopathy (HE. The reaction of ammonia and glutamate (origins glutamine, “the Trojan Horse of neurotoxicity of ammonia continues to be the main responsible for the neurologic lesions, recently confirmed by neurochemistry and neuroimagiology studies. Glutamine starts the inflammatory reaction at the central nervous sys- tem but other important actors seem to be manganese and the neurotransmitters systems of GABA and endocanabinoids. Nowadays there are three different etiologic big groups for HE: type A associated with acute liver failure; type B associated with portosystemic bypass; and type C associated with cirrhosis of the liver. The staging of HE is still based on classic West Haven system, but a latent Grade 0 was introduced (the so called minimal HE; remaining the aggra- vating HE from Grade 1 (subtle changes at clinical examination to Grade 4 (coma. In this work a bibliographic review was made on 30 of the most pertinent and recent papers, focusing in psychopathology, physiopathology, etiology and staging of this clinical entity transversal to Psychiatry and Gastroenterology. Alterations are described in vigility and conscience like temporal, spatial and personal disorientation. Attention, concentration and memory are impaired very early, on latent phase and can be accessed through neuropsychological tests. Mood oscillates between euphoric and depressive. Personality changes begin obviously and abruptly or in a subtle and insidious way. There can be changes in perception like visual hallucinations or even of acoustic-verbal. The thought disorders can be of delusional type, paranoid, systematized or not, but also monothematic ala Capgras Syndrome. Speech can be accelerated, slowed down or completely in

  10. Prion-based memory of heat stress in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chernova, Tatiana A; Chernoff, Yury O; Wilkinson, Keith D

    2017-05-04

    Amyloids and amyloid-based prions are self-perpetuating protein aggregates which can spread by converting a normal protein of the same sequence into a prion form. They are associated with diseases in humans and mammals, and control heritable traits in yeast and other fungi. Some amyloids are implicated in biologically beneficial processes. As prion formation generates reproducible memory of a conformational change, prions can be considered as molecular memory devices.  We have demonstrated that in yeast, stress-inducible cytoskeleton-associated protein Lsb2 forms a metastable prion in response to high temperature. This prion promotes conversion of other proteins into prions and can persist in a fraction of cells for a significant number of cell generations after stress, thus maintaining the memory of stress in a population of surviving cells. Acquisition of an amino acid substitution required for Lsb2 to form a prion coincides with acquisition of increased thermotolerance in the evolution of Saccharomyces yeast. Thus the ability to form an Lsb2 prion in response to stress coincides with yeast adaptation to growth at higher temperatures. These findings intimately connect prion formation to the cellular response to environmental stresses.

  11. Efficient prion disease transmission through common environmental materials.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pritzkow, Sandra; Morales, Rodrigo; Lyon, Adam; Concha-Marambio, Luis; Urayama, Akihiko; Soto, Claudio

    2018-03-02

    Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases associated with a protein-based infectious agent, termed prion. Compelling evidence suggests that natural transmission of prion diseases is mediated by environmental contamination with infectious prions. We hypothesized that several natural and man-made materials, commonly found in the environments of wild and captive animals, can bind prions and may act as vectors for disease transmission. To test our hypothesis, we exposed surfaces composed of various common environmental materials ( i.e. wood, rocks, plastic, glass, cement, stainless steel, aluminum, and brass) to hamster-adapted 263K scrapie prions and studied their attachment and retention of infectivity in vitro and in vivo Our results indicated that these surfaces, with the sole exception of brass, efficiently bind, retain, and release prions. Prion replication was studied in vitro using the protein misfolding cyclic amplification technology, and infectivity of surface-bound prions was analyzed by intracerebrally challenging hamsters with contaminated implants. Our results revealed that virtually all prion-contaminated materials transmitted the disease at high rates. To investigate a more natural form of exposure to environmental contamination, we simply housed animals with large contaminated spheres made of the different materials under study. Strikingly, most of the hamsters developed classical clinical signs of prion disease and typical disease-associated brain changes. Our findings suggest that prion contamination of surfaces commonly present in the environment can be a source of disease transmission, thus expanding our understanding of the mechanisms for prion spreading in nature. © 2018 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.

  12. Role of Prion Protein Aggregation in Neurotoxicity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tullio Florio

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available In several neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson, Alzheimer’s, Huntington, and prion diseases, the deposition of aggregated misfolded proteins is believed to be responsible for the neurotoxicity that characterizes these diseases. Prion protein (PrP, the protein responsible of prion diseases, has been deeply studied for the peculiar feature of its misfolded oligomers that are able to propagate within affected brains, inducing the conversion of the natively folded PrP into the pathological conformation. In this review, we summarize the available experimental evidence concerning the relationship between aggregation status of misfolded PrP and neuronal death in the course of prion diseases. In particular, we describe the main findings resulting from the use of different synthetic (mainly PrP106-126 and recombinant PrP-derived peptides, as far as mechanisms of aggregation and amyloid formation, and how these different spatial conformations can affect neuronal death. In particular, most data support the involvement of non-fibrillar oligomers rather than actual amyloid fibers as the determinant of neuronal death.

  13. Neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease and prion disease

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eikelenboom, P.; Bate, C.; van Gool, W. A.; Hoozemans, J. J. M.; Rozemuller, J. M.; Veerhuis, R.; Williams, A.

    2002-01-01

    Alzheimer's disease (AD) and prion disease are characterized neuropathologically by extracellular deposits of Abeta and PrP amyloid fibrils, respectively. In both disorders, these cerebral amyloid deposits are co-localized with a broad variety of inflammation-related proteins (complement factors,

  14. Chronic wasting disease: Bambi vs. the prion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) was first described in Colorado in 1967 and subsequently recognized as a prion disease in 1980. CWD has a long and asymptomatic incubation period (> 1 year) followed by a short disease course that ends in the death of the animal. There is no known treatment or cure for ...

  15. Prion Disease: Learn the Facts. Avoid Exposure.

    Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Podcasts

    2011-05-23

    This podcast discusses prion diseases and the risk of exposure associated with some common activities.  Created: 5/23/2011 by National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID).   Date Released: 5/23/2011.

  16. Inherited prion disease A117V is not simply a proteinopathy but produces prions transmissible to transgenic mice expressing homologous prion protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emmanuel A Asante

    Full Text Available Prions are infectious agents causing fatal neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals. In humans, these have sporadic, acquired and inherited aetiologies. The inherited prion diseases are caused by one of over 30 coding mutations in the human prion protein (PrP gene (PRNP and many of these generate infectious prions as evidenced by their experimental transmissibility by inoculation to laboratory animals. However, some, and in particular an extensively studied type of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS caused by a PRNP A117V mutation, are thought not to generate infectious prions and instead constitute prion proteinopathies with a quite distinct pathogenetic mechanism. Multiple attempts to transmit A117V GSS have been unsuccessful and typical protease-resistant PrP (PrP(Sc, pathognomonic of prion disease, is not detected in brain. Pathogenesis is instead attributed to production of an aberrant topological form of PrP, C-terminal transmembrane PrP ((CtmPrP. Barriers to transmission of prion strains from one species to another appear to relate to structural compatibility of PrP in host and inoculum and we have therefore produced transgenic mice expressing human 117V PrP. We found that brain tissue from GSS A117V patients did transmit disease to these mice and both the neuropathological features of prion disease and presence of PrP(Sc was demonstrated in the brains of recipient transgenic mice. This PrP(Sc rapidly degraded during laboratory analysis, suggesting that the difficulty in its detection in patients with GSS A117V could relate to post-mortem proteolysis. We conclude that GSS A117V is indeed a prion disease although the relative contributions of (CtmPrP and prion propagation in neurodegeneration and their pathogenetic interaction remains to be established.

  17. Inherited prion disease A117V is not simply a proteinopathy but produces prions transmissible to transgenic mice expressing homologous prion protein.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asante, Emmanuel A; Linehan, Jacqueline M; Smidak, Michelle; Tomlinson, Andrew; Grimshaw, Andrew; Jeelani, Asif; Jakubcova, Tatiana; Hamdan, Shyma; Powell, Caroline; Brandner, Sebastian; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Collinge, John

    2013-01-01

    Prions are infectious agents causing fatal neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals. In humans, these have sporadic, acquired and inherited aetiologies. The inherited prion diseases are caused by one of over 30 coding mutations in the human prion protein (PrP) gene (PRNP) and many of these generate infectious prions as evidenced by their experimental transmissibility by inoculation to laboratory animals. However, some, and in particular an extensively studied type of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS) caused by a PRNP A117V mutation, are thought not to generate infectious prions and instead constitute prion proteinopathies with a quite distinct pathogenetic mechanism. Multiple attempts to transmit A117V GSS have been unsuccessful and typical protease-resistant PrP (PrP(Sc)), pathognomonic of prion disease, is not detected in brain. Pathogenesis is instead attributed to production of an aberrant topological form of PrP, C-terminal transmembrane PrP ((Ctm)PrP). Barriers to transmission of prion strains from one species to another appear to relate to structural compatibility of PrP in host and inoculum and we have therefore produced transgenic mice expressing human 117V PrP. We found that brain tissue from GSS A117V patients did transmit disease to these mice and both the neuropathological features of prion disease and presence of PrP(Sc) was demonstrated in the brains of recipient transgenic mice. This PrP(Sc) rapidly degraded during laboratory analysis, suggesting that the difficulty in its detection in patients with GSS A117V could relate to post-mortem proteolysis. We conclude that GSS A117V is indeed a prion disease although the relative contributions of (Ctm)PrP and prion propagation in neurodegeneration and their pathogenetic interaction remains to be established.

