Preparation of PrP-specific polyclonal antibody by immunization of PRNP knockout mice with recombinant human PrP protein*_Reference Network (2023)

2020-08-07 08:00WhichXueproductWuJoyopenremindkangtallplumflatListBucBucBucdawnflatIuseTogether

YANG Xue Hua, WU Yue Zhang, XIAO Kang, GAO Li Ping, CHEN Dong Dong, DONG Xiao Ping,2,3,4,# i SHI Qi,#

1. National Key Laboratory for Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control, Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases (Zhejiang University), Institute of Viral Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 102206; 2. Global Center for Public Health, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing 102206 3. Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei 430071 4. China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, Beijing 100700, China

Summary Aim The diagnosis of prion diseases in humans and animals consists in the detection of specific pathological changes in the brain tissue and/or PrPSc in suspected cases. Therefore, the development of methods for obtaining PrP antibodies with good specificity and sensitivity is the basis for prion identification. Methods We generated a PrP-specific polyclonal antibody (pAb P54) in a PRNP knockout mouse model by immunization with full length recombinant human PrP protein residues. We have since validated the pAb in Western blot, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IFA) assays. PrPSc in the brains of experimental scrapie-infected rodents and humans infected with various types of prion diseases. The electrophoretic pattern of brain PrPC and PrPSc observed after reaction with pAb P54 was almost identical to that produced by the commercial monoclonal antibody PrP. The three glycosylated PrP molecules in the brain homogenate were clearly demonstrated by the reaction of these molecules with pAb P54. IHC assays revealed significant PrP deposition in GdnCl-treated brain sections from 139A-infected mice and 263K-infected hamsters. The IFA with pAb P54 also showed a clear green signal surrounding the blue-stained nuclei. and experimental rodent prion diseases.

Key words: prion disease, PrP, antibody, PRNP knockout mice

to introduce

Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies affect a variety of animals and humans. In humans, related disorders include Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), fatal familial insomnia (FFI), Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS), and Kuru. Approximately 85% of CJD cases are sporadic (sporadic CJD, sCJD), 10–15% are inherited (hereditary Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, gCJD), and less than 1% are infectious (iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) [1,2 ]. ]. Major prion diseases in animals include scrapie in goats and sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy in cattle, and chronic wasting disease in deer [3].

PrP is a relatively conserved cell membrane protein, expressed mainly in the central nervous system [4,5]. Under the influence of various factors, the normal physiological conformation of PrP (PrPC) is transformed into the abnormal pathological isoform of PrPSc, which is believed to be the etiology of prion diseases [6]. Although the peptide sequences of PrPC and PrPScare are identical, PrPSc has unique biochemical features due to conformational changes, including partial resistance to proteinase K digestion and partial tolerance to GdnCl treatment.

Given the highly conserved nature of PrP, inducing specific antibodies against PrP in wild-type animals is difficult. Most of the available PrP monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) have been generated by immunizing PRNP knockout mice with the PrP antigen [7]. In this report, we generated PrP-specific polyclonal antibodies (pAbs) in PRNP knockout mice by immunization with recombinant human PrP protein. We then verified that the prepared pAbs showed reliable reactivity to PrPC and PrPSc by Western blot detection, immunohistochemistry (IHC) and immunofluorescence (IFA). Our results show that pAb reactivity is comparable to commonly used commercial anti-PrP mAbs.

Materials and methods

Expression and purification of proteins

The recombinant plasmid p-Hu-PrP23-231 was constructed to express the full-length human PrP protein from aa 23 to 231 (rHuPrP23-231), and the expressed rHuPrP23-231 was purified in E. coli as previously described [8].

animal immunity

Transgenic mice (Tg-PrP0/0) knockout of native PRNP [9] were housed in the SPF laboratory. Then, 50 μg of purified rHuPrP23-231 was injected into the hind leg muscles of mice for immunization. About 15 days later, the same amount of rHuPr-P23-231 was injected intramuscularly for reinforcement. Tail blood samples from the immunized mice were collected 15 days later and antibody titers were measured by an established PrP-coated ELISA technique. If the resulting antibody titer was less than 1:20,480, the mice were re-immunized. Mice were sacrificed under anesthesia, blood was drawn and aliquoted.

