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PLoS pathogens

A C-terminal protease-resistant prion fragment distinguishes ovine "CH1641-like" scrapie from bovine classical and L-Type BSE in ovine transgenic mice.


PMID 18769714

Abstract

The protease-resistant prion protein (PrP(res)) of a few natural scrapie isolates identified in sheep, reminiscent of the experimental isolate CH1641 derived from a British natural scrapie case, showed partial molecular similarities to ovine bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Recent discovery of an atypical form of BSE in cattle, L-type BSE or BASE, suggests that also this form of BSE might have been transmitted to sheep. We studied by Western blot the molecular features of PrP(res) in four "CH1641-like" natural scrapie isolates after transmission in an ovine transgenic model (TgOvPrP4), to see if "CH1641-like" isolates might be linked to L-type BSE. We found less diglycosylated PrP(res) than in classical BSE, but similar glycoform proportions and apparent molecular masses of the usual PrP(res) form (PrP(res) #1) to L-type BSE. However, the "CH1641-like" isolates differed from both L-type and classical BSE by an abundant, C-terminally cleaved PrP(res) product (PrP(res) #2) specifically recognised by a C-terminal antibody (SAF84). Differential immunoprecipitation of PrP(res) #1 and PrP(res) #2 resulted in enrichment in PrP(res) #2, and demonstrated the presence of mono- and diglycosylated PrP(res) products. PrP(res) #2 could not be obtained from several experimental scrapie sources (SSBP1, 79A, Chandler, C506M3) in TgOvPrP4 mice, but was identified in the 87V scrapie strain and, in lower and variable proportions, in 5 of 5 natural scrapie isolates with different molecular features to CH1641. PrP(res) #2 identification provides an additional method for the molecular discrimination of prion strains, and demonstrates differences between "CH1641-like" ovine scrapie and bovine L-type BSE transmitted in an ovine transgenic mouse model.

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