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Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2643-58. doi: 10.1093/brain/awp196. Epub 2009 Sep 4.

Co-existence of scrapie prion protein types 1 and 2 in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease: its effect on the phenotype and prion-type characteristics.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, 2085 Adelbert Road, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.

Abstract

Five phenotypically distinct subtypes have been identified in sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), based on the methionine/valine polymorphic genotype of codon 129 of the prion protein (PrP) gene and the presence of either one of the two protease K-resistant scrapie prion protein (PrP(Sc)) types identified as 1 and 2. The infrequent co-existence of both PrP(Sc) types in the same case has been known for a long time. Recently, it has been reported, using type-specific antibodies, that the PrP(Sc) type 1 is present in all cases of sCJD carrying PrP(Sc) type 2. The consistent co-occurrence of both PrP(Sc) types complicates the diagnosis and the current classification of sCJD, and has implications for the pathogenesis of naturally occurring prion diseases. In the present study, we investigated the prevalence of PrP(Sc) types 1 and 2 co-occurrence, along with its effects on the disease phenotype and PrP(Sc) strain characteristics, comparatively analysing 34 cases of sCJD, all methionine homozygous at codon 129 of the PrP gene (sCJDMM). To minimize overestimating the prevalence of the sCJDMM cases carrying PrP(Sc) types 1 and 2 (sCJDMM1-2), we used proteinase K concentrations designed to hydrolyse all fragments resulting from an incomplete digestion, while preserving the protease-resistant PrP(Sc) core. Furthermore, we used several antibodies to maximize the detection of both PrP(Sc) types. Our data show that sCJDMM cases associated exclusively with either PrP(Sc) type 1 (sCJDMM1) or PrP(Sc) type 2 (sCJDMM2) do exist; we estimate that they account for approximately 56% and 5% of all the sCJDMM cases, respectively; while in 39% of the cases, both PrP(Sc) types 1 and 2 are present together (sCJDMM1-2) either mixed in the same anatomical region or separate in different regions. Clinically, sCJDMM1-2 had an average disease duration intermediate between the other two sCJDMM subtypes. The histopathology was also intermediate, except for the cerebellum where it resembled that of sCJDMM1. These features, along with the PrP immunostaining pattern, offer a diagnostic clue. We also observed a correlation between the disease duration and the prevalence of PrP(Sc) type 2 and sCJDMM2 phenotypes. The use of different antibodies and of the conformational stability immunoassay indicated that the co-existence of types 1 and 2 in the same anatomical region may confer special conformational characteristics to PrP(Sc) types 1 and 2. All of these findings indicate that sCJDMM1-2 should be considered as a separate entity at this time.

PMID:
19734292
PMCID:
PMC2766234
DOI:
10.1093/brain/awp196
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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