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Source genotype influence on cross species transmission of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies evaluated by RT-QuIC.
ABSTRACT: Scrapie is a naturally occurring transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of sheep and goats. This fatal neurodegenerative disease is caused by misfolding of the cellular prion protein to pathogenic β-rich conformers (PrPSc) that accumulate in higher order structures of the brain and other tissues. 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 and for strain discrimination in a variety of biological tissues from humans and animals. In this study, we evaluated how PrPSc isolated from sheep of different genotypes after inoculation with the scrapie agent influence the fibril formation in vitro using RT-QuIC. We found that reaction mixtures seeded with PrPSc from genotype VRQ/VRQ sheep brains have better conversion efficiency with 132M elk substrate compared to reactions seeded with PrPSc from the brains of sheep with the ARQ/ARQ genotype no matter which strain of scrapie was used to seed the reactions. We also inoculated transgenic mice expressing 132M elk PRNP (Tg12) with the scrapie agent from different genotypes of sheep to compare with our RT-QuIC results. The bioassays support the data showing a significantly shorter incubation period for inoculum from VRQ/VRQ sheep when compared to inoculum from ARQ/ARQ sheep. Thus, we conclude that the genotype of both source and recipient can strongly influence transmission.
Project description:Accumulation of prion protein (PrPSc) in the central nervous system is the hallmark of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies. However, in some of these diseases such as scrapie or chronic wasting disease, the PrPSc can also accumulate in other tissues, particularly in the lymphoreticular system. In recent years, PrPSc in organs other than nervous and lymphoid have been described, suggesting that distribution of this protein in affected individuals may be much larger than previously thought. In the present study, 11 non-nervous/non-lymphoid organs from 16 naturally scrapie infected sheep in advanced stages of the disease were examined for the presence of PrPSc. Fourteen infected sheep were of the ARQ/ARQ PRNP genotype and 2 of the VRQ/VRQ, where the letters A, R, Q, and V represent the codes for amino-acids alanine, arginine, glutamine and valine, respectively. Adrenal gland, pancreas, heart, skin, urinary bladder and mammary gland were positive for PrPSc by immunohistochemistry and IDEXX HerdChek scrapie/BSE Antigen EIA Test in at least one animal. Lung, liver, kidney and skeletal muscle exhibited PrPSc deposits by immunohistochemistry only. To our knowledge, this is the first report regarding the presence of PrPSc in the heart, pancreas and urinary bladder in naturally acquired scrapie infections. In some other organs examined, in which PrPSc had been previously detected, PrPSc immunolabeling was observed to be associated with new structures within those organs. The results of the present study illustrate a wide dissemination of PrPSc in both ARQ/ARQ and VRQ/VRQ infected sheep, even when the involvement of the lymphoreticular system is scarce or absent, thus highlighting the role of the peripheral nervous system in the spread of 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:Real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QuIC) is a rapid, specific and highly sensitive prion seeding activity detection assay that uses recombinant prion protein (rPrPSen) to detect subinfectious levels of the abnormal isoforms of the prion protein (PrPSc). Although RT-QuIC has been successfully used to detect PrPSc in various tissues from humans and animals, including sheep, tissues from goats infected with classical scrapie have not yet been tested. Therefore, the aims of the present study were to (1) evaluate whether prion seeding activity could be detected in the brain tissues of goats with scrapie using RT-QuIC, (2) optimize reaction conditions to improve scrapie detection in goats, and (3) compare the performance of RT-QuIC for the detection of PrPSc with the more commonly used ELISA and Western blot assays. We further optimized RT-QuIC conditions for sensitive and specific detection of goat scrapie seeding activity in brain tissue from clinical animals. When used with 200? mM sodium chloride, both full-length sheep rPrPSen substrates (PrP genotypes A136R154Q171 and V136R154Q171) provided good discrimination between scrapie-infected and normal goat brain samples at 10(-?)3 dilution within 15 ?h. Our findings indicate that RT-QuIC was at least 10,000-fold more sensitive than ELISA and Western blot assays for the detection of scrapie seeding activity in goat brain samples. In addition to PRNP WT samples, positive RT-QuIC reactions were also observed with three PRNP polymorphic goat brain samples (G/S127, I/M142 and H/R143) tested. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that RT-QuIC sensitively detects prion seeding activity in classical scrapie-infected goat brain samples.
