Effects of different experimental conditions on the PrPSc core generated by protease digestion: Implications for strain typing and molecular classification of CJD

Silvio Notari, Sabina Capellari, Armin Giese, Ingo Westner, Agostino Baruzzi, Bernardino Ghetti, Pierluigi Gambetti, Hans A. Kretzschmar, Piero Parchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The discovery of molecular subtypes of the pathological prion protein PrPSc has provided the basis for a novel classification of human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) and a potentially powerful method for strain typing. However, there is still a significant disparity regarding the understanding and nomenclature of PrPSc types. In. addition, it is still unknown whether a specific PrPSc type is associated with each TSE phenotypic variant. In sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), five disease phenotypes are known, but only two major types of PrPSc, types 1 and 2, have been consistently reproduced. We further analyzed PrPSc properties in sCJD and variant CJD using a high resolution gel electrophoresis system and varying experimental conditions. We found that pH varies among CJD brain homogenates in standard buffers, thereby influencing the characteristics of protease-treated PrPSc. We also show that PrPSc type 1 and type 2 are heterogeneous species which can be further distinguished into five molecular subtypes that fit the current histopathological classification of sCJD variants. Our results shed light on previous disparities in PrPSc typing, provide a refined classification of human PrPSc types, and support the notion that the pathological TSE phenotype is related to PrPSc structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16797-16804
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - Apr 16 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry

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