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1.  Use of 14-3-3 and other brain-specific proteins in CSF in the diagnosis of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease 
OBJECTIVES—The detection of the protein 14-3-3 in the CSF has been shown to be a reliable and sensitive marker for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Other brain-specific proteins such as neuron specific enolase (NSE), S-100b, and tau protein have also been reported to be increased in the CSF of patients with sporadic CJD. In 1996a variant of CJD (vCJD) was described which is likely to be causally linked to the bovine spongiform encephalopathy agent. This study reports and compares the findings of CSF brain specific protein analysis in 45 patients with vCJD and in 34 control patients.
METHODS—The CSF from 45 patients with vCJD and 34 controls were investigated for the presence of 14-3-3 by SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) and western blotting with chemiluminescent detection. Tau protein, S-100b, and NSE concentrations in CSF were measured using enzyme immunoassays.
RESULTS—Protein 14-3-3 was detected in the CSF of 22/45 patients with vCJD and in 3/34 controls. The mean concentrations of NSE, S-100b, and tau protein in CSF were significantly raised in patients with vCJD compared with controls. The positive predictive value of CSF 14-3-3 was 86% and the negative predictive value was 63%. These values are lower than those reported for sporadic CJD. An increased CSF tau had a positive predictive value of 93% and a negative predictive value of 81%. The combination of CSF 14-3-3 and/or increased CSF tau had a positive predictive value of 91% and a negative predictive value of 84%.
CONCLUSIONS—CSF protein 14-3-3 is not as useful a marker for vCJD as it is for sporadic CJD. Increased concentration of CSF tau was found to be a sensitive marker of vCJD but as concentrations may be increased in many forms of non-CJD dementia, this may limit its usefulness as a diagnostic test.

PMCID: PMC1737395  PMID: 11385008
2.  Brain-derived proteins in the CSF, do they correlate with brain pathology in CJD? 
BMC Neurology  2006;6:35.
Brain derived proteins such as 14-3-3, neuron-specific enolase (NSE), S 100b, tau, phosphorylated tau and Aβ1–42 were found to be altered in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) patients. The pathogenic mechanisms leading to these abnormalities are not known, but a relation to rapid neuronal damage is assumed. No systematic analysis on brain-derived proteins in the CSF and neuropathological lesion profiles has been performed.
CSF protein levels of brain-derived proteins and the degree of spongiform changes, neuronal loss and gliosis in various brain areas were analyzed in 57 CJD patients.
We observed three different patterns of CSF alteration associated with the degree of cortical and subcortical changes. NSE levels increased with lesion severity of subcortical areas. Tau and 14-3-3 levels increased with minor pathological changes, a negative correlation was observed with severity of cortical lesions. Levels of the physiological form of the prion protein (PrPc) and Aβ1–42 levels correlated negatively with cortical pathology, most clearly with temporal and occipital lesions.
Our results indicate that the alteration of levels of brain-derived proteins in the CSF does not only reflect the degree of neuronal damage, but it is also modified by the localization on the brain pathology. Brain specific lesion patterns have to be considered when analyzing CSF neuronal proteins.
PMCID: PMC1592107  PMID: 16989662
3.  Influence of timing on CSF tests value for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease diagnosis 
Journal of Neurology  2007;254(7):901-906.
The analysis of markers in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) is useful in the diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD). However, the time at which the study of these markers is most sensitive remains controversal.
To assess the influence of time of sampling on the value of CSF tests in the diagnosis of sCJD.
In the framework of a multinational European study, we studied the results of 14-3-3, S100b, neurone specific enolase (NSE) and tau protein in 833 CSF samples from sCJD patients at different stages of disease and in 66 sequentially repeated lumbar punctures (LP).
14-3-3 and tau protein tended to increase in sensitivity from onset (88%, 81%) to the advanced stage (91%, 90%). This was significant only in the methionine-valine (MV) heterozygous group of patients at codon 129. The absolute levels of S100b (p < 0.05), NSE and tau protein increased in the last stage of disease. High levels of tau protein, NSE and S100b were associated with shorter survival times (p < 0.01). Sixty-six sCJD patients underwent repeated LP. These sCJD patients were younger, had longer disease durations and were more frequently MV at codon 129 (p < 0.001) than the whole group. 14-3-3 sensitivity increased from 64% to 82% in the second LP (p = 0.025) and 88% sCJD patients had at least one positive result.
Sensitivity and absolute levels of CJD markers increased with disease progression and were modulated by the codon 129 genotype. Early negative results should be inter-preted with caution, especially in young patients or those who are MV at codon 129.
PMCID: PMC2779401  PMID: 17385081
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; prion; 14-3-3; tau; S100b; NSE; biological markers; repeated lumbar punctures; prognosis
4.  PrPTSE Distribution in a Primate Model of Variant, Sporadic, and Iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease 
Journal of Virology  2005;79(22):14339-14345.
