Real-Time Quaking-Induced Conversion Detection of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Prions in a Subclinical Steer.
ABSTRACT: Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) belongs to a group of fatal prion diseases that result from the misfolding of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a pathogenic form (PrPSc) that accumulates in the brain. In vitro assays such as serial protein misfolding amplification and real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) allow assessment of the conversion of PrPC to PrPSc. RT-QuIC can be used for the detection of prions in a variety of biological tissues from humans and animals. However, there is no such comparison of RT-QuIC data between BSE positive and presymptomatic cattle. Further, the current study assesses prion distribution in multiple brain regions of clinically ill or subclinical animals. Here, we compare RT-QuIC reactions seeded with brain samples collected from experimentally inoculated cattle that were clinically ill or subclinically affected with BSE. The results demonstrate RT-QuIC seeding in various brain regions of an animal with subclinical BSE despite being determined negative by immunohistochemistry. Bioassay of the subclinical animal and RT-QuIC of brainstem from inoculated knockout (PRNP-/-) cattle were used to confirm infectivity in the subclinical animal and determine that RT-QuIC reactions were not the result of residual inoculum, respectively. These results confirm that RT-QuIC is a highly sensitive prion detection assay that can detect prions in a steer prior to the onset of clinical signs of BSE.
Project description:Prions are amyloid-forming proteins that cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies through a process involving conversion from the normal cellular prion protein to the pathogenic misfolded conformation (PrPSc). This conversion has been used for in vitro assays including serial protein misfolding amplification and real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC). RT-QuIC can be used for the detection of prions in a variety of biological tissues from humans and animals. Extensive work has been done to demonstrate that RT-QuIC is a rapid, specific, and highly sensitive prion detection assay. RT-QuIC uses recombinant prion protein to detect minute amounts of PrPSc. RT-QuIC has been successfully used to detect PrPSc from different prion diseases with a variety of substrates including hamster, human, sheep, bank vole, bovine and chimeric forms of prion protein. However, recombinant bovine prion protein has not been used to detect transmissible mink encephalopathy (TME) or to differentiate types of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in samples from cattle. We evaluated whether PrPSc from TME and BSE infected cattle can be detected with RT-QuIC using recombinant bovine prion proteins, and optimized the reaction conditions to specifically detect cattle TME and to discriminate between classical and atypical BSE by conversion efficiency. We also found that substrate composed of the disease associated E211K mutant protein can be effective for the detection of TME in cattle and that wild type prion protein appears to be a practical substrate to discriminate between the different types of BSEs.
Project description:Conformational conversion of the cellular prion protein, PrPC, into the abnormally folded isoform, PrPSc, is a key pathogenic event in prion diseases. However, the exact conversion mechanism remains largely unknown. Transgenic mice expressing PrP with a deletion of the central residues 91-106 were generated in the absence of endogenous PrPC, designated Tg(PrP?91-106)/Prnp0/0 mice and intracerebrally inoculated with various prions. Tg(PrP?91-106)/Prnp0/0 mice were resistant to RML, 22L and FK-1 prions, neither producing PrPSc?91-106 or prions in the brain nor developing disease after inoculation. However, they remained marginally susceptible to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions, developing disease after elongated incubation times and accumulating PrPSc?91-106 and prions in the brain after inoculation with BSE prions. Recombinant PrP?91-104 converted into PrPSc?91-104 after incubation with BSE-PrPSc-prions but not with RML- and 22L-PrPSc-prions, in a protein misfolding cyclic amplification assay. However, digitonin and heparin stimulated the conversion of PrP?91-104 into PrPSc?91-104 even after incubation with RML- and 22L-PrPSc-prions. These results suggest that residues 91-106 or 91-104 of PrPC are crucially involved in prion pathogenesis in a strain-dependent manner and may play a similar role to digitonin and heparin in the conversion of PrPC into PrPSc.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Scrapie is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that naturally occurs in sheep and goats. This fatal neurodegenerative disease results from misfolding of the normal cellular prion protein (PrPC) to a pathogenic prion protein form (PrPSc). This pathogenic form, PrPSc, accumulates in the brain and lymphoid tissues. The presence of PrPSc can be detected by an in vitro conversion assay known as real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC). RT-QuIC has been used to detect PrPSc in a variety of biological tissues from brains to fluids. While this technique is both rapid and sensitive, enhancing the detection of prions would be valuable in the diagnostic laboratories. RESULTS:In this study, we assessed whether PrPSc detection sensitivity of RT-QuIC can be increased by enriching PrPSc in scrapie tissue homogenates using commercially available aggregated protein binding ligands coated magnetic beads (PAD-Beads). Coupling of RT-QuIC to PAD-Beads based cleanup allowed detection of PrPSc rapidly and without dilution of scrapie sheep brain homogenates prior to RT-QuIC. The PAD-Beads sample pretreatment step prior to RT-QuIC is a useful enhancement in the diagnosis of TSEs.