  18. Rifaximin in the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iadevaia MD

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available Maddalena Diana Iadevaia, Anna Del Prete, Claudia Cesaro, Laura Gaeta, Claudio Zulli, Carmelina LoguercioDepartment of Internistica Clinica e Sperimentale, F Magrassi e A Lanzara, Hepatogastroenterology Unit, Second University of Naples, Naples, ItalyAbstract: Hepatic encephalopathy is a challenging complication in patients with advanced liver disease. It can be defined as a neuropsychiatric syndrome caused by portosystemic venous shunting, ranging from minimal to overt hepatic encephalopathy or coma. Its pathophysiology is still unclear, although increased levels of ammonia play a key role. Diagnosis of hepatic encephalopathy is currently based on specific tests evaluating the neuropsychiatric state of patients and their quality of life; the severity of hepatic encephalopathy is measured by the West Haven criteria. Treatment of hepatic encephalopathy consists of pharmacological and corrective measures, as well as nutritional interventions. Rifaximin received approval for the treatment of hepatic encephalopathy in 2010 because of its few side effects and pharmacological benefits. The aim of this work is to review the use and efficacy of rifaximin both in acute and long-term management of hepatic encephalopathy. Treatment of overt hepatic encephalopathy involves management of the acute episode as well as maintenance of remission in those patients who have previously experienced an episode, in order to improve their quality of life. The positive effect of rifaximin in reducing health care costs is also discussed.Keywords: acute hepatic encephalopathy, recurrent hepatic encephalopathy, rifaximin, lactulose, cost, health-related quality of life

  19. Live-cell FRET imaging reveals clustering of the prion protein at the cell surface induced by infectious prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tavares, Evandro; Macedo, Joana A; Paulo, Pedro M R; Tavares, Catarina; Lopes, Carlos; Melo, Eduardo P

    2014-07-01

    Prion diseases are associated to the conversion of the prion protein into a misfolded pathological isoform. The mechanism of propagation of protein misfolding by protein templating remains largely unknown. Neuroblastoma cells were transfected with constructs of the prion protein fused to both CFP-GPI-anchored and to YFP-GPI-anchored and directed to its cell membrane location. Live-cell FRET imaging between the prion protein fused to CFP or YFP was measured giving consistent values of 10±2%. This result was confirmed by fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy and indicates intermolecular interactions between neighbor prion proteins. In particular, considering that a maximum FRET efficiency of 17±2% was determined from a positive control consisting of a fusion CFP-YFP-GPI-anchored. A stable cell clone expressing the two fusions containing the prion protein was also selected to minimize cell-to-cell variability. In both, stable and transiently transfected cells, the FRET efficiency consistently increased in the presence of infectious prions - from 4±1% to 7±1% in the stable clone and from 10±2% to 16±1% in transiently transfected cells. These results clearly reflect an increased clustering of the prion protein on the membrane in the presence of infectious prions, which was not observed in negative control using constructs without the prion protein and upon addition of non-infected brain. Our data corroborates the recent view that the primary site for prion conversion is the cell membrane. Since our fluorescent cell clone is not susceptible to propagate infectivity, we hypothesize that the initial event of prion infectivity might be the clustering of the GPI-anchored prion protein. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Saccharomyces cerevisiae: a sexy yeast with a prion problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Amy C; Wickner, Reed B

    2013-01-01

    Yeast prions are infectious proteins that spread exclusively by mating. The frequency of prions in the wild therefore largely reflects the rate of spread by mating counterbalanced by prion growth slowing effects in the host. We recently showed that the frequency of outcross mating is about 1% of mitotic doublings with 23-46% of total matings being outcrosses. These findings imply that even the mildest forms of the [PSI+], [URE3] and [PIN+] prions impart > 1% growth/survival detriment on their hosts. Our estimate of outcrossing suggests that Saccharomyces cerevisiae is far more sexual than previously thought and would therefore be more responsive to the adaptive effects of natural selection compared with a strictly asexual yeast. Further, given its large effective population size, a growth/survival detriment of > 1% for yeast prions should strongly select against prion-infected strains in wild populations of Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

  1. Anti-prion activity of Brilliant Blue G.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yoshifumi Iwamaru

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders with no effective therapy currently available. Accumulating evidence has implicated over-activation of P2X7 ionotropic purinergic receptor (P2X7R in the progression of neuronal loss in several neurodegenerative diseases. This has led to the speculation that simultaneous blockade of this receptor and prion replication can be an effective therapeutic strategy for prion diseases. We have focused on Brilliant Blue G (BBG, a well-known P2X7R antagonist, possessing a chemical structure expected to confer anti-prion activity and examined its inhibitory effect on the accumulation of pathogenic isoforms of prion protein (PrPres in a cellular and a mouse model of prion disease in order to determine its therapeutic potential. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: BBG prevented PrPres accumulation in infected MG20 microglial and N2a neural cells at 50% inhibitory concentrations of 14.6 and 3.2 µM, respectively. Administration of BBG in vivo also reduced PrPres accumulation in the brains of mice with prion disease. However, it did not appear to alleviate the disease progression compared to the vehicle-treated controls, implying a complex role of P2X7R on the neuronal degeneration in prion diseases. SIGNIFICANCE: These results provide novel insights into the pathophysiology of prion diseases and have important implications for the treatment.

  2. Wernicke Encephalopathy after Gastrointestinal Surgery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Semra Saygi

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available We herein describe a child operated for acute abdomen who developed Wernickes encephalopathy (WE secondary to prolonged total parenteral nutrition (TPN that lacked vitamin B1 supplementation. The author concluded that surgeons, child neurologists, pediatricians and radiologists need to be aware of the predisposing factors and symptoms of WE. Clinicians need to keep in mind that ophthalmoplegia, ataxia or altered mental status could be findings of WE. [Cukurova Med J 2015; 40(3.000: 627-631

  3. Ketogenic Diet in Epileptic Encephalopathies

    OpenAIRE

    Sharma, Suvasini; Tripathi, Manjari

    2013-01-01

    The ketogenic diet is a medically supervised high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet that has been found useful in patients with refractory epilepsy. It has been shown to be effective in treating multiple seizure types and epilepsy syndromes. In this paper, we review the use of the ketogenic diet in epileptic encephalopathies such as Ohtahara syndrome, West syndrome, Dravet syndrome, epilepsy with myoclonic atonic seizures, and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

  4. Transient Cardiac Arrest in Patient With Left Ventricular Noncompaction (Spongiform Cardiomyopathy)

    OpenAIRE

    Yamazaki, Shinya; Ito, Hiroshi; Kawaai, Hiroyoshi

    2011-01-01

    Left ventricular noncompaction (LVNC), also known as spongiform cardiomyopathy, is a severe disease that has not previously been discussed with respect to general anesthesia. We treated a child with LVNC who experienced cardiac arrest. Dental treatment under general anesthesia was scheduled because the patient had a risk of endocarditis due to dental caries along with a history of being uncooperative for dental care. During sevoflurane induction, severe hypotension and laryngospasm resulted i...

  5. Valproic Acid Induced Hyperammonaemic Encephalopathy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Amanat, S.; Shahbaz, N.; Hassan, Y.

    2013-01-01

    Objective: To observe clinical and laboratory features of valproic acid-induced hyperammonaemic encephalopathy in patients taking valproic acid. Methods: Observational study was conducted at the Neurology Department, Dow University of Health Sciences, Civil Hospital, Karachi, from February 26, 2010 to March 20, 2011. Ten patients on valproic acid therapy of any age group with idiopathic or secondary epilepsy, who presented with encephalopathic symptoms, were registered and followed up during the study. Serum ammonia level, serum valproic acid level, liver function test, cerebrospinal fluid examination, electroencephalogram and brain imaging of all the patients were done. Other causes of encephalopathy were excluded after clinical and appropriate laboratory investigations. Microsoft Excel 2007 was used for statistical analysis. Results: Hyperammonaemia was found in all patients with encephalopathic symptoms. Rise in serum ammonia was independent of dose and serum level of valproic acid. Liver function was also found to be normal in 80% (n=8) of the patients. Valproic acid was withdrawn in all patients. Three (30%) patients improved only after the withdrawal of valproic acid. Six (60%) patients improved after L-Carnitine replacement, one (10%) after sodium benzoate. On followup, serum ammonia had reduced to normal in five (50%) patients and to more than half of the baseline level in two (20%) patients. Three (30%) patients were lost to followup after complete clinical improvement. Conclusion: Within therapeutic dose and serum levels, valproic acid can cause symptomatic hyperammonaemia resulting in encephalopathy. All patients taking valproic acid presenting with encephalopathic symptoms must be monitored for the condition. (author)

  6. Structural characterization of POM6 Fab and mouse prion protein complex identifies key regions for prions conformational conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baral, Pravas Kumar; Swayampakula, Mridula; Aguzzi, Adriano; James, Michael N G

    2018-05-01

    Conversion of the cellular prion protein PrP C into its pathogenic isoform PrP S c is the hallmark of prion diseases, fatal neurodegenerative diseases affecting many mammalian species including humans. Anti-prion monoclonal antibodies can arrest the progression of prion diseases by stabilizing the cellular form of the prion protein. Here, we present the crystal structure of the POM6 Fab fragment, in complex with the mouse prion protein (moPrP). The prion epitope of POM6 is in close proximity to the epitope recognized by the purportedly toxic antibody fragment, POM1 Fab also complexed with moPrP. The POM6 Fab recognizes a larger binding interface indicating a likely stronger binding compared to POM1. POM6 and POM1 exhibit distinct biological responses. Structural comparisons of the bound mouse prion proteins from the POM6 Fab:moPrP and POM1 Fab:moPrP complexes reveal several key regions of the prion protein that might be involved in initiating mis-folding events. The structural data of moPrP:POM6 Fab complex are available in the PDB under the accession number www.rcsb.org/pdb/search/structidSearch.do?structureId=6AQ7. © 2018 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.