Human prion diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), are neurodegenerative and fatal. Sporadic CJD (sCJD) can be transmitted between humans through medical procedures involving highly infected organs, such as the central nervous system. However, in variant CJD (vCJD), which is due to human contamination with the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent, lymphoreticular tissue also harbors the transmissible spongiform encephalopathy-associated prion protein (PrPTSE), which poses a particularly acute risk for iatrogenic transmission. Two blood transfusion-related cases are already documented. In addition, the recent observation of PrPTSE in spleen and muscle in sCJD raised the possibility that peripheral PrPTSE is not limited to vCJD cases. We aimed to clarify the peripheral pathogenesis of human TSEs by using a nonhuman primate model which mimics human diseases. A highly sensitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was adapted to the detection of extraneural PrPTSE. We show that affected organs can be divided into two groups. The first is peripheral organs accumulating large amounts of PrPTSE, which represent a high risk of iatrogenic transmission. This category comprises only lymphoreticular organs in the vCJD/BSE model. The second is organs with small amounts of PrPTSE associated with nervous structures. These are the muscles, adrenal glands, and enteric nervous system in the sporadic, iatrogenic, and variant CJD models. In contrast to the first set of organs, this low level of tissue contamination is not strain restricted and seems to be linked to secondary centrifugal spread of the agent through nerves. It might represent a risk for iatrogenic transmission, formerly underestimated despite previous reports of low rates of transmission from peripheral organs of humans to nonhuman primates (5, 10). This study provides an additional experimental basis for the classification of human organs into different risk categories and a rational re-evaluation of current risk management measures.
PMCID: PMC1280201  PMID: 16254368
5.  Functional Genomics Approach for Identification of Molecular Processes Underlying Neurodegenerative Disorders in Prion Diseases 
Current Genomics  2012;13(5):369-378.
Prion diseases or transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are infectious neurodegenerative disorders leading to death. These include Cresutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), familial, sporadic and variant CJD and kuru in humans; and animal TSEs include scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, chronic wasting disease (CWD) of mule deer and elk, and transmissible mink encephalopathy. All these TSEs share common pathological features such as accumulation of mis-folded prion proteins in the central nervous system leading to cellular dysfunction and cell death. It is important to characterize the molecular pathways and events leading to prion induced neurodegeneration. Here we discuss the impact of the functional genomics approaches including microarrays, subtractive hybridization and microRNA profiling in elucidating transcriptional cascades at different stages of disease. Many of these transcriptional changes have been observed in multiple neurodegenerative diseases which may aid in identification of biomarkers for disease. A comprehensive characterization of expression profiles implicated in neurodegenerative disorders will undoubtedly advance our understanding on neuropathology and dysfunction during prion disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. We also present an outlook on the future work which may focus on analysis of structural genetic variation, genome and transcriptome sequencing using next generation sequencing with an integrated approach on animal and human TSE related studies.
PMCID: PMC3401894  PMID: 23372423
Prion; TSEs; gene expression; functional candiate genes; PRNP; microarray.
6.  Diagnostic accuracy of cerebrospinal fluid protein markers for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in Canada: a 6-year prospective study 
BMC Neurology  2011;11:133.
To better characterize the value of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteins as diagnostic markers in a clinical population of subacute encephalopathy patients with relatively low prevalence of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD), we studied the diagnostic accuracies of several such markers (14-3-3, tau and S100B) in 1000 prospectively and sequentially recruited Canadian patients with clinically suspected sCJD.
The study included 127 patients with autopsy-confirmed sCJD (prevalence = 12.7%) and 873 with probable non-CJD diagnoses. Standard statistical measures of diagnostic accuracy were employed, including sensitivity (Se), specificity (Sp), predictive values (PVs), likelihood ratios (LRs), and Receiver Operating Characteristic (ROC) analysis.
At optimal cutoff thresholds (empirically selected for 14-3-3, assayed by immunoblot; 976 pg/mL for tau and 2.5 ng/mL for S100B, both assayed by ELISA), Se and Sp respectively were 0.88 (95% CI, 0.81-0.93) and 0.72 (0.69-0.75) for 14-3-3; 0.91 (0.84-0.95) and 0.88 (0.85-0.90) for tau; and 0.87 (0.80-0.92) and 0.87 (0.84-0.89) for S100B. The observed differences in Sp between 14-3-3 and either of the other 2 markers were statistically significant. Positive LRs were 3.1 (2.8-3.6) for 14-3-3; 7.4 (6.9-7.8) for tau; and 6.6 (6.1-7.1) for S100B. Negative LRs were 0.16 (0.10-0.26) for 14-3-3; 0.10 (0.06-0.20) for tau; and 0.15 (0.09-0.20) for S100B. Estimates of areas under ROC curves were 0.947 (0.931-0.961) for tau and 0.908 (0.888-0.926) for S100B. Use of interval LRs (iLRs) significantly enhanced accuracy for patient subsets [e.g., 41/120 (34.2%) of tested sCJD patients displayed tau levels > 10,000 pg/mL, with an iLR of 56.4 (22.8-140.0)], as did combining tau and S100B [e.g., for tau > 976 pg/mL and S100B > 2.5 ng/mL, positive LR = 18.0 (12.9-25.0) and negative LR = 0.02 (0.01-0.09)].