PrP coated indirect ELISA

An intermediate ELISA protocol was established to test the specificity and sensitivity of the prepared antibodies. Briefly, rHuPrP23-231 was diluted in phosphate buffered saline (PBS) to a final concentration of 1 μg/ml and coated in the wells of a 96-well microtiter plate overnight at 4°C. After washing with PBST (phosphate buffered saline, pH 7.6, containing 0.05% Tween-20), the plates were blocked with 2% BSA in PBST at 37°C for 2 hours and then incubated with various dilutions of serum samples. After extensive washing with PBST, the captured antibody was further reacted with horseradish peroxidase (HRP) conjugated anti-mouse secondary antibody (Jackson, USA) diluted 1:10,000 for 1 hour at 37°C. The color of the solution was developed with 3,3',5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine (Sigma, USA) at 37°C for 30 min. The absorbance was measured at 450 nm (Δ450 nm) after the wells had expired by adding 2 mol/L H2SO4.

Brain homogenate preparation

To evaluate the proposed PrP antibody, homogenates were made from stored brain tissue from experimental rodents infected with sheep scrapie and from humans infected with various prion diseases. Samples included postmortem brain tissue from 1 sCJD case, 1 G114V gCJD case, and 3 FFI cases; brain tissue from mice infected with scrapie agents 139A, ME7 and S15 and hamsters infected with scrapie agent 263K. The clinical and neuropathological features of human and experimental rodent cases have been described in an earlier paper [10]. As controls, a brain from a person who died in a car accident and brains from normal mice and aged hamsters were also included. Brain tissue was washed three times with Tris-buffered saline (TBS, 10 mmol/L Tris-HCl, 133 mmol/L NaCl, pH 7.4) and then washed with lysis buffer (100 mmol/L NaCl, 10 mmol/L EDTA, 0.5% NP-40, 0.5% sodium deoxycholate, 10 mmol/l Tris, pH 7.4) containing a cocktail of group III protease inhibitors. The homogenate was centrifuged at 2000 × g for 10 minutes, and the supernatant fraction was aliquoted and stored at −80 °C for further experiments.

Cell culture

The SMB-S15 cell line and the accompanying normal SMB-PS cell line were obtained from the Roslin Institute, UK. PrPSreplication is maintained in this cell line along with cell passage. SMB-PS was established from SMB-S15 cells that were completely prion-free by treatment with pentane sulfate, with no detectable PrPSc. SMB cells were maintained at 33°C in a humidified 5% CO 2 atmosphere in Dulbecco's modified Eagle's medium (VS500T, Auabian, Australia) containing 10% fetal bovine serum.

Western blot

Brain homogenate aliquots were separated by 12% SDS-PAGE and electrotransferred onto nylon membranes. Membranes were blocked with 5% skim milk in TBS for 2 hours at room temperature (RT), then incubated with pAb P54 (1:1000) or commercial PrP mAb 6D11 (1:2000) or 3F4 (1:5000) at 4°C C overnight. After washing with TBS containing 0.1% Tween 20, the membrane was incubated with HRP-conjugated secondary antibody (goat anti-mouse secondary antibody-HRP-Ab, 115-035-003, 1:2000) for 1 hour at room temperature. The blots were developed using an enhanced chemiluminescence system (ECL, PerkinElmer, NEL103E001EA) and visualized on autoradiographic film (General Electric). Images were acquired with ChemiDocTMMXRS + Imager and quantified with Image J software.

Rodent brain homogenates were digested to a final concentration of 50 μg/ml and human and cellular proteinase K to a final concentration of 20 μg/ml at 37°C before Western blot analysis 1 hour to detect the presence of proteinase K resistant PrPSc.


Brain tissue was fixed in 10% buffered formalin and paraffin sections (5 μm thick) were routinely prepared [11]. Sections were quenched with 3% H2O2 in methanol for 10 minutes to endogenous peroxidases and blocked with 5% BSA for 15 minutes at room temperature. Incubate sections with pAb P54 (1:100) or commercial anti-PrP mAb (1:200) overnight at 4°C. The sections were then incubated with an HRP-conjugated secondary antibody (ZSGB-BIO, PV-6002) for 1 hour at 37°C and incubated with 3,3-diaminobenzidine tetrahydrochloride (Boster, AR 1000). Incubate for observation. Sections were counterstained with hematoxylin (Boster, AR 0005), dehydrated and mounted in Permount. Finally, the brain sections were exposed to a buffer containing 4 mol/L GdnCl for 1 hour at room temperature, followed by routine IHC testing to detect PrPSc.

