Send to

Choose Destination
Methods Mol Biol. 2019;1873:19-37. doi: 10.1007/978-1-4939-8820-4_2.

Ultrasensitive RT-QuIC Seed Amplification Assays for Disease-Associated Tau, α-Synuclein, and Prion Aggregates.

Author information

Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH, Hamilton, MT, USA.
Rocky Mountain Laboratories, NIAID, NIH, Hamilton, MT, USA.


The abnormal assembly of tau, α-synuclein (αSyn), or prion protein into oligomers and multimers underpins the molecular pathogenesis of multiple neurodegenerative diseases. Such pathological aggregates can often grow by seeded polymerization mechanisms. We and others have taken advantage of these mechanisms to amplify seeding activities in vitro and devise ultrasensitive, specific and quantitative assays for these etiological biomarkers. Real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assays are performed in multiwell plates with fluorescent readouts, facilitating efficient throughput. Prion RT-QuIC assays on cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples are being widely used for antemortem diagnosis of human prion diseases. Recently, we have also described a tau RT-QuIC prototype that has been optimized for Pick disease (with predominant 3R tau pathology) that detects 3R tau seeds in postmortem CSF, and brain tissue dilutions as extreme as a billion-fold. αSyn RT-QuIC prototypes have also been developed, providing ~92% diagnostic sensitivity and 100% specificity for Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies using antemortem CSF. Here we provide detailed protocols for our 3R tau and αSyn RT-QuIC assays and refer the reader to published up-to-date protocols for prion RT-QuIC assays (Orru et al. Methods Mol Biol 1658:185-203, 2017; Schmitz et al. Nat Protoc 11:2233-2242, 2016).


Alzheimer; Biomarkers; Cerebrospinal fluid; Diagnosis; Parkinson; Prion; Quantitation; Seed amplification; Synuclein; Tau

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center