  7. The effects of glutamine/asparagine content on aggregation and heterologous prion induction by yeast prion-like domains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shattuck, Jenifer E; Waechter, Aubrey C; Ross, Eric D

    2017-07-04

    Prion-like domains are low complexity, intrinsically disordered domains that compositionally resemble yeast prion domains. Many prion-like domains are involved in the formation of either functional or pathogenic protein aggregates. These aggregates range from highly dynamic liquid droplets to highly ordered detergent-insoluble amyloid-like aggregates. To better understand the amino acid sequence features that promote conversion to stable, detergent-insoluble aggregates, we used the prediction algorithm PAPA to identify predicted aggregation-prone prion-like domains with a range of compositions. While almost all of the predicted aggregation-prone domains formed foci when expressed in cells, the ability to form the detergent-insoluble aggregates was highly correlated with glutamine/asparagine (Q/N) content, suggesting that high Q/N content may specifically promote conversion to the amyloid state in vivo. We then used this data set to examine cross-seeding between prion-like proteins. The prion protein Sup35 requires the presence of a second prion, [PIN + ], to efficiently form prions, but this requirement can be circumvented by the expression of various Q/N-rich protein fragments. Interestingly, almost all of the Q/N-rich domains that formed SDS-insoluble aggregates were able to promote prion formation by Sup35, highlighting the highly promiscuous nature of these interactions.

  8. The celecoxib derivatives AR-12 and AR-14 induce autophagy and clear prion-infected cells from prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdulrahman, Basant A; Abdelaziz, Dalia; Thapa, Simrika; Lu, Li; Jain, Shubha; Gilch, Sabine; Proniuk, Stefan; Zukiwski, Alexander; Schatzl, Hermann M

    2017-12-14

    Prion diseases are fatal infectious neurodegenerative disorders that affect both humans and animals. The autocatalytic conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP C ) into the pathologic isoform PrP Sc is a key feature in prion pathogenesis. AR-12 is an IND-approved derivative of celecoxib that demonstrated preclinical activity against several microbial diseases. Recently, AR-12 has been shown to facilitate clearance of misfolded proteins. The latter proposes AR-12 to be a potential therapeutic agent for neurodegenerative disorders. In this study, we investigated the role of AR-12 and its derivatives in controlling prion infection. We tested AR-12 in prion infected neuronal and non-neuronal cell lines. Immunoblotting and confocal microscopy results showed that AR-12 and its analogue AR-14 reduced PrP Sc levels after only 72 hours of treatment. Furthermore, infected cells were cured of PrP Sc after exposure of AR-12 or AR-14 for only two weeks. We partially attribute the influence of the AR compounds on prion propagation to autophagy stimulation, in line with our previous findings that drug-induced stimulation of autophagy has anti-prion effects in vitro and in vivo. Taken together, this study demonstrates that AR-12 and the AR-14 analogue are potential new therapeutic agents for prion diseases and possibly protein misfolding disorders involving prion-like mechanisms.

  9. Polymorphisms in the Prion Protein Gene of cattle breeds from Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristiane C. Sanches

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: One of the alterations that occur in the PRNP gene in bovines is the insertion/deletion (indel of base sequences in specific regions, such as indels of 12-base pairs (bp in intron 1 and of 23- bp in the promoter region. The deletion allele of 23 bp is associated with susceptibility to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE as well as the presence of the deletion allele of 12 bp. In the present study, the variability of nucleotides in the promoter region and intron 1 of the PRNP gene was genotyped for the Angus, Canchim, Nellore and Simmental bovine breeds to identify the genotype profiles of resistance and/or susceptibility to BSE in each animal. Genomic DNA was extracted for amplification of the target regions of the PRNP gene using polymerase chain reaction (PCR and specific primers. The PCR products were submitted to electrophoresis in agarose gel 3% and sequencing for genotyping. With the exception of the Angus breed, most breeds exhibited a higher frequency of deletion alleles for 12 bp and 23 bp in comparison to their respective insertion alleles for both regions. These results represent an important contribution to understanding the formation process of the Brazilian herd in relation to bovine PRNP gene polymorphisms.

  10. Involvement of Endogenous Retroviruses in Prion Diseases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yong-Sun Kim

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available For millions of years, vertebrates have been continuously exposed to infection by retroviruses. Ancient retroviral infection of germline cells resulted in the formation and accumulation of inherited retrovirus sequences in host genomes. These inherited retroviruses are referred to as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs, and recent estimates have revealed that a significant portion of animal genomes is made up of ERVs. Although various host factors have suppressed ERV activation, both positive and negative functions have been reported for some ERVs in normal and abnormal physiological conditions, such as in disease states. Similar to other complex diseases, ERV activation has been observed in prion diseases, and this review will discuss the potential involvement of ERVs in prion diseases.

  11. Methods and Protocols for Developing Prion Vaccines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marciniuk, Kristen; Taschuk, Ryan; Napper, Scott

    2016-01-01

    Prion diseases denote a distinct form of infectivity that is based in the misfolding of a self-protein (PrP(C)) into a pathological, infectious conformation (PrP(Sc)). Efforts to develop vaccines for prion diseases have been complicated by the potential dangers that are associated with induction of immune responses against a self-protein. As a consequence, there is considerable appeal for vaccines that specifically target the misfolded prion conformation. Such conformation-specific immunotherapy is made possible through the identification of vaccine targets (epitopes) that are exclusively presented as a consequence of misfolding. An immune response directed against these targets, termed disease-specific epitopes (DSEs), has the potential to spare the function of the native form of the protein while clearing, or neutralizing, the infectious isomer. Although identification of DSEs represents a critical first step in the induction of conformation-specific immune responses, substantial efforts are required to translate these targets into functional vaccines. Due to the poor immunogenicity that is inherent to self-proteins, and that is often associated with short peptides, substantial efforts are required to overcome tolerance-to-self and maximize the resultant immune response following DSE-based immunization. This often includes optimization of target sequences in terms of immunogenicity and development of effective formulation and delivery strategies for the associated peptides. Further, these vaccines must satisfy additional criteria from perspectives of specificity (PrP(C) vs. PrP(Sc)) and safety (antibody-induced template-driven misfolding of PrP(C)). The emphasis of this report is on the steps required to translate DSEs into prion vaccines and subsequent evaluation of the resulting immune responses.

  12. Detection of prion infectivity in fat tissues of scrapie-infected mice.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Brent Race

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available Distribution of prion infectivity in organs and tissues is important in understanding prion disease pathogenesis and designing strategies to prevent prion infection in animals and humans. Transmission of prion disease from cattle to humans resulted in banning human consumption of ruminant nervous system and certain other tissues. In the present study, we surveyed tissue distribution of prion infectivity in mice with prion disease. We show for the first time detection of infectivity in white and brown fat. Since high amounts of ruminant fat are consumed by humans and also incorporated into animal feed, fat-containing tissues may pose a previously unappreciated hazard for spread of prion infection.

  13. Resistance of soil-bound prions to rumen digestion.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samuel E Saunders

    Full Text Available Before prion uptake and infection can occur in the lower gastrointestinal system, ingested prions are subjected to anaerobic digestion in the rumen of cervids and bovids. The susceptibility of soil-bound prions to rumen digestion has not been evaluated previously. In this study, prions from infectious brain homogenates as well as prions bound to a range of soils and soil minerals were subjected to in vitro rumen digestion, and changes in PrP levels were measured via western blot. Binding to clay appeared to protect noninfectious hamster PrP(c from complete digestion, while both unbound and soil-bound infectious PrP(Sc proved highly resistant to rumen digestion. In addition, no change in intracerebral incubation period was observed following active rumen digestion of unbound hamster HY TME prions and HY TME prions bound to a silty clay loam soil. These results demonstrate that both unbound and soil-bound prions readily survive rumen digestion without a reduction in infectivity, further supporting the potential for soil-mediated transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD and scrapie in the environment.

  14. Disturbed vesicular trafficking of membrane proteins in prion disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchiyama, Keiji; Miyata, Hironori; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2013-01-01

    The pathogenic mechanism of prion diseases remains unknown. We recently reported that prion infection disturbs post-Golgi trafficking of certain types of membrane proteins to the cell surface, resulting in reduced surface expression of membrane proteins and abrogating the signal from the proteins. The surface expression of the membrane proteins was reduced in the brains of mice inoculated with prions, well before abnormal symptoms became evident. Prions or pathogenic prion proteins were mainly detected in endosomal compartments, being particularly abundant in recycling endosomes. Some newly synthesized membrane proteins are delivered to the surface from the Golgi apparatus through recycling endosomes, and some endocytosed membrane proteins are delivered back to the surface through recycling endosomes. These results suggest that prions might cause neuronal dysfunctions and cell loss by disturbing post-Golgi trafficking of membrane proteins via accumulation in recycling endosomes. Interestingly, it was recently shown that delivery of a calcium channel protein to the cell surface was impaired and its function was abrogated in a mouse model of hereditary prion disease. Taken together, these results suggest that impaired delivery of membrane proteins to the cell surface is a common pathogenic event in acquired and hereditary prion diseases.

  15. Selfish prion of Rnq1 mutant in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurahashi, Hiroshi; Shibata, Shoichiro; Ishiwata, Masao; Nakamura, Yoshikazu

    2009-05-01

    [PIN(+)] is a prion form of Rnq1 in Saccharomyces cerevisiae and is necessary for the de novo induction of a second prion, [PSI(+)]. We previously isolated a truncated form of Rnq1, named Rnq1Delta100, as a [PSI(+)]-eliminating factor in S. cerevisiae. Rnq1Delta100 deletes the N-terminal non-prion domain of Rnq1, and eliminates [PSI(+)] in [PIN(+)] yeast. Here we found that [PIN(+)] is transmissible to Rnq1Delta100 in the absence of full-length Rnq1, forming a novel prion variant [RNQ1Delta100(+)]. [RNQ1Delta100(+)] has similar [PIN(+)] properties as it stimulates the de novo induction of [PSI(+)] and is eliminated by the null hsp104Delta mutation, but not by Hsp104 overproduction. In contrast, [RNQ1Delta100(+)] inherits the inhibitory activity and hampers the maintenance of [PSI(+)] though less efficiently than [PIN(+)] made of Rnq1-Rnq1Delta100 co-aggregates. Interestingly, [RNQ1Delta100(+)] prion was eliminated by de novo [PSI(+)] induction. Thus, the [RNQ1Delta100(+)] prion demonstrates selfish activity to eliminate a heterologous prion in S. cerevisiae, showing the first instance of a selfish prion variant in living organisms.