Immunofluorescence analysis

The IFA study was performed according to the previously described protocol [11]. Briefly, brain sections were treated with 0.3% Triton-X100 for 30 minutes, blocked with 5% BSA for 1 hour at room temperature, and then incubated with prepared pAb P54 (1:100) or a commercially available anti-PrP antibody (6D11 , 1:200, Santa Cruz, Sc-58581) overnight at 4°C. The sections were then incubated with goat anti-mouse antibody conjugated to Alexa Fluor® 568 (1:200, Thermo, A-11004) for 1 hour at 37°C. After staining with 1 μg/ml 4′6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (Beyotime, China) for 30 min, sections were placed in Permount and observed using an Operetta (PerkinElmer) or Olympus FV1000 confocal microscope.

ethical statement

Immunization of experimental mice (Tg-PrP0/0) with rHuPrP23-231, preparation of PrP-specific antibodies, prion diseases in humans, and use of experimental rodent brain samples in this study were validated in this study. Ethics Committee of the Institute for Prevention and Control of Viral Diseases, China Center for Disease Control and Prevention, protocol number 2009ZX10004-101. In addition, all animal housing and experimental protocols were in compliance with Chinese regulations for the management of laboratory animals.


Expression and immunization of recombinant human PrP

Full-length recombinant human PrP protein amino acids 23-231 (rHuPrP23-231) was expressed and purified from E. coli. coli. SDS-PAGE revealed a band of approximately 21 kD that immunoreacted positively with PrP-specific mAbs 6D11 and 3F4 in western blot analysis (Figure 1). Tg-PrP0/0 mice, 4-8 weeks of age, were immunized intramuscularly with 50 μg of purified rHuPrP23-231 and boosted every 2 weeks until serum titers exceeded 1:20,480 as determined by PrP-coated ELISA. Mouse blood was then collected, serum isolated and pooled as pAb P54.

Reactive titers of pAb P54 by ELISA

The reactive titers of the prepared antibodies were assessed by indirect ELISA on aliquots of pooled pAb P54 sera using plates coated with rHuPrP23-231. Pre-immune mouse serum was used as a negative control. As shown in Figure 2, the negative serum A450nm value was 0.368 at a 1:100 dilution and gradually decreased to less than 0.2 at a 1:1280 dilution. In contrast, the A450nm pAb P54 was 2.758 at 1:100 dilution, peaked at 2.945 at 1:200 dilution and decreased to 0.416 at 1:20480 dilution. Given that a ratio of A450nm test sample/A450nm negative control ≥ 2.1 is considered a positive reaction, the pAb P54 ELISA titer was estimated to be 1:20,480.

The reactivity of pAb P54 was determined by Western blotting

Mouse, hamster and human brain homogenates were prepared separately and examined by Western blotting to evaluate the reactivity of the prepared pAb P54 with native PrP in normal brain tissue. Upon reaction with pAb P54, three typical PrP bands were detected in the brain homogenate at about 25-30 kD, representing double, single and non-glycosylated PrPC (Figure 3A). The blot also showed a pattern similar to the reaction of the homogenates with the PrP-specific mAbs 6D11 (Figure 3B) and 3F4 (Figure 3C). mAb 6D11 responds to PrPC in mouse and hamster brain homogenates, but elicits a very weak signal in human brain homogenates. In contrast, mAb 3F4 did not recognize PrPCin in mice, but responded well to hamsters and humans. In addition, no PrP bands were observed in the brain homogenates of Tg-PrP0/0 mice treated with pAb P54 or mAb 6D11 or 3F4.