CSF 14-3-3, tau and S100B proteins are useful diagnostic markers of sCJD even in a low-prevalence clinical population. CSF tau showed better overall diagnostic accuracy than 14-3-3 or S100B. Reporting of quantitative assay results and combining tau with S100B could enhance case definitions used in diagnosis and surveillance of sCJD.
PMCID: PMC3216246  PMID: 22032272
7.  BSE Case Associated with Prion Protein Gene Mutation 
PLoS Pathogens  2008;4(9):e1000156.
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) is a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) of cattle and was first detected in 1986 in the United Kingdom. It is the most likely cause of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. The origin of BSE remains an enigma. Here we report an H-type BSE case associated with the novel mutation E211K within the prion protein gene (Prnp). Sequence analysis revealed that the animal with H-type BSE was heterozygous at Prnp nucleotides 631 through 633. An identical pathogenic mutation at the homologous codon position (E200K) in the human Prnp has been described as the most common cause of genetic CJD. This finding represents the first report of a confirmed case of BSE with a potential pathogenic mutation within the bovine Prnp gene. A recent epidemiological study revealed that the K211 allele was not detected in 6062 cattle from commercial beef processing plants and 42 cattle breeds, indicating an extremely low prevalence of the E211K variant (less than 1 in 2000) in cattle.
Author Summary
Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or Mad Cow Disease), a transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion disease of cattle, was first discovered in the United Kingdom in 1986. BSE is most likely the cause of a human prion disease known as variant Creutzfeldt Jakob Disease (vCJD). In this study, we identified a novel mutation in the bovine prion protein gene (Prnp), called E211K, of a confirmed BSE positive cow from Alabama, United States of America. This mutation is identical to the E200K pathogenic mutation found in humans with a genetic form of CJD. This finding represents the first report of a confirmed case of BSE with a potential pathogenic mutation within the bovine Prnp gene. We hypothesize that the bovine Prnp E211K mutation most likely has caused BSE in “the approximately 10-year-old cow” carrying the E221K mutation.
PMCID: PMC2525843  PMID: 18787697
8.  Squirrel monkeys infected with BSE develop Tau pathology 
Journal of Comparative Pathology  2011;147(1):84-93.
Squirrel monkeys were experimentally infected with the classical bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) agent. Two to four years later, six of the monkeys developed alterations in interactive behavior, cognition and other neurological signs typical of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE). At necropsy, all brains showed pathological changes similar to those described in variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) of humans, except that the squirrel monkey brains contained no PrP amyloid plaques typical of that disease. Constant neuropathological features included spongiform degeneration, gliosis, deposition of abnormal prion protein (PrPTSE) and many deposits of abnormally phosphorylated tau protein (p-Tau) in several areas of the cerebrum and cerebellum. Western blots showed large amounts of proteinase-K-resistant prion protein in the central nervous system. The striking absence of PrP plaques (prominent in brains of cynomolgus macaques with both experimental BSE and vCJD and in patients with vCJD) reinforces the conclusion that the host plays a major role in determining the neuropathology of TSEs. Results of this study suggest that p-Tau, found in the brains of all BSE-infected monkeys, might play a role in the pathogenesis of TSEs. Whether p-Tau contributes to development of disease or appears as a secondary change late in the course of illness remains to be determined.
PMCID: PMC3288625  PMID: 22018806
bovine spongiform encephalopathy; prion disease; prion protein; tau protein
9.  Diphenylpyrazole-Derived Compounds Increase Survival Time of Mice after Prion Infection▿ 
Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy  2011;55(10):4774-4781.
