A direct assessment of human prion adhered to steel wire using real-time quaking-induced conversion.
ABSTRACT: Accidental transmission of prions during neurosurgery has been reported as a consequence of re-using contaminated surgical instruments. Several decontamination methods have been studied using the 263K-hamster prion; however, no studies have directly evaluated human prions. A newly developed in vitro amplification system, designated real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC), has allowed the activity of abnormal prion proteins to be assessed within a few days. RT-QuIC using human recombinant prion protein (PrP) showed high sensitivity for prions as the detection limit of our assay was estimated as 0.12 fg of active prions. We applied this method to detect human prion activity on stainless steel wire. When we put wires contaminated with human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease brain tissue directly into the test tube, typical PrP-amyloid formation was observed within 48?hours, and we could detect the activity of prions at 50% seeding dose on the wire from 10(2.8) to 10(5.8) SD50. Using this method, we also confirmed that the seeding activities on the wire were removed following treatment with NaOH. As seeding activity closely correlated with the infectivity of prions using the bioassay, this wire-QuIC assay will be useful for the direct evaluation of decontamination methods for human prions.
Project description:Different transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE)-associated forms of prion protein (e.g. PrP(Sc)) can vary markedly in ultrastructure and biochemical characteristics, but each is propagated in the host. PrP(Sc) propagation involves conversion from its normal isoform, PrP(C), by a seeded or templated polymerization mechanism. Such a mechanism is also the basis of the RT-QuIC and eQuIC prion assays which use recombinant PrP (rPrP(Sen)) as a substrate. These ultrasensitive detection assays have been developed for TSE prions of several host species and sample tissues, but not for murine models which are central to TSE pathogenesis research. Here we have adapted RT-QuIC and eQuIC to various murine prions and evaluated how seeding activity depends on glycophosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchoring and the abundance of amyloid plaques and protease-resistant PrP(Sc) (PrP(Res)). Scrapie brain dilutions up to 10(-8) and 10(-13) were detected by RT-QuIC and eQuIC, respectively. Comparisons of scrapie-affected wild-type mice and transgenic mice expressing GPI anchorless PrP showed that, although similar concentrations of seeding activity accumulated in brain, the heavily amyloid-laden anchorless mouse tissue seeded more rapid reactions. Next we compared seeding activities in the brains of mice with similar infectivity titers, but widely divergent PrP(Res) levels. For this purpose we compared the 263K and 139A scrapie strains in transgenic mice expressing P101L PrP(C). Although the brains of 263K-affected mice had little immunoblot-detectable PrP(Res), RT-QuIC indicated that seeding activity was comparable to that associated with a high-PrP(Res) strain, 139A. Thus, in this comparison, RT-QuIC seeding activity correlated more closely with infectivity than with PrP(Res) levels. We also found that eQuIC, which incorporates a PrP(Sc) immunoprecipitation step, detected seeding activity in plasma from wild-type and anchorless PrP transgenic mice inoculated with 22L, 79A and/or RML scrapie strains. Overall, we conclude that these new mouse-adapted prion seeding assays detect diverse types of PrP(Sc).
Project description:The prion-like seeding of misfolded ?-synuclein (?Syn) involved in the pathogenesis of Lewy body diseases (LBD) remains poorly understood at the molecular level. Using the real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QUIC) seeding assay, we investigated whether brain tissues from cases of dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB), which contain serine 129 (Ser129)-phosphorylated insoluble aggregates of ?Syn, can convert Escherichia coli-derived recombinant ?Syn (r-?Syn) to fibrils. Diffuse neocortical DLB yielded 50% seeding dose (SD50) values of 107~1010/g brain. Limbic DLB was estimated to have an SD50 value of ~105/g brain. Furthermore, RT-QUIC assay discriminated DLB from other neurological and neurodegenerative disorders. Unexpectedly, the prion-like seeding was reconstructed in reactions seeded with oligomer-like species, but not with insoluble aggregates of r-?Syn, regardless of Ser129 phosphorylation status. Our findings suggest that RT-QUIC using r-?Syn can be applied to detect seeding activity in LBD, and the culprit that causes prion-like seeding may be oligomeric forms of ?Syn.