Brain homogenates from mice and hamsters infected with different scrapie drugs, as well as human brains infected with different types of prion diseases, were prepared to test the ability of pAb P54 to recognize abnormal PrPSc. After digestion with proteinase K, three 21-30 kD migrators were detected in the brain homogenate spots of mice infected with scrapie agents 139A, ME7 and S15 treated with pAb P54 (Fig. 4A, left) and mAb 6D11. team (correct). In contrast, no PrP signal was detected in the control homogenate patches. A PK-resistant PrP band similar to that seen in mAb 3F4 (Fig. 4B, right), left, was also detected in Western blots of brain homogenates of hamsters infected with scrapie 263K strain of sheep treated with pAb P54 (Fig. 4B, left). These results strongly suggest that the prepared pAb P54 can recognize pathological PrPSc in the brains of scrapie-infected experimental rodents.

Brain tissue homogenates from various human prion disease infections, including 1 sCJD, 1 G114V gCJD and 3 FFI cases, were exposed to pAb P54 and detected by Western blotting. Similar to the reaction with mAb 3F4 (Fig. 5, lower panel), Western blot of pAb P54 (upper panel) revealed PK resistance bands in sCJD and G114V gCJD brains and a weak signal of PK resistance in FFI-3 brains. These findings demonstrate that the prepared pAb P54 is capable of detecting PrPScin of various types of human prion diseases.

Determination of pAb P54 reactivity by immunohistochemistry

Brain sections of normal and 139A-infected mice as well as normal and 263K-infected hamsters were prepared and subjected to a PrP-specific IHC assay to test pAb P54 reactivity; here mAb 6D11 was used as a control. Brain sections were treated with 4 mol/L GdnCl prior to incubation with a single PrP-specific antibody to remove PrPC from brain tissue. Brown PrP signals of varying intensity, indicating positive reactivity, were distributed both inside and outside the brain tissue cells of 263K-infected hamsters (Fig. 6A) and 139A and ME7-infected mice (Fig. 6B); vacuole. In contrast, no obvious brown signal was detected in brain slices from healthy animals. pAb P54 produced images of PrPSc deposits similar to those produced by mAb 6D11 in mouse and hamster brains.

The reactivity of pAb P54 was determined by immunofluorescence assay

The feasibility of the prepared pAb P54 was tested by IFA. A light green signal was noted in SMB-S15 and SMB-PS cells treated with pAb P54 (Figure 7A). In contrast to the green signal generated by mAb 6D11, which is mainly located on the cell surface, the signal generated by pAb P54 is distributed in the cytoplasm and on the cell surface. When brain sections of normal mice and hamsters were analyzed, a bright green signal surrounding blue-stained nuclei was observed in sections reacted with pAb P54. In addition, p54 pAb produced a morphological pattern similar to mAb 6D11 in mouse sections (Figure 7B) and mAb 3F4 in hamster sections (Figure 7C).


In this report, we generated PrP-specific pAb P54 by immunizing PRNP knockout mice with recombinant human full-length PrP protein. ELISA, Western blot and IHC data confirmed that the newly prepared antibodies can react with recombinant PrP protein, normal brain PrPC in healthy rodents and humans, and pathological PrPS in experimental rodents infected with various scrapie drugs, including 139A, ME7, S15, and 263K, and people infected with various types of prion diseases, including sCJD, G114V gCJD, and FFI. The western blot of pAb P54 clearly showed bands for the three glycosylated forms of PrP, whether PrPC or PrPSc, and these bands showed an electrophoretic pattern similar to that produced by commonly used commercial PrP mAbs. This result indicates that pAb P54 not only has good PrP specificity, but also has the ability to recognize different PrP molecules in a broad spectrum.

Our pAb P54 showed broad reactivity with PrP molecules of various species, including humans and experimental rodents; The protein reaction is minimal. Although PrP proteins are quite conserved across animal species, some PrP-specific mAbs have shown species limitations [12,13]. Many pAbs show broad reactivity with related antigens from different sources and with different epitopes [14], sometimes making them better for capturing more relevant antigens in the sample under study. The presence of PK-resistant PrPScin brain lysates by Western blot and the presence of PrPSc deposits in IHC sections treated with PK or GdnCl are the main criteria for the final diagnosis of human prion diseases [15,16]. The excellent performance of the prepared pAb P54 demonstrated in this Western blot and IHC study reflects its potential use in identifying PrPscin in the brains of humans and experimental rodents infected with prion diseases.