  16. Resistance of Soil-Bound Prions to Rumen Digestion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saunders, Samuel E.; Bartelt-Hunt, Shannon L.; Bartz, Jason C.

    2012-01-01

    Before prion uptake and infection can occur in the lower gastrointestinal system, ingested prions are subjected to anaerobic digestion in the rumen of cervids and bovids. The susceptibility of soil-bound prions to rumen digestion has not been evaluated previously. In this study, prions from infectious brain homogenates as well as prions bound to a range of soils and soil minerals were subjected to in vitro rumen digestion, and changes in PrP levels were measured via western blot. Binding to clay appeared to protect noninfectious hamster PrPc from complete digestion, while both unbound and soil-bound infectious PrPSc proved highly resistant to rumen digestion. In addition, no change in intracerebral incubation period was observed following active rumen digestion of unbound hamster HY TME prions and HY TME prions bound to a silty clay loam soil. These results demonstrate that both unbound and soil-bound prions readily survive rumen digestion without a reduction in infectivity, further supporting the potential for soil-mediated transmission of chronic wasting disease (CWD) and scrapie in the environment. PMID:22937149

  17. Do prion protein gene polymorphisms induce apoptosis in non ...

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    2016-08-26

    Aug 26, 2016 ... Genetic variations such as single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in prion protein coding gene, Prnp, greatly affect susceptibility to prion diseases in mammals. Here, the coding region of Prnp was screened for polymorphisms in redeared turtle, Trachemys scripta. Four polymorphisms, L203V, N205I, ...

  18. Diagnostic and prognostic factors for acute encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Motojima, Yukiko; Nagura, Michiaki; Asano, Yoshitaka; Arakawa, Hiroshi; Takada, Eiko; Sakurai, Yoshio; Moriwaki, Koichi; Tamura, Masanori

    2016-11-01

    Acute encephalopathy has the possibility of sequelae. While early treatment is required to prevent the development of sequelae, differential diagnosis is of the utmost priority. The aim of this study was therefore to identify parameters that can facilitate early diagnosis and prediction of outcome of acute encephalopathy. We reviewed the medical charts of inpatients from 2005 to 2011 and identified 33 patients with febrile status epilepticus. Subjects were classified into an acute encephalopathy group (n = 20) and a febrile convulsion group (n = 13), and the parameters serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), ammonia (NH 3 ), cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) tau protein, and CSF interleukin-6 compared between them. Furthermore, the relationship between each parameter and prognosis was investigated in the encephalopathy group. Significant differences in serum AST, ALT, and LDH were observed between the febrile convulsion and acute encephalopathy group. Moreover, a significant difference in serum LDH was noted between the patients with and without developmental regression at the time of hospital discharge in the encephalopathy group. In particular, CSF tau protein was found to be highly likely to indicate progress, with CSF tau protein >1000 pg/dL associated with poor prognosis leading to developmental regression. Serum AST, ALT and LDH may be related to early diagnosis and prognosis, and should be carefully investigated in patients with encephalopathy. CSF tau protein could also be used as an indicator of poor prognosis in acute encephalopathy. © 2016 Japan Pediatric Society.

  19. Birth defects in children with newborn encephalopathy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Felix, JF; Badawi, N; Kurinczuk, JJ; Bower, C; Keogh, JM; Pemberton, PJ

    2000-01-01

    This study was designed to investigate birth defects found in association with newborn encephalopathy. All possible birth defects were ascertained in a population-based study of 276 term infants with moderate or severe encephalopathy and 564 unmatched term control infants. A strong association

  20. Chronic wasting disease prion infection of differentiated neurospheres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Iwamaru, Yoshifumi; Mathiason, Candace K; Telling, Glenn C; Hoover, Edward A

    2017-07-04

    A possible strategy to develop more diverse cell culture systems permissive to infection with naturally occurring prions is to exploit culture of neurospheres from transgenic mice expressing the normal prion protein (PrP) of the native host species. Accordingly, we developed differentiated neurosphere cultures from the cervid PrP-expressing mice to investigate whether this in vitro system would support replication of non-adapted cervid-origin chronic wasting disease (CWD) prions. Here we report the successful amplification of disease-associated PrP in differentiated neurosphere cultures within 3 weeks after exposure to CWD prions from both white-tailed deer or elk. This neurosphere culture system provides a new in vitro tool that can be used to assess non-adapted CWD prion propagation and transmission.

  1. Aβ seeds and prions: How close the fit?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rasmussen, Jay; Jucker, Mathias; Walker, Lary C

    2017-07-04

    The prion paradigm is increasingly invoked to explain the molecular pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases involving the misfolding and aggregation of proteins other than the prion protein (PrP). Extensive evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies indicates that misfolded and aggregated Aβ peptide, which is the probable molecular trigger for Alzheimer's disease, manifests all of the key characteristics of canonical mammalian prions. These features include a β-sheet rich architecture, tendency to polymerize into amyloid, templated corruption of like protein molecules, ability to form structurally and functionally variant strains, systematic spread by neuronal transport, and resistance to inactivation by heat and formaldehyde. In addition to Aβ, a growing body of research supports the view that the prion-like molecular transformation of specific proteins drives the onset and course of a remarkable variety of clinicopathologically diverse diseases. As such, the expanded prion paradigm could conceptually unify fundamental and translational investigations of these disorders.

  2. Truncated forms of the prion protein PrP demonstrate the need for complexity in prion structure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wan, William; Stöhr, Jan; Kendall, Amy; Stubbs, Gerald

    2015-09-01

    Self-propagation of aberrant protein folds is the defining characteristic of prions. Knowing the structural basis of self-propagation is essential to understanding prions and their related diseases. Prion rods are amyloid fibrils, but not all amyloids are prions. Prions have been remarkably intractable to structural studies, so many investigators have preferred to work with peptide fragments, particularly in the case of the mammalian prion protein PrP. We compared the structures of a number of fragments of PrP by X-ray fiber diffraction, and found that although all of the peptides adopted amyloid conformations, only the larger fragments adopted conformations that modeled the complexity of self-propagating prions, and even these fragments did not always adopt the PrP structure. It appears that the relatively complex structure of the prion form of PrP is not accessible to short model peptides, and that self-propagation may be tied to a level of structural complexity unobtainable in simple model systems. The larger fragments of PrP, however, are useful to illustrate the phenomenon of deformed templating (heterogeneous seeding), which has important biological consequences.

  3. Biological and biochemical characterization of mice expressing prion protein devoid of the octapeptide repeat region after infection with prions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yamaguchi, Yoshitaka; Miyata, Hironori; Uchiyama, Keiji; Ootsuyama, Akira; Inubushi, Sachiko; Mori, Tsuyoshi; Muramatsu, Naomi; Katamine, Shigeru; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2012-01-01

    Accumulating lines of evidence indicate that the N-terminal domain of prion protein (PrP) is involved in prion susceptibility in mice. In this study, to investigate the role of the octapeptide repeat (OR) region alone in the N-terminal domain for the susceptibility and pathogenesis of prion disease, we intracerebrally inoculated RML scrapie prions into tg(PrPΔOR)/Prnp(0/0) mice, which express mouse PrP missing only the OR region on the PrP-null background. Incubation times of these mice were not extended. Protease-resistant PrPΔOR, or PrP(Sc)ΔOR, was easily detectable but lower in the brains of these mice, compared to that in control wild-type mice. Consistently, prion titers were slightly lower and astrogliosis was milder in their brains. However, in their spinal cords, PrP(Sc)ΔOR and prion titers were abundant and astrogliosis was as strong as in control wild-type mice. These results indicate that the role of the OR region in prion susceptibility and pathogenesis of the disease is limited. We also found that the PrP(Sc)ΔOR, including the pre-OR residues 23-50, was unusually protease-resistant, indicating that deletion of the OR region could cause structural changes to the pre-OR region upon prion infection, leading to formation of a protease-resistant structure for the pre-OR region.

  4. Truncated forms of the prion protein PrP demonstrate the need for complexity in prion structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wan, William; Stöhr, Jan; Kendall, Amy; Stubbs, Gerald

    2015-01-01

    Self-propagation of aberrant protein folds is the defining characteristic of prions. Knowing the structural basis of self-propagation is essential to understanding prions and their related diseases. Prion rods are amyloid fibrils, but not all amyloids are prions. Prions have been remarkably intractable to structural studies, so many investigators have preferred to work with peptide fragments, particularly in the case of the mammalian prion protein PrP. We compared the structures of a number of fragments of PrP by X-ray fiber diffraction, and found that although all of the peptides adopted amyloid conformations, only the larger fragments adopted conformations that modeled the complexity of self-propagating prions, and even these fragments did not always adopt the PrP structure. It appears that the relatively complex structure of the prion form of PrP is not accessible to short model peptides, and that self-propagation may be tied to a level of structural complexity unobtainable in simple model systems. The larger fragments of PrP, however, are useful to illustrate the phenomenon of deformed templating (heterogeneous seeding), which has important biological consequences.

  5. Rapid antemortem detection of CWD prions in deer saliva.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Davin M Henderson

    Full Text Available Chronic wasting disease (CWD is an efficiently transmitted prion disease of cervids, now identified in 22 United States, 2 Canadian provinces and Korea. One hallmark of CWD is the shedding of infectious prions in saliva, as demonstrated by bioassay in deer. It is also clear that the concentration of prions in saliva, blood, urine and feces is much lower than in the nervous system or lymphoid tissues. Rapid in vitro detection of CWD (and other prions in body fluids and excreta has been problematic due to the sensitivity limits of direct assays (western blotting, ELISA and the presence of inhibitors in these complex biological materials that hamper detection. Here we use real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC to demonstrate CWD prions in both diluted and prion-enriched saliva samples from asymptomatic and symptomatic white-tailed deer. CWD prions were detected in 14 of 24 (58.3% diluted saliva samples from CWD-exposed white-tailed deer, including 9 of 14 asymptomatic animals (64.2%. In addition, a phosphotungstic acid enrichment enhanced the RT-QuIC assay sensitivity, enabling detection in 19 of 24 (79.1% of the above saliva samples. Bioassay in Tg[CerPrP] mice confirmed the presence of infectious prions in 2 of 2 RT-QuIC-positive saliva samples so examined. The modified RT-QuIC analysis described represents a non-invasive, rapid ante-mortem detection of prions in complex biologic fluids, excreta, or environmental samples as well as a tool for exploring prion trafficking, peripheralization, and dissemination.

