Identification of scrapie prion protein-specific mRNA in scrapie-infected and uninfected brain

Bruce Chesebro, Kathy Wehrly, Jane Nishio, Marshall Bloom, David Lechner, Sven Bergstrom, Ken Robbins, Leonard Mayer, Jerry M. Keith, Claude Garon, Ashley T Haase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

325 Scopus citations

Abstract

To date no nucleic acid has been found in the purified infectious agent which causes the spongiform encephalopathy known as scrapie. In an attempt to identify a unique scrapie virus-associated messenger RNA in tissues of infected animals, we have synthesized an oligonucleotide probe complementary to the mRNA sequence corresponding to the amino-acid sequence of the prion protein, PrP27-30 (ref. 1). We report here that, with this probe, a complementary DNA clone representing PrP27-30 was obtained from scrapie-infected mouse brain; the DNA sequence of this clone could be translated into a protein that matches exactly the published sequence of PrP27-30. The cDNA clone hybridized to a single 2.4-2.5-kilobase (kb) mRNA from both normal and scrapie-infected brain. Thus, the PrP27-30 mRNA is not uniquely associated with scrapie infectivity, suggesting that PrP27-30 may be a normal component of mouse and hamster brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-333
Number of pages3
JournalNature
Volume315
Issue number6017
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 1985

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