As a product of host genes, the PrP protein is generally conserved in mammals [17,18]. Therefore, eliciting a superior immune response simply by administering the PrP protein to wild-type animals has often been difficult. PRNP knockout animals are an ideal basis for generating PrP-specific pAbs. In this study, we used a strain of PRNP knockout mice with no detectable PrPC expression in their brains to generate pAb; this strategy represents one approach that can overcome the difficulties described above. The prepared pAb P54 showed good specificity and acceptable sensitivity in recognizing native brain tissue PrPC and PrPScin. Another limitation of pAb production for immunization of PRNP knockout mice is the limited amount of blood present in the animals, meaning that a large number of mice are required to obtain sufficient amounts of antibodies. Individual differences in immunized mice are inevitable. To address this issue, we separately assessed the serum titers of individual mice during the second immunization by ELISA and only those mice with a titer greater than 1:20,480 were sacrificed. The prepared pAb P54 was immunized with mouse serum without further purification. Although pAbs have relatively lower reactive titers than mAbs, the simple preparation procedure presented in this paper makes pAb P54 an economical alternative to its monoclonal counterpart. Further purification and concentration of pAb P54 will help to increase its immunoreactivity titer.

Date of receipt: 2019-12-18;

Accepted: June 15, 2020

Biomedical and environmental sciencesJuly 2020

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How does PrP become PrPSc? ›

The conversion of PrPC to PrPSc. The protein only hypothesis of prion conversion posits that misfolded PrPSc acts a catalyst, directly binding to PrPC and causing its conversion to PrPSc. This self-perpetuating recruitment leads to large aggregates of PrPSc, and underlies its infectious potential.

What are prion proteins? ›

A prion is a type of protein that can trigger normal proteins in the brain to fold abnormally. Prion diseases can affect both humans and animals and are sometimes spread to humans by infected meat products. The most common form of prion disease that affects humans is Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD).

What is the prion aggregates? ›

The prion protein aggregates and causes neurodegenerative diseases in many mammalian species. The aggregated protein is transmissible to other organisms and species. Aggregation is believed to originate in cellular endosomes at low pH.

What is prion disease in humans? ›

Prion diseases are transmissible, untreatable, and fatal brain diseases of mammals. Their cause is highly unusual: The host's normal prion protein can, for unknown reasons, malfunction and assemble into structured aggregates called prions that cause infectious brain disease.

How to do PRP preparation? ›

PRP method
  1. Obtain WB by venipuncture in acid citrate dextrose (ACD) tubes.
  2. Do not chill the blood at any time before or during platelet separation.
  3. Centrifuge the blood using a 'soft' spin.
  4. Transfer the supernatant plasma containing platelets into another sterile tube (without anticoagulant).

How do you get a PRP injection? ›

First the clinician will draw some blood, usually from vein in your arm. Then the PRP needs to be prepared by spinning the blood in a centrifuge which takes around 10 minutes. The clinician will then inject the PRP using ultrasound guidance into the joint or tendon to be treated.

What causes a protein to become a prion? ›

Prions arise when normal proteins acquire an alternative conformation that becomes self-propagating. The most well-studied mammalian prions are composed of PrPSc proteins that cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans, scrapie in sheep, chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer and elk, and mad cow disease.

How do people get prions? ›

Prion diseases can be transmitted through contaminated medical equipment and nervous tissue. Cases where this has happened include transmission through contaminated cornea transplants or dura mater grafts.

What is the function of the PRNP protein? ›

Normal Function

The PRNP gene provides instructions for making a protein called prion protein (PrP), which is active in the brain and several other tissues. Although the precise function of this protein is unknown, researchers have proposed roles in several important processes.

What prion disease is eating the brain? ›

Kuru is a very rare disease. It is caused by an infectious protein (prion) found in contaminated human brain tissue. Kuru is found among people from New Guinea who practiced a form of cannibalism in which they ate the brains of dead people as part of a funeral ritual.

What is the deadliest prion disease? ›

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurodegenerative disorder believed to be caused by an abnormal isoform of a cellular glycoprotein known as the prion protein.

Is a prion a virus or protein? ›

Finally, we discuss prions. These infectious agents were originally believed to be anomalous viruses, hence their inclusion here. However, they consist solely of protein, with no enclosed nucleic acid. Thus, they are definitely not viruses despite sharing the superficial properties of size and infectiousness.

