The definitive diagnosis of genetic prion diseases (gPrD) requires pathological confirmation. To date, diagnosis has relied upon the finding of the biomarkers 14-3-3 protein and total tau (t-tau) protein in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), but many researchers have reported that these markers are not sufficiently elevated in gPrD, especially in Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS). We recently developed a new in vitro amplification technology, designated “real-time quaking-induced conversion (RT-QUIC)”, to detect the abnormal form of prion protein in CSF from sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) patients. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the presence of biomarkers and evaluate RT-QUIC assay in patients with gPrD, as the utility of RT-QUIC as a diagnostic tool in gPrD has yet to be determined.
56 CSF samples were obtained from gPrD patients, including 20 cases of GSS with P102L mutation, 12 cases of fatal familial insomnia (FFI; D178N), and 24 cases of genetic CJD (gCJD), comprising 22 cases with E200K mutation and 2 with V203I mutation. We subjected all CSF samples to RT-QUIC assay, analyzed 14-3-3 protein by Western blotting, and measured t-tau protein using an ELISA kit. The detection sensitivities of RT-QUIC were as follows: GSS (78%), FFI (100%), gCJD E200K (87%), and gCJD V203I (100%). On the other hand the detection sensitivities of biomarkers were considerably lower: GSS (11%), FFI (0%), gCJD E200K (73%), and gCJD V203I (67%). Thus, RT-QUIC had a much higher detection sensitivity compared with testing for biomarkers, especially in patients with GSS and FFI.
RT-QUIC assay is more sensitive than testing for biomarkers in gPrD patients. RT-QUIC method would thus be useful as a diagnostic tool when the patient or the patient's family does not agree to genetic testing, or to confirm the diagnosis in the presence of a positive result for genetic testing.
To date, cerebrospinal fluid analysis, particularly protein 14-3-3 testing, presents an important approach in the identification of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease cases. However, one special point of criticism of 14-3-3 testing is the specificity in the differential diagnosis of rapid dementia. The constant observation of increased cerebrospinal fluid referrals in the national surveillance centres over the last years raises the concern of declining specificity due to higher number of cerebrospinal fluid tests performed in various neurological conditions. Within the framework of a European Community supported longitudinal multicentre study (‘cerebrospinal fluid markers’) we analysed the spectrum of rapid progressive dementia diagnoses, their potential influence on 14-3-3 specificity as well as results of other dementia markers (tau, phosphorylated tau and amyloid-β1–42) and evaluated the specificity of 14-3-3 in Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease diagnosis for the years 1998–2008. A total of 29 022 cerebrospinal fluid samples were analysed for 14-3-3 protein and other cerebrospinal fluid dementia markers in patients with rapid dementia and suspected Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease in the participating centres. In 10 731 patients a definite diagnosis could be obtained. Protein 14-3-3 specificity was analysed for Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease with respect to increasing cerebrospinal fluid tests per year and spectrum of differential diagnosis. Ring trials were performed to ensure the comparability between centres during the reported time period. Protein 14-3-3 test specificity remained high and stable in the diagnosis of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease during the observed time period across centres (total specificity 92%; when compared with patients with definite diagnoses only: specificity 90%). However, test specificity varied with respect to differential diagnosis. A high 14-3-3 specificity was obtained in differentiation to other neurodegenerative diseases (95–97%) and non-neurological conditions (91–97%). We observed lower specificity in the differential diagnoses of acute neurological diseases (82–87%). A marked and constant increase in cerebrospinal fluid test referrals per year in all centres did not influence 14-3-3 test specificity and no change in spectrum of differential diagnosis was observed. Cerebrospinal fluid protein 14-3-3 detection remains an important test in the diagnosis of Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease. Due to a loss in specificity in acute neurological events, the interpretation of positive 14-3-3 results needs to be performed in the clinical context. The spectrum of differential diagnosis of rapid progressive dementia varied from neurodegenerative dementias to dementia due to acute neurological conditions such as inflammatory diseases and non-neurological origin.