  6. Wernicke's encephalopathy after cardiac surgery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nishimura, Yoshiyuki

    2018-05-01

    A 76-year-old woman who had been on hemodialysis for 3 years developed ischemic mitral valve insufficiency, tricuspid insufficiency, and chronic atrial fibrillation, and underwent cardiac surgery. On the 4th postoperative day, she experienced a sudden disturbance of consciousness, aphasia, and limb ataxia. Brain computed tomography and magnetic resonance imaging showed no abnormalities. Wernicke's encephalopathy was suspected and the patient was given vitamin B1, whereupon her symptoms gradually improved. On the 42nd postoperative day, she was free of neurological symptoms and discharged.

  7. Prion Amplification and Hierarchical Bayesian Modeling Refine Detection of Prion Infection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyckoff, A. Christy; Galloway, Nathan; Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Powers, Jenny; Spraker, Terry; Monello, Ryan J.; Pulford, Bruce; Wild, Margaret; Antolin, Michael; Vercauteren, Kurt; Zabel, Mark

    2015-02-01

    Prions are unique infectious agents that replicate without a genome and cause neurodegenerative diseases that include chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is currently considered the gold standard for diagnosis of a prion infection but may be insensitive to early or sub-clinical CWD that are important to understanding CWD transmission and ecology. We assessed the potential of serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA) to improve detection of CWD prior to the onset of clinical signs. We analyzed tissue samples from free-ranging Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) and used hierarchical Bayesian analysis to estimate the specificity and sensitivity of IHC and sPMCA conditional on simultaneously estimated disease states. Sensitivity estimates were higher for sPMCA (99.51%, credible interval (CI) 97.15-100%) than IHC of obex (brain stem, 76.56%, CI 57.00-91.46%) or retropharyngeal lymph node (90.06%, CI 74.13-98.70%) tissues, or both (98.99%, CI 90.01-100%). Our hierarchical Bayesian model predicts the prevalence of prion infection in this elk population to be 18.90% (CI 15.50-32.72%), compared to previous estimates of 12.90%. Our data reveal a previously unidentified sub-clinical prion-positive portion of the elk population that could represent silent carriers capable of significantly impacting CWD ecology.

  8. Prion amplification and hierarchical Bayesian modeling refine detection of prion infection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wyckoff, A Christy; Galloway, Nathan; Meyerett-Reid, Crystal; Powers, Jenny; Spraker, Terry; Monello, Ryan J; Pulford, Bruce; Wild, Margaret; Antolin, Michael; VerCauteren, Kurt; Zabel, Mark

    2015-02-10

    Prions are unique infectious agents that replicate without a genome and cause neurodegenerative diseases that include chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids. Immunohistochemistry (IHC) is currently considered the gold standard for diagnosis of a prion infection but may be insensitive to early or sub-clinical CWD that are important to understanding CWD transmission and ecology. We assessed the potential of serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA) to improve detection of CWD prior to the onset of clinical signs. We analyzed tissue samples from free-ranging Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) and used hierarchical Bayesian analysis to estimate the specificity and sensitivity of IHC and sPMCA conditional on simultaneously estimated disease states. Sensitivity estimates were higher for sPMCA (99.51%, credible interval (CI) 97.15-100%) than IHC of obex (brain stem, 76.56%, CI 57.00-91.46%) or retropharyngeal lymph node (90.06%, CI 74.13-98.70%) tissues, or both (98.99%, CI 90.01-100%). Our hierarchical Bayesian model predicts the prevalence of prion infection in this elk population to be 18.90% (CI 15.50-32.72%), compared to previous estimates of 12.90%. Our data reveal a previously unidentified sub-clinical prion-positive portion of the elk population that could represent silent carriers capable of significantly impacting CWD ecology.

  9. Prions, From Structure to Epigenetics and Neuronal Functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindquist, Susan

    2012-02-01

    Prions are a unique type of protein that can misfold and convert other proteins to the same shape. The well-characterized yeast prion [PSI+] is formed from an inactive amyloid fiber conformation of the translation-termination factor, Sup35. This altered conformation is passed from mother cells to daughters, acting as a template to perpetuate the prion state and providing a mechanism of protein-based inheritance. We employed a variety of methods to determine the structure of Sup35 amyloid fibrils. First, using fluorescent tags and cross-linking we identified specific segments of the protein monomer that form intermolecular contacts in a ``Head-to-Head,'' ``Tail-to-Tail'' fashion while a central region forms intramolecular contacts. Then, using peptide arrays we mapped the region responsible for the prion transmission barrier between two different yeast species. We have also used optical tweezers to reveal that the non-covalent intermolecular contacts between monomers are unusually strong, and maintain fibril integrity even under forces that partially unfold individual monomers and extend fibril length. Based on the handful of known yeast prion proteins we predicted sequences that could be responsible for prion-like amyloid folding. Our screen identified 19 new candidate prions, whose protein-folding properties and diverse cellular functions we have characterized using a combination of genetic and biochemical techniques. Prion-driven phenotypic diversity increases under stress, and can be amplified by the dynamic maturation of prion-initiating states. These qualities allow prions to act as ``bet-hedging'' devices that facilitate the adaptation of yeast to stressful environments, and might speed the evolution of new traits. Together with Kandel and Si, we have also found that a regulatory protein that plays an important role in synaptic plasticity behaves as a prion in yeast. Cytoplasmic polyAdenylation element binding protein, CPEB, maintains synapses by promoting

  10. Genesis of mammalian prions: from non-infectious amyloid fibrils to a transmissible prion disease.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Natallia Makarava

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The transmissible agent of prion disease consists of a prion protein in its abnormal, β-sheet rich state (PrP(Sc, which is capable of replicating itself according to the template-assisted mechanism. This mechanism postulates that the folding pattern of a newly recruited polypeptide chain accurately reproduces that of a PrP(Sc template. Here we report that authentic PrP(Sc and transmissible prion disease can be generated de novo in wild type animals by recombinant PrP (rPrP amyloid fibrils, which are structurally different from PrP(Sc and lack any detectable PrP(Sc particles. When induced by rPrP fibrils, a long silent stage that involved two serial passages preceded development of the clinical disease. Once emerged, the prion disease was characterized by unique clinical, neuropathological, and biochemical features. The long silent stage to the disease was accompanied by significant transformation in neuropathological properties and biochemical features of the proteinase K-resistant PrP material (PrPres before authentic PrP(Sc evolved. The current work illustrates that transmissible prion diseases can be induced by PrP structures different from that of authentic PrP(Sc and suggests that a new mechanism different from the classical templating exists. This new mechanism designated as "deformed templating" postulates that a change in the PrP folding pattern from the one present in rPrP fibrils to an alternative specific for PrP(Sc can occur. The current work provides important new insight into the mechanisms underlying genesis of the transmissible protein states and has numerous implications for understanding the etiology of neurodegenerative diseases.

  11. MR findings of wernicke encephalopathy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoon, Hyun Ki; Chang, Kee Hyun; Lee, Goo; Han, Moon Hee; Park, Sung Ho; Na, Duk Yull; Song, Chi Sung

    1991-01-01

    Seven patients (33 to 58 years old) with clinical diagnoses of Wernicke encephalopathy were examined with MR on either a 2.0T (5 cases) or a 0.5T scanner (2 cases) using spin-echo pulse sequences. In 2 patients, follow-up MR studies were performed 1 and 5 weeks after thiamine (vitamine B1) treatment. Five patients (4 chronic alcoholics and 1 with hyperemesis gravidarum) showed atrophy of both mamillary bodies, along with patchy lesions around the third ventricle, medial thalami, tectum of the midbrain, and periaqueductal gray matter. Another patient with hyperemesis of gravidrum demonstrated only slightly atrophic mamillary bodies, and the last patient with severe vomiting after gastrojejunostomy showed only diencephaic/mesencephalic lesions with apparently normal mamillary bodies. A follow-up MR showed a decrease in previously-noted diencephalic/-/mesencephalic lesions but no change in the size of the mamillary bodies. Diencephalic/mesencephalic lesions were well seen as a high-signal intensity on proton-and T2-weighted axial images, while atrophy of the mamillary bodies was seen best on T1-weighted sagittal images. MR imaging is very useful in demonstrating the characteristic lesions of Wernicke encephalopathy and in evaluating the result of treatment on follow-up study

  12. The ribosome-associated complex antagonizes prion formation in yeast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amor, Alvaro J; Castanzo, Dominic T; Delany, Sean P; Selechnik, Daniel M; van Ooy, Alex; Cameron, Dale M

    2015-01-01

    The number of known fungal proteins capable of switching between alternative stable conformations is steadily increasing, suggesting that a prion-like mechanism may be broadly utilized as a means to propagate altered cellular states. To gain insight into the mechanisms by which cells regulate prion formation and toxicity we examined the role of the yeast ribosome-associated complex (RAC) in modulating both the formation of the [PSI(+)] prion - an alternative conformer of Sup35 protein - and the toxicity of aggregation-prone polypeptides. The Hsp40 RAC chaperone Zuo1 anchors the RAC to ribosomes and stimulates the ATPase activity of the Hsp70 chaperone Ssb. We found that cells lacking Zuo1 are sensitive to over-expression of some aggregation-prone proteins, including the Sup35 prion domain, suggesting that co-translational protein misfolding increases in Δzuo1 strains. Consistent with this finding, Δzuo1 cells exhibit higher frequencies of spontaneous and induced prion formation. Cells expressing mutant forms of Zuo1 lacking either a C-terminal charged region required for ribosome association, or the J-domain responsible for Ssb ATPase stimulation, exhibit similarly high frequencies of prion formation. Our findings are consistent with a role for the RAC in chaperoning nascent Sup35 to regulate folding of the N-terminal prion domain as it emerges from the ribosome.