Project description:A major problem for the effective diagnosis and management of prion diseases is the lack of rapid high-throughput assays to measure low levels of prions. Such measurements have typically required prolonged bioassays in animals. Highly sensitive, but generally non-quantitative, prion detection methods have been developed based on prions' ability to seed the conversion of normally soluble protease-sensitive forms of prion protein to protease-resistant and/or amyloid fibrillar forms. Here we describe an approach for estimating the relative amount of prions using a new prion seeding assay called real-time quaking induced conversion assay (RT-QuIC). The underlying reaction blends aspects of the previously described quaking-induced conversion (QuIC) and amyloid seeding assay (ASA) methods and involves prion-seeded conversion of the alpha helix-rich form of bacterially expressed recombinant PrP(C) to a beta sheet-rich amyloid fibrillar form. The RT-QuIC is as sensitive as the animal bioassay, but can be accomplished in 2 days or less. Analogous to end-point dilution animal bioassays, this approach involves testing of serial dilutions of samples and statistically estimating the seeding dose (SD) giving positive responses in 50% of replicate reactions (SD(50)). Brain tissue from 263K scrapie-affected hamsters gave SD(50) values of 10(11)-10(12)/g, making the RT-QuIC similar in sensitivity to end-point dilution bioassays. Analysis of bioassay-positive nasal lavages from hamsters affected with transmissible mink encephalopathy gave SD(50) values of 10(3.5)-10(5.7)/ml, showing that nasal cavities release substantial prion infectivity that can be rapidly detected. Cerebral spinal fluid from 263K scrapie-affected hamsters contained prion SD(50) values of 10(2.0)-10(2.9)/ml. RT-QuIC assay also discriminated deer chronic wasting disease and sheep scrapie brain samples from normal control samples. In principle, end-point dilution quantitation can be applied to many types of prion and amyloid seeding assays. End point dilution RT-QuIC provides a sensitive, rapid, quantitative, and high throughput assay of prion seeding activity.
Project description:Human familial prion diseases are associated with mutations at 34 different prion protein (PrP) amino acid residues. However, it is unclear whether infectious prions are found in all cases. Mutant PrP itself may be neurotoxic, or alternatively, PrP mutation might predispose to spontaneous formation of infectious PrP isoforms. Previous reports demonstrated transmission to animal models by human brain tissue expressing 7 different PrP mutations, but 3 other mutations were not transmissible. In the present work, we tested transmission using brain homogenates from patients expressing 3 untested PrP mutants: G131V, Y226X, and Q227X. Human brain homogenates were injected intracerebrally into tg66 transgenic mice overexpressing human PrP. Mice were followed for nearly 800 days.From 593 to 762 dpi, 4 of 8 mice injected with Y226X brain had PrPSc detectable in brain by immunostaining, immunoblot, and PrP amyloid seeding activity assayed by RT-QuIC. From 531 to 784 dpi, 11 of 11 G131V-injected mice had PrPSc deposition in brain, but none were positive by immunoblot or RT-QuIC assay. In contrast, from 529 to 798 dpi, no tg66 mice injected with Q227X brain had PrPSc or PrP amyloid seeding activity detectable by these methods. Y226X is the only one of 4 known PrP truncations associated with familial disease which has been shown to be transmissible. This transmission of prion infectivity from a patient expressing truncated human PrP may have implications for the spread and possible transmission of other aggregated truncated proteins in prion-like diseases such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and tauopathies.