Project description:A study to investigate transmission of classical scrapie via goat milk was carried out in sheep: firstly, lambs were challenged orally with goat scrapie brain homogenate to confirm transmission of scrapie from goats to sheep. In the second study phase, milk from scrapie-infected goats was fed to lambs. Lambs were selected according to their prion protein gene (PRNP) genotype, which was either VRQ/VRQ or ARQ/ARQ, with or without additional polymorphisms at codon 141 (FF141, LF141 or LL141) of the ovine PRNP. This report describes the clinical, pathological and molecular phenotype of goat scrapie in those sheep that progressed to clinical end-stage.Ten sheep (six VRQ/VRQ and four ARQ/ARQ, of which three FF141 and one LL141) challenged with one of two scrapie brain homogenates, and six pairs of sheep (ARQ, of which five LL141 and seven LF141) fed milk from six different goats, developed clinical disease, which was characterised by a pruritic (all VRQ/VRQ and LL141 sheep) or a non-pruritic form (all LF141 and FF141 sheep). Immunohistochemical (IHC) examination revealed that the pattern of intra- and extracellular accumulation of disease-associated prion protein in the brain was also dependent on PRNP polymorphisms at codon 141, which was similar in VRQ and LL141 sheep but different from LF141 and FF141 sheep. The influence of codon 141 was also seen in discriminatory Western blot (WB), with LF141 and FF141 sheep showing a bovine spongiform encephalopathy-like profile (diminished reactivity with P4 antibody) on brain tissue. However, discriminatory WB in lymphoid tissues, and IHC pattern and profile both in lymphoid and brain tissue was consistent with classical scrapie in all sheep.This study provided further evidence that the clinical presentation and the pathological and molecular phenotypes of scrapie in sheep are influenced by PRNP polymorphisms, particularly at codon 141. Differences in the truncation of disease-associated prion protein between LL141 sheep and those carrying the F141 allele may be responsible for these observations.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Evidence for scrapie transmission from VRQ/VRQ ewes to lambs via milk was first reported in 2008 but in that study there were concerns that lateral transmission may have contributed to the high transmission rate observed since five control lambs housed with the milk recipients also became infected. This report provides further information obtained from two follow-up studies, one where milk recipients were housed separately after milk consumption to confirm the validity of the high scrapie transmission rate via milk and the second to assess any difference in infectivity from colostrum and subsequent milk. Protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) was also used to detect prion protein in milk samples as a comparison with the infectivity data and extended to milk samples from ewes without a VRQ allele. RESULTS: Seven pairs of lambs fed colostrum and milk individually from seven scrapie-affected sheep (pre-clinical or clinical) presented with disease-associated prion protein, PrPd, in rectal lymphoid tissue at 4-5 months of age. Five further pairs of lambs fed either colostrum or subsequent milk from five pre-clinical scrapie-affected sheep equally presented with PrPd in lymphoid tissue by 9 months of age. Nine sheep were lost due to intercurrent diseases but all remaining milk or colostrum recipients, including those in the original study with the lateral transmission controls, developed clinical signs of scrapie from 19 months of age and scrapie was confirmed by brain examination. Unexposed control sheep totalling 19 across all three studies showed no evidence of infection.Scrapie PrP was amplified repeatedly by PMCA in all tested milk samples from scrapie-affected VRQ/VRQ sheep, and in one scrapie-affected ARQ/ARQ sheep. By contrast, milk samples from five VRQ/VRQ and 11 ARQ/ARQ scrapie-free sheep did not have detectable scrapie PrP on repeated tests. CONCLUSIONS: Feeding of milk from scrapie-affected sheep results in a high transmission rate in VRQ/VRQ sheep and both colostrum and milk transmit scrapie. Detection of scrapie prion protein in individual milk samples from scrapie-affected ewes confirms PMCA as a valuable in vitro test.