What are the four human prion diseases? ›

Identified Prion Diseases
  • Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (CJD)
  • Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease (vCJD)
  • Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Syndrome.
  • Fatal Familial Insomnia.
  • Kuru.

What kills prion disease? ›

Incineration of prion-contaminated material is considered the most effective method of disposal. Combustion at 1,000°C can destroy prion infectivity, however, low infectivity remains after treatment at 600°C.

Is prion a virus or bacteria? ›

Prions are virus-like organisms made up of a prion protein. These elongated fibrils (green) are believed to be aggregations of the protein that makes up the infectious prion. Prions attack nerve cells producing neurodegenerative brain disease.

What is the best PRP preparation? ›

The most common way to prepare PRP involves centrifuging a patient's blood sample. A vial of blood is placed in a centrifuge, where it is spun at intensely high speeds. The spinning causes the blood to separate into layers: Red blood cells, approximately 45% of blood, are forced to the bottom of the vial.

How much does PRP cost? ›

The cost of a single PRP treatment will typically be in the range of $ 500–2,500. People may also require repeat treatments. Costs can vary depending on location, facilities, and the expertise of the doctor performing the treatment. It is also of note that few insurance plans cover the cost of PRP treatment.

How long does it take to prepare PRP injection? ›

How long does a PRP injection take? The entire process, including preparation and recovery, should take approximately one hour on average.

How painful is PRP injection? ›

DO PRP INJECTIONS HURT? Because the injured area is first anesthetized with lidocaine, the actual injections are only slightly uncomfortable. The lidocaine wears off in a few hours, and there is usually mild to moderate pain for the next few days.

Does insurance cover PRP injections? ›

Although platelet-rich plasma injections are not covered by insurance, they could be the long-term solution to your problem, saving you hundreds to thousands of dollars on other necessary potential treatments.

Are PRP injections worth it? ›

There are no high-quality studies that show long-term positive benefits from PRP injections. And, the studies that show some short-term benefits for things like knee arthritis are based on a set of beliefs that do not hold up under closer scrutiny.

Do all humans have prions? ›

Structure. The major prion protein (PrP) that prions are made of is found throughout the body, even in healthy people and animals.

How do you prevent prions in meat? ›

  1. Wear latex or rubber gloves when dressing the animal or handling the meat.
  2. Minimize how much you handle the organs of the animal, particularly the brain or spinal cord tissues.
  3. Do not use household knives or other kitchen utensils for field dressing.

Why is it so hard to control prions? ›

Prions are extremely resistant to disinfection and sterilization methods used so far. The pathogenic prion protein core (called prion) consists of 142 amino-acids, is resistant to proteolytic enzymes, has a mass of 15 pikograms and is filtrable. Fixed by desiccation or chemicals may retain infectivity for years.

What are the odds of getting prion disease? ›

This sporadic disease occurs worldwide, including the United States, at a rate of roughly 1 to 2 cases per 1 million population per year.

How do prions damage the brain? ›

Prion diseases, because they cause spongelike holes in brain tissue, are also called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. They are not curable, though symptoms can be treated. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or CJD, is the most common prion disease. It progresses rapidly and is fatal, usually within a year.

How long can you live with prion disease? ›

Although the survival time is variable in prion diseases, the average duration is 4-6 months. Hence, a diagnosis of prion disease alone should be sufficient for hospice enrollment.

What does PRNP stand for? ›

PRNP (Prion Protein) is a Protein Coding gene. Diseases associated with PRNP include Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and Fatal Familial Insomnia.

Where is prion protein located? ›

The prion glycoprotein (PrPC) is mostly located at the cell surface, tethered to the plasma membrane through a glycosyl-phosphatydil inositol (GPI) anchor.

Is Alzheimer's a prion disease? ›

Prion diseases are caused by the toxic misfolding and clumping of the prion protein, PrP. Although Alzheimer's is not a prion disease, and the PrP, Aβ, and tau proteins each normally fold into distinct 3D shapes, upon misfolding, all three proteins can all form aggregates that have a very specific structural pattern.

What prion causes dementia? ›

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease causes a type of dementia that gets worse unusually fast. More common causes of dementia, such as Alzheimer's, dementia with Lewy bodies and frontotemporal dementia, typically progress more slowly. Through a process scientists don't yet understand, misfolded prion protein destroys brain cells.