Project description:Both sporadic variably protease-sensitive prionopathy (VPSPr) and familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease linked to the prion protein (PrP) V180I mutation (fCJDV180I) have been found to share a unique pathological prion protein (PrPSc) that lacks the protease-resistant PrPSc glycosylated at residue 181 because two of four PrP glycoforms are apparently not converted into the PrPSc from their cellular PrP (PrPC). To investigate the seeding activity of these unique PrPSc molecules, we conducted in vitro prion conversion experiments using serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification (sPMCA) and real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assays with different PrPC substrates. We observed that the seeding of PrPSc from VPSPr or fCJDV180I in the sPMCA reaction containing normal human or humanized transgenic (Tg) mouse brain homogenates generated PrPSc molecules that unexpectedly exhibited a dominant diglycosylated PrP isoform along with PrP monoglycosylated at residue 181. The efficiency of PrPSc amplification was significantly higher in non-CJDMM than in non-CJDVV human brain homogenate, whereas it was higher in normal TgVV than in TgMM mouse brain homogenate. PrPC from the mixture of normal TgMM and Tg mouse brain expressing PrPV180I mutation (Tg180) but not TgV180I alone was converted into PrPSc by seeding with the VPSPr or fCJDV180I. The RT-QuIC seeding activity of PrPSc from VPSPr and fCJDV180I was significantly lower than that of sCJD. Our results suggest that the formation of glycoform-selective prions may be associated with an unidentified factor in the affected brain and the glycoform-deficiency of PrPSc does not affect the glycoforms of in vitro newly amplified PrPSc.
Project description:Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), or prion diseases, are a uniformly fatal family of neurodegenerative diseases in mammals that includes chronic wasting disease (CWD) of cervids. The early and ante-mortem identification of TSE-infected individuals using conventional western blotting or immunohistochemistry (IHC) has proven difficult, as the levels of infectious prions in readily obtainable samples, including blood and bodily fluids, are typically beyond the limits of detection. The development of amplification-based seeding assays has been instrumental in the detection of low levels of infectious prions in clinical samples. In the present study, we evaluated the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of CWD-exposed (n=44) and naïve (n=4) deer (n=48 total) for CWD prions (PrP(d)) using two amplification assays: serial protein misfolding cyclic amplification with polytetrafluoroethylene beads (sPMCAb) and real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC) employing a truncated Syrian hamster recombinant protein substrate. Samples were evaluated blindly in parallel with appropriate positive and negative controls. Results from amplification assays were compared to one another and to obex immunohistochemistry, and were correlated to available clinical histories including CWD inoculum source (e.g. saliva, blood), genotype, survival period, and duration of clinical signs. We found that both sPMCAb and RT-QuIC were capable of amplifying CWD prions from cervid CSF, and results correlated well with one another. Prion seeding activity in either assay was observed in approximately 50% of deer with PrP(d) detected by IHC in the obex region of the brain. Important predictors of amplification included duration of clinical signs and time of first tonsil biopsy positive results, and ultimately the levels of PrP(d) identified in the obex by IHC. Based on our findings, we expect that both sPMCAb and RT-QuIC may prove to be useful detection assays for the detection of prions in CSF.
Project description:Prions, the etiological agents in transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, exhibit remarkable resistance to most methods of inactivation that are effective against conventional pathogens. Prions are composed of pathogenic conformers of the prion protein (PrP(TSE)). Some prion diseases are transmitted, in part, through environmental routes. The recalcitrance of prions to inactivation may lead to a persistent reservoir of infectivity that contributes to the environmental maintenance of epizootics. At present, few methods exist to remediate prion-contaminated land surfaces. Here we conducted a proof-of-principle study to examine the ability of peroxymonosulfate to degrade PrP(TSE). We find that peroxymonosulfate rapidly degrades PrP(TSE) from two species. Transition-metal-catalyzed decomposition of peroxymonosulfate to produce sulfate radicals appears to enhance degradation. We further demonstrate that exposure to peroxymonosulfate significantly reduced PrP(C) to PrP(TSE) converting ability as measured by protein misfolding cyclic amplification, used as a proxy for infectivity. Liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry revealed that exposure to peroxymonosulfate results in oxidative modifications to methionine and tryptophan residues. This study indicates that peroxymonosulfate may hold promise for decontamination of prion-contaminated surfaces.