rapid dementia; Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease; cerebrospinal fluid; 14-3-3; specificity; neurodegeneration; differential diagnosis in dementia
Cholesterol is an essential component of eukaryotic plasma membranes and plays an important role in membrane organization and signaling processes. It is the major lipid component of detergent resistant caveolin-1 containing rafts which previously had been reported as a platform for nerve growth factor (NGF) signaling in oligodendrocytes (OL). Surprisingly, a knockdown of caveolin-1 attenuated the process formation of OL (Schmitz et al. J Neurosci Res 88:572–588, 2010), for which a loss of cholesterol could be responsible. In the present report, we could show that a caveolin-1 knockdown resulted in an elevation of cellular cholesterol level; it may indicate an important role of caveolin-1 in cholesterol trafficking to the plasma membrane. Treatment with exogenous PEG cholesterol, which was incorporated to the plasma membrane, supported oligodendroglial process formation, in particular when OL were stimulated by NGF. In this context we have found that OL express NPC1L1 (Niemann–Pick disease type C1-Like 1) which could modulate cholesterol uptake. In contrast, depletion of membrane-bound cholesterol diminished NGF-induced process formation concomitant with a reduced activity of p42/44 mitogen-activated protein kinases.
Caveolin-1; Caveolin containing rafts; Cholesterol; Nerve growth factor; Niemann–Pick disease type C1-Like 1; Oligodendrocytes; TrkA
Since 1987, dura mater graft-associated iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (dCJD) has been reported in many countries. We report the first case of dCJD in Korea. A 54-yr-old woman, who underwent resection of the meningioma in the left frontal region and received a dura mater graft 23 yr ago presented with dysesthesia followed by psychiatric symptoms and ataxia. Her neurological symptoms rapidly progressed to such an extent that she exhibited myoclonus, dementia, and pyramidal and extrapyramidal signs within 8 weeks. The 14-3-3 protein was detected in her cerebrospinal fluid; however, an electroencephalogram did not reveal characteristic positive sharp wave complexes. Diffusion-weighted magnetic resonance images, obtained serially over 64 days, revealed the rapid progression of areas of high signal intensity in the caudate nucleus and cingulate gyrus to widespread areas of high signal intensity in the cortex and basal ganglia. Pathological examination of brain biopsy specimens confirmed the presence of spongiform changes and deposition of prion protein in the neurons and neuropils.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome; Dura Mater Graft; Iatrogenic Disease
Caveolin and caveolin containing rafts are involved in the signaling of growth factors in various cell types. Previous reports of our lab indicated a co-localization of caveolin and the high affinity nerve growth factor (NGF) receptor tyrosine kinase A (TrkA). Mutual effects have been observed among which a caveolin-1 knock-down resulted in an impairment of the NGF signaling cascade rather than in an increase of activity as expected from other growth factor reports. On the other hand, an over-expression of caveolin-1 impaired the NGF stimulated activity of p42/44 mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPK). In this study, we used a caveolin-1 scaffolding domain (CSD) peptide (cavtratin) of which an inhibitory effect on growth factor receptors was reported. Our data showed that cavtratin suppresses the NGF-induced phosphorylation of TrkA as well as the activation of MAPK in porcine oligodendrocytes significantly.
Cavtratin; Caveolin scaffolding domain; Oligodendrocytes; Nerve growth factor; TrkA phosphorylation
Alu DNA elements were long considered to be of no biological significance and thus have been only poorly defined. However, in the past Alu DNA elements with well-defined nucleotide sequences have been suspected to contribute to disease, but the role of Alu DNA element transcripts has rarely been investigated. For the first time, we determined in a real-time approach Alu DNA element transcription in buffy coat cells isolated from the blood of humans suffering from sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. The reverse transcribed Alu transcripts were amplified and their cDNA sequences were aligned to genomic regions best fitted to database genomic Alu DNA element sequences deposited in the UCSC and NCBI data bases. Our cloned Alu RNA/cDNA sequences were widely distributed in the human genome and preferably belonged to the “young” Alu Y family. We also observed that some RNA/cDNA clones could be aligned to several chromosomes because of the same degree of identity and score to resident genomic Alu DNA elements. These elements, called paralogues, have purportedly been recently generated by retrotransposition. Along with cases of sCJD we also included cases of dementia and Alzheimer disease (AD). Each group revealed a divergent pattern of transcribed Alu elements. Chromosome 2 was the most preferred site in sCJD cases, besides chromosome 17; in AD cases chromosome 11 was overrepresented whereas chromosomes 2, 3 and 17 were preferred active Alu loci in controls. Chromosomes 2, 12 and 17 gave rise to Alu transcripts in dementia cases. The detection of putative Alu paralogues widely differed depending on the disease. A detailed data search revealed that some cloned Alu transcripts originated from RNA polymerase III transcription since the genomic sites of their Alu elements were found between genes. Other Alu DNA elements could be located close to or within coding regions of genes. In general, our observations suggest that identification and genomic localization of active Alu DNA elements could be further developed as a surrogate marker for differential gene expression in disease. A sufficient number of cases are necessary for statistical significance before Alu DNA elements can be considered useful to differentiate neurodegenerative diseases from controls.
