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Identification of proteins co-purifying with scrapie infectivity

Journal of Proteomics 72(4):690 (2009) PMID 19367687

PrP C, the cellular isoform of prion protein, is widely expressed in most tissues. Despite its involvement in several bioprocesses it still has no apparent physiological role. During propagation of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies, PrP C is converted to the pathological isoform, PrP Sc, in a process believed to be mediated by unknown host factors. PrP Sc has altered biochemical properties and forms amyloid aggregates that display infectious characteristics. PrP Sc is also the major component in biochemically enriched infectious samples. Other molecules co-purify with it, but the protein content of these aggregates remains unknown. The goal of this project was to identify other host molecules with high affinity for PrP Sc. Here, we present the identification of protein molecules that co-purify with PrP Sc isolated from naturally scrapie-infected ovine brain tissue. The infectious preparations were analyzed by two-dimensional gel electrophoresis and unknown proteins were identified by LC-MS/MS. These proteins may prove to be strategic targets for prevention and therapy of prion diseases.

DOI: 10.1016/j.jprot.2009.01.025