Project description:Chronic wasting disease is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cervids. This fatal neurodegenerative disease is caused by misfolding of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) to pathogenic conformers (PrPSc), and the pathogenic forms accumulate in the brain and other tissues. Real-time Quaking Induced Conversion (RT-QuIC) can be used for the detection of prions and for prion strain discrimination in a variety of biological tissues from humans and animals. In this study, we evaluated how either PrPSc from cervids of different genotypes or PrPSc from different sources of CWD influence the fibril formation of recombinant bank vole (BV) or human prion proteins using RT-QuIC. We found that reaction mixtures seeded with PrPSc from different genotypes of white-tailed deer or reindeer brains have similar conversion efficiency with both substrates. Also, we observed similar results when assays were seeded with different sources of CWD. Thus, we conclude that the genotypes of all sources of CWD used in this study do not influence the level of conversion of PrPC to PrPSc.
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:Prion diseases are infectious neurodegenerative disorders of humans and animals caused by misfolded forms of the cellular prion protein PrPC. Prions cause disease by converting PrPC into aggregation-prone PrPSc. Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is the most contagious prion disease with substantial lateral transmission, affecting free-ranging and farmed cervids. Although the PrP primary structure is highly conserved among cervids, the disease phenotype can be modulated by species-specific polymorphisms in the prion protein gene. How the resulting amino-acid substitutions impact PrPC and PrPSc structure and propagation is poorly understood. We investigated the effects of the cervid 116A>G substitution, located in the most conserved PrP domain, on PrPC structure and conversion and on 116AG-prion conformation and infectivity. Molecular dynamics simulations revealed structural de-stabilization of 116G-PrP, which enhanced its in vitro conversion efficiency when used as recombinant PrP substrate in real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC). We demonstrate that 116AG-prions are conformationally less stable, show lower activity as a seed in RT-QuIC and exhibit reduced infectivity in vitro and in vivo. Infectivity of 116AG-prions was significantly enhanced upon secondary passage in mice, yet conformational features were retained. These findings indicate that structurally de-stabilized PrPC is readily convertible by cervid prions of different genetic background and results in a prion conformation adaptable to cervid wild-type PrP. Conformation is an important criterion when assessing transmission barrier, and conformational variants can target a different host range. Therefore, a thorough analysis of CWD isolates and re-assessment of species-barriers is important in order to fully exclude a zoonotic potential of CWD.