transcription of Alu DNA elements; chromosomal patterns of active Alu DNA elements; sporadic CJD; differential gene expression in neurodegeneration
Six subtypes of sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease with distinctive clinico-pathological features have been identified largely based on two types of the abnormal prion protein, PrPSc, and the methionine (M)/valine (V) polymorphic codon 129 of the prion protein. The existence of affected subjects showing mixed phenotypic features and concurrent PrPSc types has been reported but with inconsistencies among studies in both results and their interpretation. The issue currently complicates diagnosis and classification of cases and also has implications for disease pathogenesis. To explore the issue in depth, we carried out a systematic regional study in a large series of 225 cases. PrPSc types 1 and 2 concurrence was detected in 35% of cases and was higher in MM than in MV or VV subjects. The deposition of either type 1 or 2, when concurrent, was not random and always characterized by the coexistence of phenotypic features previously described in the pure subtypes. PrPSc type 1 accumulation and related pathology predominated in MM and MV cases, while the type 2 phenotype prevailed in VVs. Neuropathological examination best identified the mixed types 1 and 2 features in MMs and most MVs, and also uniquely revealed the co-occurrence of pathological variants sharing PrPSc type 2. In contrast, molecular typing best detected the concurrent PrPSc types in VV subjects and MV cases with kuru plaques. The present data provide an updated disease classification and are of importance for future epidemiologic and transmission studies aimed to identify etiology and extent of strain variation in sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease.
Prion protein; Brain mapping; Molecular typing; Neurodegeneration; Classification
Recent concern about the possible secondary spread of vCJD through blood transfusion and blood products has highlighted the need for a sensitive test for the identification of PrPTSE/res in clinical specimens collected in a non-invasive way. In addition, a more accurate estimate of the prevalence of pre-clinical vCJD in the population may be possible if there were a test that could be applied to easily available material such as urine. As a step towards this goal, the detection of putative PrPTSE/res in the urine of CJD patients has been improved, based on Proteinase K digestion of samples and western blotting. The modified western blot uses concentrated urine as a starting material. After proteolytic treatment followed by electrophoresis and western blotting, membranes are incubated with an anti-PrP antibody conjugated directly with horseradish peroxidase. This study was conducted on urine samples of CJD and other neurodegenerative disease affected individuals. Proteinase K resistant high molecular weight proteins were detected, which are suggested to be a complex of urinary PrP and immunoglobulin proteins. Whether urine can be used as a diagnostic tool for the detection of PrP could not be answered in this study.
prion; transmissible spongiform encephalopathy; sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; urine; PrP; outer membrane protein
The 14-3-3 protein test has been shown to support the clinical diagnosis of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) when associated with an adequate clinical context, and a high differential potential for the diagnosis of sporadic CJD has been attributed to other cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) proteins such as tau protein, S100b and neuron specific enolase (NSE). So far there has been only limited information available about biochemical markers in genetic transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (gTSE), although they represent 10–15% of human TSEs. In this study, we analyzed CSF of 174 patients with gTSEs for 14-3-3 (n = 166), tau protein (n = 78), S100b (n = 46) and NSE (n = 50). Levels of brain-derived proteins in CSF varied in different forms of gTSE. Biomarkers were found positive in the majority of gCJD (81%) and insert gTSE (69%), while they were negative in most cases of fatal familial insomnia (13%) and Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker syndrome (10%). Disease duration and codon 129 genotype influence the findings in a different way than in sporadic CJD.
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; CSF proteins; 14-3-3 protein; Tau
The occurrence of blood-borne prion transmission incidents calls for identification of potential prion carriers. However, current methods for intravital diagnosis of prion disease rely on invasive tissue biopsies and are unsuitable for large-scale screening. Sensitive biomarkers may help meeting this need. Here we scanned the genome for transcripts elevated upon prion infection and encoding secreted proteins. We found that α1-antichymotrypsin (α1-ACT) was highly upregulated in brains of scrapie-infected mice. Furthermore, α1-ACT levels were dramatically increased in urine of patients suffering from sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and increased progressively throughout the disease. Increased α1-ACT excretion was also found in cases of natural prion disease of animals. Therefore measurement of urinary α1-ACT levels may be useful for monitoring the efficacy of therapeutic regimens for prion disease, and possibly also for deferring blood and organ donors that may be at risk of transmitting prion infections.