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) represent a group of fatal neurodegenerative disorders that can be transmitted by natural infection or inoculation. TSEs include scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. The emergence of a variant form of CJD (vCJD), which has been associated with BSE, produced strong pressure to search for effective treatments with new drugs. Up to now, however, TSEs have proved incurable, although many efforts have been made both in vitro and in vivo to search for potent therapeutic and prophylactic compounds. For this purpose, we analyzed a compound library consisting of 10,000 compounds with a cell-based high-throughput screening assay dealing with scrapie-infected scrapie mouse brain and ScN2A cells and identified a new class of inhibitors consisting of 3,5-diphenylpyrazole (DPP) derivatives. The most effective DPP derivative showed half-maximal inhibition of PrPSc formation at concentrations (IC50) of 0.6 and 1.2 μM, respectively. This compound was subsequently subjected to a number of animal experiments using scrapie-infected wild-type C57BL/6 and transgenic Tga20 mice. The DPP derivative induced a significant increase of incubation time both in therapeutic and prophylactic experiments. The onset of the prion disease was delayed by 37 days after intraperitoneal and 42 days after oral application, respectively. In summary, we demonstrate a high in vitro efficiency of DPP derivatives against prion infections that was substantiated in vivo for one of these compounds. These results indicate that the novel class of DPP compounds should comprise excellent candidates for future therapeutic studies.
PMCID: PMC3186986  PMID: 21746938
10.  Regulation of Prion Protein Expression: A Potential Site for Therapeutic Intervention in the Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies 
The Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs) are a group of rare neurodegenerative diseases, which can be transmitted between members of the same species and possibly across different species. The link between the emergence of Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) and the new variant form of Creutzfedlt Jakob Disease (vCJD) has been the cause of much public concern. vCJD is the most widely known of the human TSEs but by no means the most common; inherited and sporadic forms are much more prevalent. The agent responsible for these diseases is a conformationally altered form of a normal cell surface glycoprotein, called the prion protein (PrP). The normal isoform must be present for the disease to progress, and disease incubation time decreases with increased PrP expression. There is still no cure for any of these diseases but recent advances in the understanding of how prion protein expression is regulated at the genetic level, and of exogenous factors modulating expression levels, may provide new insights into potential therapeutic targets for disease management by down regulation of cellular PrP levels.
PMCID: PMC3614639  PMID: 23674999
prion; prnp; promoter; TSE
11.  Prion Diseases as Transmissible Zoonotic Diseases 
Prion diseases, also called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), lead to neurological dysfunction in animals and are fatal. Infectious prion proteins are causative agents of many mammalian TSEs, including scrapie (in sheep), chronic wasting disease (in deer and elk), bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE; in cattle), and Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD; in humans). BSE, better known as mad cow disease, is among the many recently discovered zoonotic diseases. BSE cases were first reported in the United Kingdom in 1986. Variant CJD (vCJD) is a disease that was first detected in 1996, which affects humans and is linked to the BSE epidemic in cattle. vCJD is presumed to be caused by consumption of contaminated meat and other food products derived from affected cattle. The BSE epidemic peaked in 1992 and decreased thereafter; this decline is continuing sharply owing to intensive surveillance and screening programs in the Western world. However, there are still new outbreaks and/or progression of prion diseases, including atypical BSE, and iatrogenic CJD and vCJD via organ transplantation and blood transfusion. This paper summarizes studies on prions, particularly on prion molecular mechanisms, BSE, vCJD, and diagnostic procedures. Risk perception and communication policies of the European Union for the prevention of prion diseases are also addressed to provide recommendations for appropriate government policies in Korea.
PMCID: PMC3747681  PMID: 24159531
prion; risk perception; surveillance; transmissible spongiform encephalopathy; variant Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease
12.  Candidate Cell Substrates, Vaccine Production, and Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies 
Emerging Infectious Diseases  2011;17(12):2262-2269.
Candidate cell substrates neither accumulated abnormal prion protein nor propagated infectivity.
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) agents have contaminated human tissue–derived medical products, human blood components, and animal vaccines. The objective of this study was to determine the potential susceptibility to infection of 5 cell lines used or proposed for manufacture of biological products, as well as other lines. Cell lines were exposed to the infectious agents of sporadic and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE). Exposed cultures were tested for TSE-associated prion protein (PrPTSE) and TSE infectivity by assay in rodents and nonhuman primates. No PrPTSE or infectivity has been detected in any exposed cell line under study so far. Animals inoculated with BSE brain homogenate developed typical spongiform encephalopathy. In contrast, animals inoculated with cells exposed to the BSE agent remained asymptomatic. All cell lines we studied resisted infection with 3 TSE agents, including the BSE agent.
PMCID: PMC3311205  PMID: 22172513
prion; prion protein; BSE; bovine spongiform encephalopathy; Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; CJD; vaccines; TSE; transmissible spongiform encepthalopathy
13.  High sensitivity of an ELISA kit for detection of the gamma-isoform of 14-3-3 proteins: usefulness in laboratory diagnosis of human prion disease 
BMC Neurology  2011;11:120.
The gamma-isoform of the 14-3-3 protein (14-3-3 gamma) is expressed in neurons, and could be a specific marker for neuronal damage. This protein has been reported as a detectable biomarker, especially in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) patients by Western blotting (WB) or enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISAs). Western blotting for 14-3-3 gamma is not sensitive, and the reported data are conflicting among publications. An ELISA specific for 14-3-3 gamma is not available.