Project description:Prion diseases of cattle include the classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (C-BSE) and the atypical H-type BSE (H-BSE) and L-type BSE (L-BSE) strains. Although the C- and L-BSE strains can be detected and discriminated by ultrasensitive real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) assays, no such test has yet been described for the detection of H-BSE or the discrimination of each of the major bovine prion strains. Here, we demonstrate an RT-QuIC assay for H-BSE that can detect as little as 10(-9) dilutions of brain tissue and neat cerebrospinal fluid samples from clinically affected cattle. Moreover, comparisons of the reactivities with different recombinant prion protein substrates and/or immunoblot band profiles of proteinase K-treated RT-QuIC reaction products indicated that H-, L-, and C-BSE have distinctive prion seeding activities and can be discriminated by RT-QuIC on this basis.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a group of fatal neurodegenerative diseases, often referred as prion diseases. TSEs result from the misfolding of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) into a pathogenic form (PrPSc) that accumulates in the brain and lymphatic tissue. Amplification based assays such as real-time quaking induced conversion allow us to assess the conversion of PrPC to PrPSc. Real-time quaking induced conversion (RT-QuIC) can be used for the detection of PrPSc in a variety of biological tissues from humans and animals. However, RT-QuIC requires a continuous supply of freshly purified prion protein and this necessity is not sustainable in a diagnostic laboratory setting. RESULTS:In this study, we developed a method to dry and preserve the prion protein for long term storage allowing for production of the protein and storage for extended time prior to use and room temperature shipping to appropriate diagnostic laboratory destinations facilitating widespread use of RT-QuIC as a diagnostic method.
Project description:The agent responsible for prion diseases is a misfolded form of a normal protein (PrPC). The prion hypothesis stipulates that PrPC must be present for the disease to manifest. Cervid populations across the world are infected with chronic wasting disease, a horizontally-transmissible prion disease that is likely spread via oral exposure to infectious prions (PrPCWD). Though PrPCWD has been identified in many tissues, there has been little effort to characterize the overall PrPC expression in cervids and its relationship to PrPCWD accumulation. We used immunohistochemistry (IHC), western blot and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay to describe PrPC expression in naïve white-tailed deer. We used real-time, quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) to detect prion seeding activity in CWD-infected deer. We assessed tissues comprising the alimentary tract, alimentary-associated lymphoid tissue and systemic lymphoid tissue from 5 naïve deer. PrPC was expressed in all tissues, though expression was often very low compared to the level in the CNS. IHC identified specific cell types wherein PrPC expression is very high. To compare the distribution of PrPC to PrPCWD, we examined 5 deer with advanced CWD infection. Using RT-QuIC, we detected prion seeding activity in all 21 tissues. In 3 subclinical deer sacrificed 4 months post-inoculation, we detected PrPCWD consistently in alimentary-associated lymphoid tissue, irregularly in alimentary tract tissues, and not at all in the brain. Contrary to our hypothesis that PrPC levels dictate prion accumulation, PrPC expression was higher in the lower gastrointestinal tissues than in the alimentary-associated lymphoid system and was higher in salivary glands than in the oropharyngeal lymphoid tissue. These data suggest that PrPC expression is not the sole driver of prion accumulation and that alimentary tract tissues accumulate prions before centrifugal spread from the brain occurs.
Project description:Classical- (C-) and atypical L-type bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions cause different pathological phenotypes in cattle brains, and the disease-associated forms of each prion protein (PrPSc) has a dissimilar biochemical signature. Bovine C-BSE prions are the causative agent of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. To date, human infection with L-BSE prions has not been reported, but they can be transmitted experimentally from cows to cynomolgus monkeys (Macaca fascicularis), a non-human primate model. When transmitted to monkeys, C- and L-BSE prions induce different pathological phenotypes in the brain. However, when isolated from infected brains, the two prion proteins (PrPSc) have similar biochemical signatures (i.e., electrophoretic mobility, glycoforms, and resistance to proteinase K). Such similarities suggest the possibility that L-BSE prions alter their virulence to that of C-BSE prions during propagation in monkeys. To clarify this possibility, we conducted bioassays using inbred mice. C-BSE prions with or without propagation in monkeys were pathogenic to mice, and exhibited comparable incubation periods in secondary passage in mice. By contrast, L-BSE prions, either with or without propagation in monkeys, did not cause the disease in mice, indicating that the pathogenicity of L-BSE prions does not converge towards a C-BSE prion type in this primate model. These results suggest that, although C- and L-BSE prions propagated in cynomolgus monkeys exhibit similar biochemical PrPSc signatures and consist of the monkey amino acid sequence, the two prions maintain strain-specific conformations of PrPSc in which they encipher and retain unique pathogenic traits.