Are prions alive? ›

Prions are biological anomalies – self-replicating, not-alive little particles that can misfold into an unstoppable juggernaut of fatal disease. Prions don't contain genes, and yet they make more of themselves.

Do cow brains contain prions? ›

High-risk cow parts are those parts of the cow that have the highest chance of being infected with the abnormal prion, such as the brains and spinal cords from cows that are 30 months of age or older.

Has anyone ever survived a prion disease? ›

Simms died at the age of 27. He is the world's longest known survivor of Creutrzfeldt-Jakob disease. How it worked: Prion proteins exist in at least two forms: PrPC (PrP = prion, C = cellular), a harmless form, and PrPSC (PrP = prion, SC = scrapie), which causes disease.

Can anything destroy a prion? ›

While chemicals may not destroy a prion or render it inactive, prions may be manually removed or diluted with a disinfectant and scrubbing.

Are there any curable prion diseases? ›

There are no known ways to cure prion diseases but RML scientists are working to develop treatments. Using both cell-free and cell-based assays, NIAID researchers have tested thousands of compounds and identified hundreds of molecules that inhibit the formation of the abnormal form of prion protein.

What body system do prion diseases affect? ›

Consequently, most prion diseases affect the nervous system predominantly or exclusively. The most common change caused by prions is the formation of tiny bubbles in brain cells, and the brain becomes filled with microscopic holes.

Is A prion A Parasite? ›

Summary: Prions are unique infective agents -- unlike viruses, bacteria, fungi and other parasites, prions do not contain either DNA or RNA. Despite their seemingly simple structure, they can propagate their pathological effects like wildfire, by "infecting" normal proteins.

What is one difference between a prion and a virus? ›

How is a Prion Disease different from Viral and Bacterial Diseases? – Viruses and bacteria are microorganisms that contain genetic material. They do not generate spontaneously. In contrast, Prion Disease is caused by a change in shape of a cellular protein.

Can you wash prions off hands? ›

Prions are very stable molecules that do not break down easily. Normal sterilization procedures such as cooking, washing and boiling do not destroy them. Caregivers should use “universal precautions” if they are providing any type of medical care beyond social contact.

Can bleach destroy prions? ›

Although corrosive, sodium hypochlorite (bleach) is widely available and affordable and has been shown to inactivate prion agents including those that cause scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

Can prions survive cremation? ›

Interment of bodies in closed caskets does not present a significant risk of environmental contamination and cremated remains can be considered sterile, as the infectious agent does not survive incineration-range temperatures.

Can humans spread prion disease? ›

To date, there is no strong evidence for the occurrence of CWD in people, and it is not known if people can get infected with CWD prions. Nevertheless, these experimental studies raise the concern that CWD may pose a risk to people and suggest that it is important to prevent human exposures to CWD.

Are prions a form of DNA virus? ›

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.

What animal is infected by prion? ›

Animal prion diseases are a group of neurodegenerative, transmissible, and fatal disorders that affect several animal species. The causative agent, prion, is a misfolded isoform of normal cellular prion protein, which is found in cells with higher concentration in the central nervous system.

What causes PrPC to PrPSc? ›

PrPc can undergo conversion into PrPSc through spontaneous misfolding, a genetic mutation of the human PRNP gene, or exposure to a prion from an external source.

What is the difference between PrP and PrPSc? ›

PrPSc has the same primary structure as PrPC but a different fold (16). During the conversion of PrPC to PrPSc, the a-helix content decreases somewhat but the b-sheet content increases greatly (17,18). Also, whereas PrPC is protease sensitive, PrPSc contains a protease-resistant core of residues ~90–230 (19).

What is the difference between PrP and PrPC? ›

PrP is a host-encoded protein which exists as PrP(C) (cellular) in the non-infected host, and as PrP(Sc) (scrapie) as the major component of the scrapie infectious agent.

Where does PrPSc come from? ›

The abnormal PrPSc protein can be caused by a genetic mutation, or it can be acquired by eating food that contains the PrPSc protein, such as beef contaminated with the nervous tissue of cattle that had bovine spongiform encephalopathy.


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Introduction: My name is Chrissy Homenick, I am a tender, funny, determined, tender, glorious, fancy, enthusiastic person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.