Project description:Hypochlorous acid (HOCl) is produced naturally by neutrophils and other cells to kill conventional microbes in vivo. Synthetic preparations containing HOCl can also be effective as microbial disinfectants. Here we have tested whether HOCl can also inactivate prions and other self-propagating protein amyloid seeds. Prions are deadly pathogens that are notoriously difficult to inactivate, and standard microbial disinfection protocols are often inadequate. Recommended treatments for prion decontamination include strongly basic (pH ?~12) sodium hypochlorite bleach, ?1 N sodium hydroxide, and/or prolonged autoclaving. These treatments are damaging and/or unsuitable for many clinical, agricultural and environmental applications. We have tested the anti-prion activity of a weakly acidic aqueous formulation of HOCl (BrioHOCl) that poses no apparent hazard to either users or many surfaces. For example, BrioHOCl can be applied directly to skin and mucous membranes and has been aerosolized to treat entire rooms without apparent deleterious effects. Here, we demonstrate that immersion in BrioHOCl can inactivate not only a range of target microbes, including spores of Bacillus subtilis, but also prions in tissue suspensions and on stainless steel. Real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assays showed that BrioHOCl treatments eliminated all detectable prion seeding activity of human Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, cervine chronic wasting disease, sheep scrapie and hamster scrapie; these findings indicated reductions of ?103- to 106-fold. Transgenic mouse bioassays showed that all detectable hamster-adapted scrapie infectivity in brain homogenates or on steel wires was eliminated, representing reductions of ?~105.75-fold and >104-fold, respectively. Inactivation of RT-QuIC seeding activity correlated with free chlorine concentration and higher order aggregation or destruction of proteins generally, including prion protein. BrioHOCl treatments had similar effects on amyloids composed of human ?-synuclein and a fragment of human tau. These results indicate that HOCl can block the self-propagating activity of prions and other amyloids.
Project description:The development of in vitro amplification systems allows detecting femtomolar amounts of prion protein scrapie (PrP(Sc)) in human cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). We performed a CSF study to determine the effects of prion disease type, codon 129 genotype, PrP(Sc) type, and other disease-related factors on the real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) response. We analyzed times to 10,000 relative fluorescence units, areas under the curve and the signal maximum of RT-QuIC response as seeding parameters of interest. Interestingly, type of prion disease (sporadic vs. genetic) and the PRNP mutation (E200K vs. V210I and FFI), codon 129 genotype, and PrP(Sc) type affected RT-QuIC response. In genetic forms, type of mutation showed the strongest effect on the observed outcome variables. In sporadic CJD, MM1 patients displayed a higher RT-QuIC signal maximum compared to MV1 and VV1. Age and gender were not associated with RT-QuIC signal, but patients with a short disease course showed a higher seeding efficiency of the RT-QuIC response. This study demonstrated that PrP(Sc) characteristics in the CSF of human prion disease patients are associated with disease subtypes and rate of decline as defined by disease duration.
Project description:Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is a fatal prion disease of wild and captive cervids in North America. Prions are infectious agents composed of a misfolded version of a host-encoded protein, termed PrPSc. Infected cervids excrete and secrete prions, contributing to lateral transmission. Geographical distribution is expanding and case numbers in wild cervids are increasing. Recently, the first European cases of CWD have been reported in a wild reindeer and two moose from Norway. Therefore, methods to detect the infection early in the incubation time using easily available samples are desirable to facilitate effective disease management. We have adapted the real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assay, a sensitive in vitro prion amplification method, for pre-clinical detection of prion seeding activity in elk feces. Testing fecal samples from orally inoculated elk taken at various time points post infection revealed early shedding and detectable prion seeding activity throughout the disease course. Early shedding was also found in two elk encoding a PrP genotype associated with reduced susceptibility for CWD. In summary, we suggest that detection of CWD prions in feces by RT-QuIC may become a useful tool to support CWD surveillance in wild and captive cervids. The finding of early shedding independent of the elk's prion protein genotype raises the question whether prolonged survival is beneficial, considering accumulation of environmental prions and its contribution to CWD transmission upon extended duration of shedding.