CJD patients (n = 114 sporadic CJD patients, 7 genetic CJD, and 3 iatrogenic CJD) and 99 patients with other neurodegenerative diseases were examined in this study. The CSF samples obtained were analyzed by Western blotting for 14-3-3 gamma, and by ELISA for total tau protein. We evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of the newly developed sandwich ELISA for 14-3-3 gamma.
The cut-off value of the 14-3-3 gamma ELISA was > 1, 683 AU/ml; and sensitivity was 95.2%, with 72.7% specificity. This specificity was the same for the total tau protein ELISA. Seven CJD cases were negative by WB but positive using the 14-3-3 gamma ELISA, indicating that the ELISA is more sensitive. All 21 cases of early stage CJD could be diagnosed using a combination of the 14-3-3γ ELISA and diffusion weighted MR imaging (DWI-MRI).
The 14-3-3 gamma ELISA was more sensitive than conventional WB, and was useful for laboratory diagnosis of CJD, similar to the ELISA for the tau protein. Using DWI-MRI and these ELISA tests on CSF, diagnosis of CJD will be possible even at early stages of the disease.
PMCID: PMC3204235  PMID: 21970675
CJD; CSF; ELISA; prion disease; 14-3-3 protein; tau protein
14.  Identification of Misfolded Proteins in Body Fluids for the Diagnosis of Prion Diseases 
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion diseases are fatal rare neurodegenerative disorders affecting man and animals and caused by a transmissible infectious agent. TSE diseases are characterized by spongiform brain lesions with neuronal loss and the abnormal deposition in the CNS, and to less extent in other tissues, of an insoluble and protease resistant form of the cellular prion protein (PrPC), named PrPTSE. In man, TSE diseases affect usually people over 60 years of age with no evident disease-associated risk factors. In some cases, however, TSE diseases are unequivocally linked to infectious episodes related to the use of prion-contaminated medicines, medical devices, or meat products as in the variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD). Clinical signs occur months or years after infection, and during this silent period PrPTSE, the only reliable marker of infection, is not easily measurable in blood or other accessible tissues or body fluids causing public health concerns. To overcome the limit of PrPTSE detection, several highly sensitive assays have been developed, but attempts to apply these techniques to blood of infected hosts have been unsuccessful or not yet validated. An update on the latest advances for the detection of misfolded prion protein in body fluids is provided.
PMCID: PMC3763259  PMID: 24027585
15.  A novel form of human disease with a protease-sensitive prion protein and heterozygosity methionine/valine at codon 129: Case report 
BMC Neurology  2010;10:99.
Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) is a rare neurodegenerative disorder in humans included in the group of Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies or prion diseases. The vast majority of sCJD cases are molecularly classified according to the abnormal prion protein (PrPSc) conformations along with polymorphism of codon 129 of the PRNP gene. Recently, a novel human disease, termed "protease-sensitive prionopathy", has been described. This disease shows a distinct clinical and neuropathological phenotype and it is associated to an abnormal prion protein more sensitive to protease digestion.
Case presentation
We report the case of a 75-year-old-man who developed a clinical course and presented pathologic lesions compatible with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and biochemical findings reminiscent of "protease-sensitive prionopathy". Neuropathological examinations revealed spongiform change mainly affecting the cerebral cortex, putamen/globus pallidus and thalamus, accompanied by mild astrocytosis and microgliosis, with slight involvement of the cerebellum. Confluent vacuoles were absent. Diffuse synaptic PrP deposits in these regions were largely removed following proteinase treatment. PrP deposition, as revealed with 3F4 and 1E4 antibodies, was markedly sensitive to pre-treatment with proteinase K. Molecular analysis of PrPSc showed an abnormal prion protein more sensitive to proteinase K digestion, with a five-band pattern of 28, 24, 21, 19, and 16 kDa, and three aglycosylated isoforms of 19, 16 and 6 kDa. This PrPSc was estimated to be 80% susceptible to digestion while the pathogenic prion protein associated with classical forms of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease were only 2% (type VV2) and 23% (type MM1) susceptible. No mutations in the PRNP gene were found and genotype for codon 129 was heterozygous methionine/valine.
A novel form of human disease with abnormal prion protein sensitive to protease and MV at codon 129 was described. Although clinical signs were compatible with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, the molecular subtype with the abnormal prion protein isoforms showing enhanced protease sensitivity was reminiscent of the "protease-sensitive prionopathy". It remains to be established whether the differences found between the latter and this case are due to the polymorphism at codon 129. Different degrees of proteinase K susceptibility were easily determined with the chemical polymer detection system which could help to detect proteinase-susceptible pathologic prion protein in diseases other than the classical ones.
