Conversion of native cellular prion protein (PrPc) from an α-helical structure to a toxic and infectious β-sheet structure (PrPSc) is a critical step in the development of prion disease. There are some indications that the formation of PrPSc is preceded by a β-sheet rich PrP (PrPβ) form which is non-infectious, but is an intermediate in the formation of infectious PrPSc. Furthermore the presence of lipid cofactors is thought to be critical in the formation of both intermediate-PrPβ and lethal, infectious PrPSc. We previously discovered that the endotoxin, lipopolysaccharide (LPS), interacts with recombinant PrPc and induces rapid conformational change to a β-sheet rich structure. This LPS induced PrPβ structure exhibits PrPSc-like features including proteinase K (PK) resistance and the capacity to form large oligomers and rod-like fibrils. LPS is a large, complex molecule with lipid, polysaccharide, 2-keto-3-deoxyoctonate (Kdo) and glucosamine components. To learn more about which LPS chemical constituents are critical for binding PrPc and inducing β-sheet conversion we systematically investigated which chemical components of LPS either bind or induce PrP conversion to PrPβ. We analyzed this PrP conversion using resolution enhanced native acidic gel electrophoresis (RENAGE), tryptophan fluorescence, circular dichroism, electron microscopy and PK resistance. Our results indicate that a minimal version of LPS (called detoxified and partially de-acylated LPS or dLPS) containing a portion of the polysaccharide and a portion of the lipid component is sufficient for PrP conversion. Lipid components, alone, and saccharide components, alone, are insufficient for conversion.