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Biopolymers. 2004 May-Jun 5;74(1-2):163-7.

Scrapie-infected cells, isolated prions, and recombinant prion protein: a comparative study.

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Robert Koch Institute, Nordufer 20, 13353 Berlin, Germany.


Fourier -transform infrared microscopic spectra of scrapie-infected nervous tissue measured at high spatial resolution (approximately 6 microm) were compared with those obtained from the purified, partly proteinase K digested scrapie isoform of the prion protein isolated from nervous tissue of hamsters infected with the same scrapie strain (263K) to elucidate similarities/dissimilarities between prion structure investigated in situ and ex vivo. A further comparison is drawn to the recombinant Syrian hamster prion protein SHaPrP(90-232) after in vitro conformational transition from the predominantly alpha-helical isoform to beta-sheet-rich structures. It is shown that prion protein structure can be investigated within tissue and that detectability of regions with elevated beta-sheet content as observed in microspectra of prion-infected tissue strongly depends on spatial resolution of the experiment.

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