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Abstract zur Publikation: Discriminating scrapie and BSE isolates by infrared spectroscopy of pathological prion protein

Thomzig A, Spassov S, Friedrich M, Naumann D, Beekes M (2004): Discriminating scrapie and BSE isolates by infrared spectroscopy of pathological prion protein.
J. Biol. Chem. 279: 33847-33854.

For the surveillance of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) in animals and humans, the discrimination of different TSE strains causing scrapie, BSE, or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease constitutes a substantial challenge. We addressed this problem by Fourier transform-infrared (FT-IR) spectroscopy of pathological prion protein PrP27-30. Different isolates of hamster-adapted scrapie (263K, 22A-H, and ME7-H) and BSE (BSE-H) were passaged in Syrian hamsters. Two of these agents, 22A-H and ME7-H, caused TSEs with indistinguishable clinical symptoms, neuropathological changes, and electrophoretic mobilities and glycosylation patterns of PrP27-30. However, FT-IR spectroscopy revealed that PrP27-30 of all four isolates featured different characteristics in the secondary structure, allowing a clear distinction between the passaged TSE agents. FT-IR analysis showed that phenotypic information is mirrored in beta-sheet and other secondary structure elements of PrP27-30, also in cases where immunobiochemical typing failed to detect structural differences. If the findings of this study hold true for nonexperimental TSEs in animals and humans, FT-IR characterization of PrP27-30 may provide a versatile tool for molecular strain typing without antibodies and without restrictions to specific TSEs or mammalian species.







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