  13. Physical, chemical and kinetic factors affecting prion infectivity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Properzi, Francesca; Badhan, Anjna; Klier, Steffi; Schmidt, Christian; Klöhn, Peter C; Wadsworth, Jonathan D F; Clarke, Anthony R; Jackson, Graham S; Collinge, John

    2016-05-03

    The mouse-adapted scrapie prion strain RML is one of the most widely used in prion research. The introduction of a cell culture-based assay of RML prions, the scrapie cell assay (SCA) allows more rapid and precise prion titration. A semi-automated version of this assay (ASCA) was applied to explore a range of conditions that might influence the infectivity and properties of RML prions. These include resistance to freeze-thaw procedures; stability to endogenous proteases in brain homogenate despite prolonged exposure to varying temperatures; distribution of infective material between pellet and supernatant after centrifugation, the effect of reducing agents and the influence of detergent additives on the efficiency of infection. Apparent infectivity is increased significantly by interaction with cationic detergents. Importantly, we have also elucidated the relationship between the duration of exposure of cells to RML prions and the transmission of infection. We established that the infection process following contact of cells with RML prions is rapid and followed an exponential time course, implying a single rate-limiting process.

  14. Molecular pathogenesis of sporadic prion diseases in man

    Science.gov (United States)

    Safar, Jiri G.

    2012-01-01

    The yeast, fungal and mammalian prions determine heritable and infectious traits that are encoded in alternative conformations of proteins. They cause lethal sporadic, familial and infectious neurodegenerative conditions in man, including Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), kuru, sporadic fatal insomnia (SFI) and likely variable protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr). The most prevalent of human prion diseases is sporadic (s)CJD. Recent advances in amplification and detection of prions led to considerable optimism that early and possibly preclinical diagnosis and therapy might become a reality. Although several drugs have already been tested in small numbers of sCJD patients, there is no clear evidence of any agent’s efficacy. Therefore, it remains crucial to determine the full spectrum of sCJD prion strains and the conformational features in the pathogenic human prion protein governing replication of sCJD prions. Research in this direction is essential for the rational development of diagnostic as well as therapeutic strategies. Moreover, there is growing recognition that fundamental processes involved in human prion propagation – intercellular induction of protein misfolding and seeded aggregation of misfolded host proteins – are of far wider significance. This insight leads to new avenues of research in the ever-widening spectrum of age-related human neurodegenerative diseases that are caused by protein misfolding and that pose a major challenge for healthcare. PMID:22421210

  15. Mammalian prions: tolerance to sequence changes-how far?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salamat, Muhammad Khalid; Munoz-Montesino, Carola; Moudjou, Mohammed; Rezaei, Human; Laude, Hubert; Béringue, Vincent; Dron, Michel

    2013-01-01

    Upon prion infection, abnormal prion protein (PrP (Sc) ) self-perpetuate by conformational conversion of α-helix-rich PrP (C) into β sheet enriched form, leading to formation and deposition of PrP (Sc) aggregates in affected brains. However the process remains poorly understood at the molecular level and the regions of PrP critical for conversion are still debated. Minimal amino acid substitutions can impair prion replication at many places in PrP. Conversely, we recently showed that bona fide prions could be generated after introduction of eight and up to 16 additional amino acids in the H2-H3 inter-helix loop of PrP. Prion replication also accommodated the insertions of an octapeptide at different places in the last turns of H2. This reverse genetic approach reveals an unexpected tolerance of prions to substantial sequence changes in the protease-resistant part which is associated with infectivity. It also demonstrates that conversion does not require the presence of a specific sequence in the middle of the H2-H3 area. We discuss the implications of our findings according to different structural models proposed for PrP (Sc) and questioned the postulated existence of an N- or C-terminal prion domain in the protease-resistant region.

  16. Cleaning, disinfection and sterilization of surface prion contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McDonnell, G; Dehen, C; Perrin, A; Thomas, V; Igel-Egalon, A; Burke, P A; Deslys, J P; Comoy, E

    2013-12-01

    Prion contamination is a risk during device reprocessing, being difficult to remove and inactivate. Little is known of the combined effects of cleaning, disinfection and sterilization during a typical reprocessing cycle in clinical practice. To investigate the combination of cleaning, disinfection and/or sterilization on reducing the risk of surface prion contamination. In vivo test methods were used to study the impact of cleaning alone and cleaning combined with thermal disinfection and high- or low-temperature sterilization processes. A standardized test method, based on contamination of stainless steel wires with high titres of scrapie-infected brain homogenates, was used to determine infectivity reduction. Traditional chemical methods of surface decontamination against prions were confirmed to be effective, but extended steam sterilization was more variable. Steam sterilization alone reduced the risk of prion contamination under normal or extended exposure conditions, but did show significant variation. Thermal disinfection had no impact in these studies. Cleaning with certain defined formulations in combination with steam sterilization can be an effective prion decontamination process, in particular with alkaline formulations. Low-temperature, gaseous hydrogen peroxide sterilization was also confirmed to reduce infectivity in the presence and absence of cleaning. Prion decontamination is affected by the full reprocessing cycle used on contaminated surfaces. The correct use of defined cleaning, disinfection and sterilization methods as tested in this report in the scrapie infectivity assay can provide a standard precaution against prion contamination. Copyright © 2013 The Healthcare Infection Society. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Computerized tomography in acute toxic encephalopathy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Aoki, Nobuhiko; Kaneshi, Kunio; Mizuguchi, Masashi; Kurihara, Eiji.

    1983-01-01

    We experienced three cases of acute toxic encephalopathy, including a case of probable Reye syndrome, which had similar and unique CT findings in their acute stage; symmetrical low density area in the thalamus and the dentate nucleus, followed by changes in cerebellar hemispheres and around lateral ventricles. The CT findings, common to probable Reye syndrome and other acute toxic encephalopathy, may suggest the possibility of similar pathogenesis of brain damage in both disorders. The authors propose that present cases are a new subgroup in acute toxic encephalopathy, because of their similar and unique CT features. (author)

  18. No oxygen delivery limitation in hepatic encephalopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gjedde, Albert; Keiding, Susanne; Vilstrup, Hendrik

    2010-01-01

    to choose between cause and effect in three groups of volunteers, including healthy control subjects (HC), patients with cirrhosis of the liver without hepatic encephalopathy (CL), and patients with cirrhosis with acute hepatic encephalopathy. Compared to HC subjects, blood flow and energy metabolism had......Hepatic encephalopathy is a condition of reduced brain functioning in which both blood flow and brain energy metabolism declined. It is not known whether blood flow or metabolism is the primary limiting factor of brain function in this condition. We used calculations of mitochondrial oxygen tension...

  19. Relationship between magnetism and prion protein

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Balzano

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available The mechanism of conversion of the normal prion protein (PrPC into aggregates of its pathological conformer (PrPSc reamins unclear. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects induced by exposure of biological samples containing PrPSC to a magnetic field induced prominent molecular changes of samples indicated by the IR spectra located in the region that contains contribution primarily from absorption of amides. This finding suggests the existence of a strong correlation between magnetism and PrPsc and supports a new hypothesis that explains the conversion of normal PrPc to abnormal isoform PrPsc.

  20. Protease-resistant prions selectively decrease Shadoo protein.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Joel C Watts

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The central event in prion diseases is the conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C into PrP(Sc, a partially protease-resistant and infectious conformer. However, the mechanism by which PrP(Sc causes neuronal dysfunction remains poorly understood. Levels of Shadoo (Sho, a protein that resembles the flexibly disordered N-terminal domain of PrP(C, were found to be reduced in the brains of mice infected with the RML strain of prions [1], implying that Sho levels may reflect the presence of PrP(Sc in the brain. To test this hypothesis, we examined levels of Sho during prion infection using a variety of experimental systems. Sho protein levels were decreased in the brains of mice, hamsters, voles, and sheep infected with different natural and experimental prion strains. Furthermore, Sho levels were decreased in the brains of prion-infected, transgenic mice overexpressing Sho and in infected neuroblastoma cells. Time-course experiments revealed that Sho levels were inversely proportional to levels of protease-resistant PrP(Sc. Membrane anchoring and the N-terminal domain of PrP both influenced the inverse relationship between Sho and PrP(Sc. Although increased Sho levels had no discernible effect on prion replication in mice, we conclude that Sho is the first non-PrP marker specific for prion disease. Additional studies using this paradigm may provide insight into the cellular pathways and systems subverted by PrP(Sc during prion disease.

  1. A new infectious encephalopathy syndrome, clinically mild encephalopathy associated with excitotoxicity (MEEX).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hirai, Nozomi; Yoshimaru, Daisuke; Moriyama, Yoko; Yasukawa, Kumi; Takanashi, Jun-Ichi

    2017-09-15

    Acute infectious encephalopathy is often observed in children in East Asia including Japan. More than 40% of the patients remain unclassified into specific syndromes. To investigate the underlying pathomechanisms in those with unclassified encephalopathy, we evaluated brain metabolism by MR spectroscopy. Among seven patients with acute encephalopathy admitted to our hospital from June 2016 to May 2017, three were classified into acute encephalopathy with biphasic seizures and late reduced diffusion (AESD). The other four showed consciousness disturbance lasting more than three days with no parenchymal lesion visible on MRI, which led to a diagnosis of unclassified encephalopathy. MR spectroscopy in these four patients, however, revealed an increase of glutamine with a normal N-acetyl aspartate level on days 5 to 8, which had normalized by follow-up studies on days 11 to 16. The four patients clinically recovered completely. Among 27 patients with encephalopathy, including the present seven patients, admitted to our hospital from January 2015 to March 2017, seven (26%) were classified into this type, which we propose is a new encephalopathy syndrome, clinically mild encephalopathy associated with excitotoxicity (MEEX). MEEX is the second most common subtype, following AESD (30%). This study suggests that excitotoxicity may be a common underlying pathomechanism of acute infectious encephalopathy, and prompt astrocytic neuroprotection from excitotoxicity may prevent progression of MEEX into AESD. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  2. Encephalopathy

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... increased pressure in the skull, prolonged exposure to toxic elements (including solvents, drugs, radiation, paints, industrial chemicals, and certain metals), chronic progressive trauma, poor nutrition, ...