PMCID: PMC2987858  PMID: 20973975
16.  Factors affecting the accuracy of urine-based biomarkers of BSE 
Proteome Science  2011;9:6.
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathy diseases are untreatable, uniformly fatal degenerative syndromes of the central nervous system that can be transmitted both within as well as between species. The bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic and the emergence of a new human variant of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD), have profoundly influenced beef production processes as well as blood donation and surgical procedures. Simple, robust and cost effective diagnostic screening and surveillance tools are needed for both the preclinical and clinical stages of TSE disease in order to minimize both the economic costs and zoonotic risk of BSE and to further reduce the risk of secondary vCJD.
Urine is well suited as the matrix for an ante-mortem test for TSE diseases because it would permit non-invasive and repeated sampling. In this study urine samples collected from BSE infected and age matched control cattle were screened for the presence of individual proteins that exhibited disease specific changes in abundance in response to BSE infection that might form the basis of such an ante-mortem test.
Two-dimensional differential gel electrophoresis (2D-DIGE) was used to identify proteins exhibiting differential abundance in two sets of cattle. The known set consisted of BSE infected steers and age matched controls throughout the course of the disease. The blinded unknown set was composed of BSE infected and control samples of both genders, a wide range of ages and two different breeds. Multivariate analyses of individual protein abundance data generated classifiers comprised of the proteins best able to discriminate between the samples based on disease state, breed, age and gender.
Despite the presence of confounding factors, the disease specific changes in abundance exhibited by a panel of urine proteins permitted the creation of classifiers able to discriminate between control and infected cattle with a high degree of accuracy.
PMCID: PMC3045280  PMID: 21299878
17.  Surveillance for Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in China from 2006 to 2007 
BMC Public Health  2008;8:360.
Human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (HTSE), or Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), is a group of rare and fatal diseases in central nervous system. Since outbreak of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and variant CJD, a worldwide CJD surveillance network has been established under the proposition of WHO. In China, a national CJD surveillance system has started since 2002. The data of CJD surveillance from 2006 to 2007 was analyzed.
Total 12 provinces are included in CJD surveillance system. The surveillance unit in each province consists of one or two sentinel hospitals and the provincial CDC. All suspected CJD cases reported from CJD surveillance were diagnosed and subtyped based on the diagnostic criteria for CJD issued by WHO.
Total 192 suspected CJD cases were reported and 5 genetic CJD, 51 probable and 30 possible sporadic CJD (sCJD) cases were diagnosed. The collected sCJD cases distribute sporadically without geographical clustering and seasonal relativity and the highest incidences in both probable and possible sCJD cases appeared in the group of 60–69 year. The most common three foremost symptoms were progressive dementia, cerebellum and mental-related symptoms. The probable sCJD patients owning both typical EEG alteration and CSF protein 14-3-3 positive have more characteristic clinical syndromes than the ones having only one positive. The polymorphisms of codon 129 of all tested reported cases shows typical patterns of Han Chinese as previous reports, that M129M are predominant whereas M129V are seldom.
Chinese CJD patients possessed similar epidemiological and clinical characteristics as worldwide.
PMCID: PMC2596798  PMID: 18928564
18.  Real-time quaking-induced conversion 
Prion  2011;5(3):150-153.
We recently developed a new in vitro amplification technology, designated “real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QUIC),” for detection of the abnormal form of prion protein (PrPSc) in easily accessible specimens such as cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). After assessment of more than 200 CSF specimens from Japanese and Australian patients, we found no instance of a false positive, and more than 80% accuracy for the correct diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD). Furthermore, the RT-QUIC can be applied to other prion diseases, including scrapie, chronic wasting disease (CWD) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), and is able to quantify prion seeding activity when combined with an end-point dilution of samples. These results indicate that the RT-QUIC, with its high sensitivity and specificity, will be of great use as an early, rapid and specific assay for prion diseases.
PMCID: PMC3226039  PMID: 21778820
RT-QUIC; real-time quaking-induced conversion; prion; CJD; Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; CSF; cerebrospinal fluid
19.  Detection of PrPsc in Blood from Sheep Infected with the Scrapie and Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy Agents▿  
Journal of Virology  2009;83(23):12552-12558.
The role of blood in the iatrogenic transmission of transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion disease has become an increasing concern since the reports of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) transmission through blood transfusion from humans with subclinical infection. The development of highly sensitive rapid assays to screen for prion infection in blood is of high priority in order to facilitate the prevention of transmission via blood and blood products. In the present study we show that PrPsc, a surrogate marker for TSE infection, can be detected in cells isolated from the blood from naturally and experimentally infected sheep by using a rapid ligand-based immunoassay. In sheep with clinical disease, PrPsc was detected in the blood of 55% of scrapie agent-infected animals (n = 80) and 71% of animals with bovine spongiform encephalopathy (n = 7). PrPsc was also detected several months before the onset of clinical signs in a subset of scrapie agent-infected sheep, followed from 3 months of age to clinical disease. This study confirms that PrPsc is associated with the cellular component of blood and can be detected in preclinical sheep by an immunoassay in the absence of in vitro or in vivo amplification.