Project description:PrPSc [abnormal disease-specific conformation of PrP (prion-related protein)] accumulates in prion-affected individuals in the form of amorphous aggregates. Limited proteolysis of PrPSc results in a protease-resistant core of PrPSc of molecular mass of 27-30 kDa (PrP27-30). Aggregated forms of PrP co-purify with prion infectivity, although infectivity does not always correlate with the presence of PrP27-30. This suggests that discrimination between PrPC (normal cellular PrP) and PrPSc by proteolysis may underestimate the repertoire and quantity of PrPSc subtypes. We have developed a CDI (conformation-dependent immunoassay) utilizing time-resolved fluorescence to study the conformers of disease-associated PrP in natural cases of sheep scrapie, without using PK (proteinase K) treatment to discriminate between PrPC and PrPSc. The capture-detector CDI utilizes N-terminal- and C-terminal-specific anti-PrP monoclonal antibodies that recognize regions of the prion protein differentially buried or exposed depending on the extent of denaturation of the molecule. PrPSc was precipitated from scrapie-infected brain stem and cerebellum tissue following sarkosyl extraction, with or without the use of sodium phosphotungstic acid, and native and denatured PrPSc detected by CDI. PrPSc was detectable in brain tissue from homozygous VRQ (V136 R154 Q171) and ARQ (A136 R154 Q171) scrapie-infected sheep brains. The highest levels of PrPSc were found in homozygous VRQ scrapie-infected brains. The quantity of PrPSc was significantly reduced, up to 90% in some cases, when samples were treated with PK prior to the CDI. Collectively, our results show that the level of PrPSc in brain samples from cases of natural scrapie display genotypic differences and that a significant amount of this material is PK-sensitive.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Diagnosis based on prion detection in lymph nodes of sheep and goats can improve active surveillance for scrapie and, if it were circulating, for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). With sizes that allow repetitive testing and a location that is easily accessible at slaughter, retropharyngeal lymph nodes (RLN) are considered suitable organs for testing. Western blotting (WB) of brain homogenates is, in principle, a technique well suited to both detect and discriminate between scrapie and BSE. In this report, WB is developed for rapid diagnosis in RLN and to study biochemical characteristics of PrPres. RESULTS: Optimal PrPres detection in RLN by WB was achieved by proper tissue processing, antibody choice and inclusion of a step for PrPresconcentration. The analyses were performed on three different sheep sources. Firstly, in a study with preclinical scrapie cases, WB of RLN from infected sheep of VRQ/VRQ genotype--VRQ represents, respectively, polymorphic PrP amino acids 136, 154, and 171--allowed a diagnosis 14 mo earlier compared to WB of brain stem. Secondly, samples collected from sheep with confirmed scrapie in the course of passive and active surveillance programmes in the period 2002-2003 yielded positive results depending on genotype: all sheep with genotypes ARH/VRQ, VRQ/VRQ, and ARQ/VRQ scored positive for PrPres, but ARQ/ARQ and ARR/VRQ were not all positive. Thirdly, in an experimental BSE study, detection of PrPres in all 11 ARQ/ARQ sheep, including 7 preclinical cases, was possible. In all instances, WB and IHC were almost as sensitive. Moreover, BSE infection could be discriminated from scrapie infection by faster electrophoretic migration of the PrPres bands. Using dual antibody staining with selected monoclonal antibodies like 12B2 and L42, these differences in migration could be employed for an unequivocal differentiation between BSE and scrapie. With respect to glycosylation of PrPres, BSE cases exhibited a greater diglycosylated fraction than scrapie cases. Furthermore, a slight time dependent increase of diglycosylated PrPres was noted between individual sheep, which was remarkable in that it occurred in both scrapie and BSE study. CONCLUSION: The present data indicate that, used in conjunction with testing in brain, WB of RLN can be a sensitive tool for improving surveillance of scrapie and BSE, allowing early detection of BSE and scrapie and thereby ensuring safer sheep and goat products.