  3. Fundus Findings in Wernicke Encephalopathy

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tal Serlin

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Wernicke encephalopathy (WE is an acute neuropsychiatric syndrome resulting from thiamine (vitamin B1 deficiency, classically characterized by the triad of ophthalmoplegia, confusion, and ataxia. While commonly associated with chronic alcoholism, WE may also occur in the setting of poor nutrition or absorption. We present a 37-year-old woman who underwent laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy and presented with visual disturbance with bilateral horizontal nystagmus, confusion, and postural imbalance. Fundus examination revealed bilateral optic disc edema with a retinal hemorrhage in the left eye. Metabolic workup demonstrated thiamine deficiency. Her symptoms resolved after thiamine treatment. This case raises the awareness of the possibility of posterior segment findings in WE, which are underreported in WE.

  4. Nonabsorbable disaccharides for hepatic encephalopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gluud, Lise Lotte; Vilstrup, Hendrik; Morgan, Marsha Y

    2016-01-01

    UNLABELLED: Nonabsorbable disaccharides (NADs) have been used to treat hepatic encephalopathy (HE) since 1966. However, a Cochrane Review, published in 2004, found insufficient evidence to recommend their use in this context. This updated systematic review evaluates the effects of the NADs...... primary/secondary prevention. Random-effects meta-analyses showed that, compared to placebo/no intervention, NADs had a beneficial effect on HE (relative risk [RR] = 0.63, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.53-0.74, number needed to treat [NNT] = 4) and serious liver-related adverse events such as liver...... with minimal HE. Meta-analyses of the prevention randomized controlled trials showed that NADs prevented the development of HE (RR = 0.47, 95% CI 0.33-0.68, NNT = 6), the risk of developing serious liver-related adverse events (RR = 0.48, 95% CI 0.33-0.70, NNT = 6), and reduced mortality (RR = 0.63, 95% CI 0...

  5. Rapidly Progressive Quadriplegia and Encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wynn, DonRaphael; McCorquodale, Donald; Peters, Angela; Juster-Switlyk, Kelsey; Smith, Gordon; Ansari, Safdar

    2016-11-01

    A woman aged 77 years was transferred to our neurocritical care unit for evaluation and treatment of rapidly progressive motor weakness and encephalopathy. Examination revealed an ability to follow simple commands only and abnormal movements, including myoclonus, tongue and orofacial dyskinesias, and opsoclonus. Imaging study findings were initially unremarkable, but when repeated, they demonstrated enhancement of the cauda equina nerve roots, trigeminal nerve, and pachymeninges. Cerebrospinal fluid examination revealed mildly elevated white blood cell count and protein levels. Serial electrodiagnostic testing demonstrated a rapidly progressive diffuse sensory motor axonopathy, and electroencephalogram findings progressed from generalized slowing to bilateral periodic lateralized epileptiform discharges. Critical details of her recent history prompted a diagnostic biopsy. Over time, the patient became completely unresponsive with no further abnormal movements and ultimately died. The differential diagnosis, pathological findings, and diagnosis are discussed with a brief review of a well-known yet rare diagnosis.

  6. Chronic traumatic encephalopathy: The unknown disease.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Pérez, R; Paredes, I; Munarriz, P M; Paredes, B; Alén, J F

    2017-04-01

    Chronic traumatic encephalopathy is a neurodegenerative disease produced by accumulated minor traumatic brain injuries; no definitive premortem diagnosis and no treatments are available for chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Risk factors associated with chronic traumatic encephalopathy include playing contact sports, presence of the apolipoprotein E4, and old age. Although it shares certain histopathological findings with Alzheimer disease, chronic traumatic encephalopathy has a more specific presentation (hyperphosphorylated tau protein deposited as neurofibrillary tangles, associated with neuropil threads and sometimes with beta-amyloid plaques). Its clinical presentation is insidious; patients show mild cognitive and emotional symptoms before progressing to parkinsonian motor signs and finally dementia. Results from new experimental diagnostic tools are promising, but these tools are not yet available. The mainstay of managing this disease is prevention and early detection of its first symptoms. Copyright © 2014 Sociedad Española de Neurología. Publicado por Elsevier España, S.L.U. All rights reserved.

  7. Hashimoto's encephalopathy: Report of three cases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jan-Shun Chang

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Both severe thyrotoxicosis and hypothyroidism may affect brain function and cause a change in consciousness, as seen with a thyroid storm or myxedema coma. However, encephalopathy may also develop in patients with autoimmune thyroid diseases independent of actual thyroid function level, and this is known as Hashimoto's encephalopathy. Although most patients are found to have Hashimoto's thyroiditis, less frequently they have Graves' disease. Clinical manifestations include epilepsy, disturbance of consciousness, cognitive impairment, memory loss, myoclonus, hallucinations, stroke-like episodes, tremor, involuntary movements, language impairment, and gait impairment. Hashimoto's encephalopathy is a relatively rare disease. As a good response can be obtained with corticosteroid therapy, early diagnosis and treatment is very beneficial for patients. Here we report three patients with Hashimoto's encephalopathy with typical manifestations of hallucinations that were associated with hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, and euthyroid status, respectively. They all showed a dramatic response to methylprednisolone pulse therapy.

  8. Reversible dementia with psychosis: Hashimoto's encephalopathy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mocellin, Ramon; Lubman, Dan I; Lloyd, John; Tomlinson, E Bruce; Velakoulis, Dennis

    2006-12-01

    A case of presumed Hashimoto's encephalopathy (HE) is presented. The presentation included memory loss, delusions, functional decline and culminated in a generalized seizure. Anti-thyroid antibodies were detected and symptoms resolved with prednisolone. Patients with HE may present with prominent neuropsychiatric symptoms, attract psychiatric diagnoses and present to psychiatric services. Primarily a diagnosis of exclusion, HE should be considered in cases of encephalopathy in which standard investigations are negative.

  9. STXBP1 encephalopathy

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Stamberger, Hannah; Nikanorova, Marina; Willemsen, Marjolein H

    2016-01-01

    OBJECTIVE: To give a comprehensive overview of the phenotypic and genetic spectrum of STXBP1 encephalopathy (STXBP1-E) by systematically reviewing newly diagnosed and previously reported patients. METHODS: We recruited newly diagnosed patients with STXBP1 mutations through an international networ......, and the degree of ID. Accordingly, we hypothesize that seizure severity and ID present 2 independent dimensions of the STXBP1-E phenotype. STXBP1-E may be conceptualized as a complex neurodevelopmental disorder rather than a primary epileptic encephalopathy....

  10. Acute hepatic encephalopathy with diffuse cortical lesions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arnold, S.M.; Spreer, J.; Schumacher, M. [Section of Neuroradiology, Univ. of Freiburg (Germany); Els, T. [Dept. of Neurology, University of Freiburg (Germany)

    2001-07-01

    Acute hepatic encephalopathy is a poorly defined syndrome of heterogeneous aetiology. We report a 49-year-old woman with alcoholic cirrhosis and hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia who developed acute hepatic coma induced by severe gastrointestinal bleeding. Laboratory analysis revealed excessively elevated blood ammonia. MRI showed lesions compatible with chronic hepatic encephalopathy and widespread cortical signal change sparing the perirolandic and occipital cortex. The cortical lesions resembled those of hypoxic brain damage and were interpreted as acute toxic cortical laminar necrosis. (orig.)

  11. Post-partum posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome

    OpenAIRE

    B. V. Triveni; Salman Mohammed Sheikh; Deepak Shedde

    2014-01-01

    Posterior Reversible Encephalopathy Syndrome (PRES) is a clinicopathological syndrome associated with various clinical conditions presenting with headache, encephalopathy, seizure and cortical visual disturbances. Radiological findings in PRES are thought to be due to vasogenic edema predominantly in posterior cerebral hemispheres and are reversible with appropriate management. We present a case of post partum PRES,A 29 year old primigravida of 33 weeks 3 days period of gestation who prese...

  12. Acute hepatic encephalopathy with diffuse cortical lesions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Arnold, S.M.; Spreer, J.; Schumacher, M.; Els, T.

    2001-01-01

    Acute hepatic encephalopathy is a poorly defined syndrome of heterogeneous aetiology. We report a 49-year-old woman with alcoholic cirrhosis and hereditary haemorrhagic telangiectasia who developed acute hepatic coma induced by severe gastrointestinal bleeding. Laboratory analysis revealed excessively elevated blood ammonia. MRI showed lesions compatible with chronic hepatic encephalopathy and widespread cortical signal change sparing the perirolandic and occipital cortex. The cortical lesions resembled those of hypoxic brain damage and were interpreted as acute toxic cortical laminar necrosis. (orig.)