PMCID: PMC2786716  PMID: 19740979
20.  A prospective study of CSF markers in 250 patients with possible Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease 
Objective: To investigate various cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) markers that could assist in the clinical diagnosis of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (CJD).
Methods: CSF samples were analysed for the presence of 14-3-3 protein, microtubule associated protein tau, and ß amyloid in 250 patients with possible CJD. Densitometric analysis was used to quantify the level of 14-3-3 in all patients.
Results: Analysis of the clinical data showed that cerebellar signs or myoclonus combined with progressive dementia were the main features leading to a clinical suspicion of CJD. While 14-3-3 detection had a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 92%, tau determination using a threshold of 1300 pg/ml had a sensitivity of 87% and a specificity of 97%. If the protocol for the analysis of 14-3-3 was modified (using densitometric analysis) a higher specificity (97%) could be obtained, but with a lower sensitivity (96%). Maximum sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value were obtained with a combination of 14-3-3 and ß amyloid determinations. The concentrations of 14-3-3 and tau in the CSF were reduced in CJD patients with a long duration of disease (more than one year; p < 0.05). The concentrations of 14-3-3 or tau were lowest at the onset or at the end stage of the disease, while the ß amyloid concentration remained low throughout the course of the disease.
Conclusions: Both 14-3-3 and tau protein are sensitive and specific biomarkers for CJD. The combination of 14-3-3 and ß amyloid analysis resulted in the maximum sensitivity, specificity, and positive predictive value. When these biomarkers are used in the diagnosis of CJD, the phase of the disease in which the CSF sample was obtained should be taken into account. Disease duration, dependent on the PrP genotype, also has a significant influence on the level of 14-3-3 and tau in the CSF.
PMCID: PMC1738637  PMID: 12933920
21.  Agent-specific Shadoo Responses in Transmissible Encephalopathies 
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE) are neurodegenerative diseases caused by an infectious agent with viral properties. Host prion protein (PrP), a marker of late stage TSE pathology, is linked to a similar protein called Shadoo (Sho). Sho is reduced in mice infected with the RML scrapie agent, but has not been investigated in other TSEs. Although PrP is required for infection by TSE agents, it is not known if Sho is similarly required. Presumably Sho protects cells from toxic effects of misfolded PrP. We compared Sho and PrP changes after infection by very distinct TSE agents including sporadic CJD, Asiatic CJD, New Guinea kuru, vCJD (the UK epidemic bovine agent) and 22L sheep scrapie, all passaged in standard mice. We found that Sho reductions were agent-specific. Variable Sho reductions in standard mice could be partly explained by agent-specific differences in regional neuropathology. However, Sho did not follow PrP misfolding in any quantitative or consistent way. Tga20 mice with high murine PrP levels revealed additional agent-specific differences. Sho was unaffected by Asiatic CJD yet was markedly reduced by the kuru agent in Tga20 mice; in standard mice both agents induced the same Sho reductions. Analyses of neural GT1 cells demonstrated that Sho was not essential for TSE infections. Furthermore, because all infected GT1 cells appeared as healthy as uninfected controls, Sho was not needed to protect infected cells from their “toxic” burden of abundant abnormal PrP and intracellular amyloid.
PMCID: PMC2875883  PMID: 20112073
CJD; kuru; BSE; neurodegeneration; prion protein; tissue culture; toxicity; amyloid
22.  Novel mutation of the PRNP gene of a clinical CJD case 
Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs), a group of neurodegenerative diseases, are thought to be caused by an abnormal isoform of a naturally occurring protein known as cellular prion protein, PrPC. The abnormal form of prion protein, PrPSc accumulates in the brain of affected individuals. Both isoforms are encoded by the same prion protein gene (PRNP), and the structural changes occur post-translationally. Certain mutations in the PRNP gene result in genetic TSEs or increased susceptibility to TSEs.
Case presentation
A 70 year old woman was admitted to the hospital with severe confusion and inability to walk. Relatives recognized memory loss, gait and behavioral disturbances over a six month period prior to hospitalization. Neurological examination revealed Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) related symptoms such as incontinence, Babinski sign and myoclonus. EEG showed periodic sharp waves typical of sporadic CJD and cerebrospinal fluid analysis (CSF) was positive for the presence of the 14-3-3-protein. As the disease progressed the patient developed akinetic mutism and died in the tenth month after onset of the disease symptoms. Unfortunately, no autopsy material was available. PRNP sequencing showed the occurrence of a point mutation on one allele at codon 193, which is altered from ACC, coding for a threonine, to ATC, encoding an isoleucine (T193I).