Project description:Sheep with valine (V) at codon 136 and glutamine (Q) at codon 171 of the prion protein gene ( Prnp) are highly susceptible to classical scrapie, whereas phenylalanine (F) at codon 141 and histidine (H) at codon 154 play a major role in the susceptibility to atypical scrapie. A TaqMan real-time PCR assay was developed to determine Prnp alleles at codons 136, 141, 154, and 171 and used in classical scrapie eradication and breeding programs adopted in Slovenia. The frequency of the most resistant genotypes ARR/ARR and ARR/ARQ increased significantly in tested animals ( n = 35,138) from 6.7 and 27.1% of the tested sheep in 2006 to 12.1 and 32.4%, respectively, in 2015. Frequencies of more susceptible genotypes ARQ/ARQ and ARQ/VRQ decreased significantly from 36.4 and 3.5% in 2006 to 31.1 and 1.8%, respectively, in 2015. The most susceptible genotype VRQ/VRQ was detected in <0.5% of tested sheep. Frequencies of alleles AFRQ and AHQ affecting the susceptibility to atypical scrapie did not change significantly. The developed assay was suitable for genotyping on a small-to-medium throughput scale and was successfully used in classical scrapie eradication, as well as for the selection of classical scrapie-resistant sheep within breeding programs in Slovenia.
Project description:This report describes the genetics of the prion protein gene (PRNP) at codons 136, 154, and 171 for sheep diagnosed with naturally acquired classical scrapie in Canada between 1998 and 2008. Genotyping analysis was performed on 249 sheep with confirmed classical scrapie infection representing 98 flocks from 6 provinces. A further case-control analysis of 3 of these flocks compared the genotypes between infected sheep (n = 72) and those of their healthy flockmates (n = 1990). The incidence of classical scrapie in the Canadian sheep population was highly associated with the ARQ haplotype (91.8%) and the ARQ/ARQ genotype (91.6%). In addition, the ARQ haplotype was found at significantly higher frequency in scrapie-infected sheep when compared with their healthy flockmates. Comparison with other published data suggests that the scrapie risk of PRNP genotypes differs between Canada and countries where the VRQ allele is associated with the highest susceptibility to infection.
Project description:The Rocky Mountain elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) prion protein gene (PRNP) is polymorphic at codon 132, with leucine (L132) and methionine (M132) allelic variants present in the population. In elk experimentally inoculated with the chronic wasting disease (CWD) agent, different incubation periods are associated with PRNP genotype: LL132 elk survive the longest, LM132 elk are intermediate, and MM132 elk the shortest. The purpose of this study was to investigate potential mechanisms underlying variations in incubation period in elk of different prion protein genotypes. Elk calves of three PRNP genotypes (n =?2 MM132, n =?2 LM132, n =?4 LL132) were orally inoculated with brain homogenate from elk clinically affected with CWD.Elk with longer incubation periods accumulated relatively less PrPSc in the brain than elk with shorter incubation periods. PrPSc accumulation in LM132 and MM132 elk was primarily neuropil-associated while glial-associated immunoreactivity was prominent in LL132 elk. The fibril stability of PrPSc from MM132 and LM132 elk were similar to each other and less stable than that from LL132 elk. Real-time quaking induced conversion assays (RT-QuIC) revealed differences in the ability of PrPSc seed from elk of different genotypes to convert recombinant 132 M or 132 L substrate.This study provides further evidence of the importance of PRNP genotype in the pathogenesis of CWD of elk. The longer incubation periods observed in LL132 elk are associated with PrPSc that is more stable and relatively less abundant at the time of clinical disease. The biochemical properties of PrPSc from MM132 and LM132 elk are similar to each other and different to PrPSc from LL132 elk. The shorter incubation periods in MM132 compared to LM132 elk may be the result of genotype-dependent differences in the efficiency of propagation of PrPSc moieties present in the inoculum. A better understanding of the mechanisms by which the polymorphisms at codon 132 in elk PRNP influence disease pathogenesis will help to improve control of CWD in captive and free-ranging elk populations.