  13. Functional diversification of hsp40: distinct j-protein functional requirements for two prions allow for chaperone-dependent prion selection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Julia M; Nguyen, Phil P; Patel, Milan J; Sporn, Zachary A; Hines, Justin K

    2014-07-01

    Yeast prions are heritable amyloid aggregates of functional yeast proteins; their propagation to subsequent cell generations is dependent upon fragmentation of prion protein aggregates by molecular chaperone proteins. Mounting evidence indicates the J-protein Sis1 may act as an amyloid specificity factor, recognizing prion and other amyloid aggregates and enabling Ssa and Hsp104 to act in prion fragmentation. Chaperone interactions with prions, however, can be affected by variations in amyloid-core structure resulting in distinct prion variants or 'strains'. Our genetic analysis revealed that Sis1 domain requirements by distinct variants of [PSI+] are strongly dependent upon overall variant stability. Notably, multiple strong [PSI+] variants can be maintained by a minimal construct of Sis1 consisting of only the J-domain and glycine/phenylalanine-rich (G/F) region that was previously shown to be sufficient for cell viability and [RNQ+] prion propagation. In contrast, weak [PSI+] variants are lost under the same conditions but maintained by the expression of an Sis1 construct that lacks only the G/F region and cannot support [RNQ+] propagation, revealing mutually exclusive requirements for Sis1 function between these two prions. Prion loss is not due to [PSI+]-dependent toxicity or dependent upon a particular yeast genetic background. These observations necessitate that Sis1 must have at least two distinct functional roles that individual prions differentially require for propagation and which are localized to the glycine-rich domains of the Sis1. Based on these distinctions, Sis1 plasmid-shuffling in a [PSI+]/[RNQ+] strain permitted J-protein-dependent prion selection for either prion. We also found that, despite an initial report to the contrary, the human homolog of Sis1, Hdj1, is capable of [PSI+] prion propagation in place of Sis1. This conservation of function is also prion-variant dependent, indicating that only one of the two Sis1-prion functions may have

  14. Diagnostic approaches for viruses and prions in stem cell banks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cobo, Fernando; Talavera, Paloma; Concha, Angel

    2006-01-01

    Some stem cell lines may contain an endogenous virus or can be contaminated with exogenous viruses (even of animal origin) and may secrete viral particles or express viral antigens on their surface. Moreover, certain biotechnological products (e.g. bovine fetal serum, murine feeder cells) may contain prion particles. Viral and prion contamination of cell cultures and 'feeder' cells, which is a common risk in all biotechnological products derived from the cell lines, is the most challenging and potentially serious outcome to address, due to the difficulty involved in virus and prion detection and the potential to cause serious disease in recipients of these cell products. Stem cell banks should introduce adequate quality assurance programs like the microbiological control program and can provide researchers with valuable support in the standardization and safety of procedures and protocols used for the viral and prion testing and in validation programs to assure the quality and safety of the cells

  15. Putting prions into focus: application of single molecule detection to the diagnosis of prion diseases.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Giese, A; Bieschke, J; Eigen, M; Kretzschmar, H A

    2000-01-01

    Prion diseases are characterized by the cerebral deposition of an aggregated pathological isoform of the prion protein (PrP(Sc)) which constitutes the principal component of the transmissible agent termed prion. In order to develop a highly sensitive method for the detection of PrP(Sc) aggregates in biological samples such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), we used a method based on Fluorescence Correlation Spectroscopy (FCS), a technique which allows detection of single fluorescently labeled molecules in solution. Within the FCS setup, fluorescent photons emitted by molecules passing an open volume element defined by the beam of an excitation laser focussed into a diffraction-limited spot are imaged confocally onto a single photon counting detector. Aggregates of PrP(Sc) could be labeled by co-aggregation of probe molecules such as monomeric recombinant PrP or PrP-specific antibodies tagged with a fluorescent dye. In addition to slow diffusion, labeled aggregates are characterized by high fluorescence intensity, which allows detection and quantification by analysis of fluorescence intensity distribution. To improve detection of rare target particles, the accessible volume element was increased by scanning for intensely fluorescent targets (SIFT). To further improve sensitivity and specificity, two different probes were used simultaneously in a two-color setup. In a diagnostic model system of CSF spiked with purified prion rods, dual-color SIFT was more sensitive than Western blot analysis. In addition, a PrP(Sc)-specific signal was also detected in a number of CSF samples derived from CJD patients but not in controls.

  16. Prions amplify through degradation of the VPS10P sorting receptor sortilin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uchiyama, Keiji; Tomita, Mitsuru; Yano, Masashi; Chida, Junji; Hara, Hideyuki; Das, Nandita Rani; Nykjaer, Anders; Sakaguchi, Suehiro

    2017-06-01

    Prion diseases are a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders caused by prions, which consist mainly of the abnormally folded isoform of prion protein, PrPSc. A pivotal pathogenic event in prion disease is progressive accumulation of prions, or PrPSc, in brains through constitutive conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, into PrPSc. However, the cellular mechanism by which PrPSc is progressively accumulated in prion-infected neurons remains unknown. Here, we show that PrPSc is progressively accumulated in prion-infected cells through degradation of the VPS10P sorting receptor sortilin. We first show that sortilin interacts with PrPC and PrPSc and sorts them to lysosomes for degradation. Consistently, sortilin-knockdown increased PrPSc accumulation in prion-infected cells. In contrast, overexpression of sortilin reduced PrPSc accumulation in prion-infected cells. These results indicate that sortilin negatively regulates PrPSc accumulation in prion-infected cells. The negative role of sortilin in PrPSc accumulation was further confirmed in sortilin-knockout mice infected with prions. The infected mice had accelerated prion disease with early accumulation of PrPSc in their brains. Interestingly, sortilin was reduced in prion-infected cells and mouse brains. Treatment of prion-infected cells with lysosomal inhibitors, but not proteasomal inhibitors, increased the levels of sortilin. Moreover, sortilin was reduced following PrPSc becoming detectable in cells after infection with prions. These results indicate that PrPSc accumulation stimulates sortilin degradation in lysosomes. Taken together, these results show that PrPSc accumulation of itself could impair the sortilin-mediated sorting of PrPC and PrPSc to lysosomes for degradation by stimulating lysosomal degradation of sortilin, eventually leading to progressive accumulation of PrPSc in prion-infected cells.

  17. A Neuronal Culture System to Detect Prion Synaptotoxicity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cheng Fang

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Synaptic pathology is an early feature of prion as well as other neurodegenerative diseases. Although the self-templating process by which prions propagate is well established, the mechanisms by which prions cause synaptotoxicity are poorly understood, due largely to the absence of experimentally tractable cell culture models. Here, we report that exposure of cultured hippocampal neurons to PrPSc, the infectious isoform of the prion protein, results in rapid retraction of dendritic spines. This effect is entirely dependent on expression of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, by target neurons, and on the presence of a nine-amino acid, polybasic region at the N-terminus of the PrPC molecule. Both protease-resistant and protease-sensitive forms of PrPSc cause dendritic loss. This system provides new insights into the mechanisms responsible for prion neurotoxicity, and it provides a platform for characterizing different pathogenic forms of PrPSc and testing potential therapeutic agents.

  18. Yeast prions form infectious amyloid inclusion bodies in bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Espargaró Alba

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Prions were first identified as infectious proteins associated with fatal brain diseases in mammals. However, fungal prions behave as epigenetic regulators that can alter a range of cellular processes. These proteins propagate as self-perpetuating amyloid aggregates being an example of structural inheritance. The best-characterized examples are the Sup35 and Ure2 yeast proteins, corresponding to [PSI+] and [URE3] phenotypes, respectively. Results Here we show that both the prion domain of Sup35 (Sup35-NM and the Ure2 protein (Ure2p form inclusion bodies (IBs displaying amyloid-like properties when expressed in bacteria. These intracellular aggregates template the conformational change and promote the aggregation of homologous, but not heterologous, soluble prionogenic molecules. Moreover, in the case of Sup35-NM, purified IBs are able to induce different [PSI+] phenotypes in yeast, indicating that at least a fraction of the protein embedded in these deposits adopts an infectious prion fold. Conclusions An important feature of prion inheritance is the existence of strains, which are phenotypic variants encoded by different conformations of the same polypeptide. We show here that the proportion of infected yeast cells displaying strong and weak [PSI+] phenotypes depends on the conditions under which the prionogenic aggregates are formed in E. coli, suggesting that bacterial systems might become useful tools to generate prion strain diversity.

  19. Enzymatic Digestion of Chronic Wasting Disease Prions Bound to Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    SAUNDERS, SAMUEL E.; BARTZ, JASON C.; VERCAUTEREN, KURT C.; BARTELT-HUNT, SHANNON L.

    2010-01-01

    Chronic wasting disease (CWD) and sheep scrapie can be transmitted via indirect environmental routes, and it is known that soil can serve as a reservoir of prion infectivity. Given the strong interaction between the prion protein (PrP) and soil, we hypothesized that binding to soil enhances prion resistance to enzymatic digestion, thereby facilitating prion longevity in the environment and providing protection from host degradation. We characterized the performance of a commercially available subtilisin enzyme, the Prionzyme, to degrade soil-bound and unbound CWD and HY TME PrP as a function of pH, temperature, and treatment time. The subtilisin enzyme effectively degraded PrP adsorbed to a wide range of soils and soil minerals below the limits of detection. Signal loss occurred rapidly at high pH (12.5) and within 7 d under conditions representative of the natural environment (pH 7.4, 22°C). We observed no apparent difference in enzyme effectiveness between bound and unbound CWD PrP. Our results show that although adsorbed prions do retain relative resistance to enzymatic digestion compared with other brain homogenate proteins, they can be effectively degraded when bound to soil. Our results also suggest a topical application of a subtilisin enzyme solution may be an effective decontamination method to limit disease transmission via environmental ‘hot spots’ of prion infectivity. PMID:20450190

  20. Reduction of prion infectivity in packed red blood cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morales, Rodrigo; Buytaert-Hoefen, Kimberley A.; Gonzalez-Romero, Dennisse; Castilla, Joaquin; Hansen, Eric T.; Hlavinka, Dennis; Goodrich, Raymond P.; Soto, Claudio

    2008-01-01

    The link between a new variant form of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) and the consumption of prion contaminated cattle meat as well as recent findings showing that vCJD can be transmitted by blood transfusion have raised public health concerns. Currently, a reliable test to identify prions in blood samples is not available. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the possibility to remove scrapie prion protein (PrP Sc ) and infectivity from red blood cell (RBC) suspensions by a simple washing procedure using a cell separation and washing device. The extent of prion removal was assessed by Western blot, PMCA and infectivity bioassays. Our results revealed a substantial removal of infectious prions (≥3 logs of infectivity) by all techniques used. These data suggest that a significant amount of infectivity present in RBC preparations can be removed by a simple washing procedure. This technology may lead to increased safety of blood products and reduce the risk of further propagation of prion diseases.