The Distribution of Prion Protein Allotypes Differs Between Sporadic and Iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Patients

Roger A. Moore, Mark Head, James Ironside, Diane Ritchie, Gianluigi Zanusso, Young Pyo Choi, Suzette A. Priola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) is the most prevalent of the human prion diseases, which are fatal and transmissible neurodegenerative diseases caused by the infectious prion protein (PrPSc). The origin of sCJD is unknown, although the initiating event is thought to be the stochastic misfolding of endogenous prion protein (PrPC) into infectious PrPSc. By contrast, human growth hormone-associated cases of iatrogenic CJD (iCJD) in the United Kingdom (UK) are associated with exposure to an exogenous source of PrPSc. In both forms of CJD, heterozygosity at residue 129 for methionine (M) or valine (V) in the prion protein gene may affect disease phenotype, onset and progression. However, the relative contribution of each PrPC allotype to PrPSc in heterozygous cases of CJD is unknown. Using mass spectrometry, we determined that the relative abundance of PrPSc with M or V at residue 129 in brain specimens from MV cases of sCJD was highly variable. This result is consistent with PrPC containing an M or V at residue 129 having a similar propensity to misfold into PrPSc thus causing sCJD. By contrast, PrPSc with V at residue 129 predominated in the majority of the UK human growth hormone associated iCJD cases, consistent with exposure to infectious PrPSc containing V at residue 129. In both types of CJD, the PrPSc allotype ratio had no correlation with CJD type, age at clinical onset, or disease duration. Therefore, factors other than PrPSc allotype abundance must influence the clinical progression and phenotype of heterozygous cases of CJD.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1005416
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2016

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