Here we report a novel mutation of the PRNP gene found in an elderly female patient resulting in heterozygosity for isoleucine and threonine at codon 193, in which normally homozygosity for threonine is expected (T193). The patient presented typical clinical symptoms of CJD. EEG findings and the presence of the 14-3-3 protein in the CSF, contributed to CJD diagnosis, allowing the classification of this case as a probable CJD according to the World Health Organization (WHO) accepted criteria.
PMCID: PMC1693557  PMID: 17129366
23.  Genotype patterns and characteristics of PRNP in the Korean population 
Prion  2012;6(4):375-382.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), included in the human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), is widely known to be caused by an abnormal accumulation of misfolding prion protein in the brain. Human prion protein gene (PRNP) is mapped in chromosome 20p13 and many single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in PRNP have been discovered. However, the functionality of SNPs in PRNP is yet unclear, though several SNPs have been known as important mutation related with susceptibility human prion diseases. Our aim is to identify specific genotype patterns and characteristics in the PRNP genomic region and to understand susceptibility among Korean discriminated prion disease patients, suspected CJD patients and the KARE data group. Here, we have researched genotypes and SNPs allele frequencies in PRNP in discriminated prion disease patients group (n = 22), suspected prion diseases patients group (n = 163) and the Korea Association REsource (KARE) data group (n = 296) in Korea. The sequencing regions were promoter region, exon1 and exon2 with their junction parts among 481 samples. A total of 25 SNPs were shown in this study. Nucleotide frequencies of all SNPs are exceedingly tended to bias toward dominant homozygote types except in rs2756271. Genotype frequencies at codon 129 and 219 coding region were similar with previous studies in Korea and Japan. Pathogenic mutations such as 102P/L, 200E/K and 203V/I were observed in discriminated CJD patients group, and 180V/I and 232M/R were shown in suspected prion disease patients group and the KARE data group. A total of 10 SNPs were newly identified, six in the promoter region, one in exon 2 and three in the 3′ UTR. The strong and unique linkage disequilibrium (D' = 0.94, r2 = 0.89) was observed between rs57633656 and rs1800014 which is located in codon 219 coding region. We expect that these data can be provided to determine specific susceptibility and a protective factor of prion diseases not only in Koreans but also in East Asians.
PMCID: PMC3609067  PMID: 22561193
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; PRNP; human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies; linkage disequilibrium; single nucleotide polymorphisms
24.  Molecular analysis of prion protein gene (PRNP) in Korean patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. 
Journal of Korean Medical Science  1998;13(3):234-240.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a relatively uncommon human dementia, is caused by an unconventional slow infectious agent. Several cases of CJD, clinically or histopathologically diagnosed, have been reported in Korea. In order to confirm the diagnosis of CJD and also differential diagnosis of sporadic and familial types of CJD in Korea, we studied two patients who had symptoms of CJD. The histopathological and immunohistochemical studies showed spongiform neurodegeneration and expression of abnormal isoform of prion protein (PrPSc) in astrocytes. Thus, these two patients were diagnosed CJD. To investigate whether these patients were sporadic or familial type of CJD, the molecular analyses of the prion protein gene (PRNP) were done by restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) and DNA sequencing. In the cases of a healthy Korean and two CJD patients, no point mutation was detected in the known hot spots (178, 180, 200, 210, and 232) and they exhibited wild type PRNP sequences. We concluded that both patients have a sporadic type of CJD, but not familial type.
PMCID: PMC3054509  PMID: 9681800
25.  Cerebrospinal Fluid Markers in Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease 
Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) is the commonest form of human prion diseases, accounting for about 85% of all cases. Current criteria for intra vitam diagnosis include a distinct phenotype, periodic sharp and slow-wave complexes at electroencephalography (EEG), and a positive 14-3-3-protein assay in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). In sCJD, the disease phenotype may vary, depending upon the genotype at codon 129 of the prion protein gene (PRNP), a site of a common methionine/valine polymorphism, and two distinct conformers of the pathological prion protein. Based on the combination of these molecular determinants, six different sCJD subtypes are recognized, each with distinctive clinical and pathologic phenotypes. We analyzed CSF samples from 127 subjects with definite sCJD to assess the diagnostic value of 14-3-3 protein, total tau protein, phosphorylated181 tau, and amyloid beta (Aβ) peptide 1-42, either alone or in combination. While the 14-3-3 assay and tau protein levels were the most sensitive indicators of sCJD, the highest sensitivity, specificity and positive predictive value were obtained when all the above markers were combined. The latter approach also allowed a reliable differential diagnosis with other neurodegenerative dementias.
PMCID: PMC3189782  PMID: 22016658
sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; 14-3-3 protein; tau protein; amyloid beta peptide

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