Two distinct conformers of PrPD type 1 of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease with codon 129VV genotype faithfully propagate in vivo

Ignazio Cali, Juan Carlos Espinosa, Satish K. Nemani, Alba Marin-Moreno, Manuel V. Camacho, Rabail Aslam, Tetsuyuki Kitamoto, Brian S. Appleby, Juan Maria Torres, Pierluigi Gambetti

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Current classifications of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (sCJD) identify five subtypes associated with different disease phenotypes. Most of these histopathological phenotypes (histotypes) co-distribute with distinct pairings of methionine (M)/valine (V) genotypes at codon 129 of the prion protein (PrP) gene and the type (1 or 2) of the disease-associated PrP (PrPD). Types 1 and 2 are defined by the molecular mass (~ 21 kDa and ~ 19 kDa, respectively) of the unglycosylated isoform of the proteinase K-resistant PrPD (resPrPD). We recently reported that the sCJDVV1 subtype (129VV homozygosity paired with PrPD type 1, T1) shows an electrophoretic profile where the resPrPD unglycosylated isoform is characterized by either one of two single bands of ~ 20 kDa (T120) and ~ 21 kDa (T121), or a doublet of ~ 21–20 kDa (T121−20). We also showed that T120 and T121 in sCJDVV have different conformational features but are associated with indistinguishable histotypes. The presence of three distinct molecular profiles of T1 is unique and raises the issue as to whether T120 and T121 represent distinct prion strains. To answer this question, brain homogenates from sCJDVV cases harboring each of the three resPrPD profiles, were inoculated to transgenic (Tg) mice expressing the human PrP-129M or PrP-129V genotypes. We found that T120 and T121 were faithfully replicated in Tg129V mice. Electrophoretic profile and incubation period of mice challenged with T121−20 resembled those of mice inoculated with T121 and T120, respectively. As in sCJDVV1, Tg129V mice challenged with T121 and T120 generated virtually undistinguishable histotypes. In Tg129M mice, T121 was not replicated while T120 and T121−20 generated a ~ 21–20 kDa doublet after lengthier incubation periods. On second passage, Tg129M mice incubation periods and regional PrP accumulation significantly differed in T120 and T121−20 challenged mice. Combined, these data indicate that T121 and T120 resPrPD represent distinct human prion strains associated with partially overlapping histotypes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number55
JournalActa Neuropathologica Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Dec


  • Histotype
  • Lesion profile
  • Plaques
  • Prion protein
  • Prion strain
  • Transmission properties
  • sCJDVV1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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