We identified the 37kDa/67kDa laminin receptor (LRP/LR) as a cell surface receptor for the cellular prion protein (PrPc) and the infectious prion protein (PrPSc). Recently, we showed that anti-LRP/LR antibody W3 cured scrapie infected N2a cells. Here, we demonstrate that W3 delivered by passive immunotransfer into C57BL/6 mice reduced the PrPSc content in the spleen significantly by 66%, demonstrating an impairment of the peripheral PrPSc propagation. In addition, we observed a 1.8-fold increase in survival of anti-LRP/LR antibody W3 treated mice (mean survival of 31 days) compared to preimmune serum treated control animals (mean survival of 17 days). We conclude that the significant effect of anti-LRP/LR antibody W3 on the reduction of peripheral PrPSc propagation might be due to the blockage of the prion receptor LRP/LR which is required, as previously shown in vitro, for PrPSc propagation in vivo.
37kDa/67kDa laminin receptor; LRP/LR; prion; PrP; TSE-therapy
Clinical and pathological changes in familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) cases may be similar or indistinguishable from sporadic CJD. Therefore determination of novel mutations in PRNP remains of major importance.
We identified two different rare mutations in codon 188 of the prion protein gene (PRNP) in four patients suffering from a disease clinically very similar to the major subtype of sporadic CJD. Both mutations result in an exchange of the amino acid residue threonine for a highly basic residue, either arginine (T188R) or lysine (T188K). The T188R mutation was found in one patient and the T188K mutation in three patients. The prevalence of mutations at codon 188 of PRNP was tested in 593 sporadic CJD cases and 735 healthy individuals. Neither mutation was found. The data presented here argue in favor of T188K being a pathogenic mutation causing genetic CJD. Since one individual with this mutation, who is the father of a clinically affected patient with T188K mutation, is now 79 years old and shows no signs of disease, this mutation is likely associated with a penetrance under 100%. Further observations will have to show whether T188R is a pathogenic mutation.
The effect of reducing vCJD transmission by excluding potential blood donors who have received a blood transfusion can be quantified and depends on the absolute number of cases observed or expected.
Variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) may be transmissible by blood. To prevent secondary transmission through blood components, several countries have started to exclude as donors persons who have received a blood transfusion. We investigated the effectiveness of this measure by using a dynamic age-structured model. It is the first such model based on epidemiologic data: 1) blood donor activities, 2) a case-control study on CJD, 3) age distribution of recipients, and 4) death of recipients of blood transfusions. The model predicts that an infection like vCJD, which has been introduced into the population by the alimentary route, could not become endemic by transfusion alone and that <1% of cases would be avoided by excluding from blood donation those persons who have received a transfusion.
blood transfusion; blood donors; variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease; models; theoretical; biometry; infection; endemic diseases; epidemiology; communicable diseases; emerging; risk assessment; research
The objective of this study was to describe the diagnostic panorama of human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies across 11 countries.
From data collected for surveillance purposes, we describe annual proportions of deaths due to different human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in eleven EUROCJD-consortium countries over the period 1993–2002, as well as variations in the use of diagnostic tests. Using logistic models we quantified international differences and changes across time.
In general, pre-mortem use of diagnostic investigations increased with time. International differences in pathological confirmation of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, stable over time, were evident. Compared to their counterparts, some countries displayed remarkable patterns, such as: 1) the high proportion, increasing with time, of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the United Kingdom, (OR 607.99 95%CI 84.72–4363.40), and France (OR 18.35, 95%CI 2.20–152.83); 2) high, decreasing proportions of iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in France, (OR 5.81 95%CI 4.09–8.24), and the United Kingdom, (OR 1.54 95%CI 1.03–2.30); and, 3) high and stable ratios of genetic forms in Slovakia (OR 21.82 95%CI 12.42–38.33) and Italy (OR 2.12 95%CI 1.69–2.68).
Considerable international variation in aetiological subtypes of human transmissible spongiform encephalopathies was evident over the observation period. With the exception of variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and iatrogenic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in France and the United Kingdom, these differences persisted across time.
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.
Objective: To analyse serum concentrations of brain specific S100 protein in patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and in controls.
Design: Prospective case-control study.
Setting: National Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease surveillance unit.
Subjects: 224 patients referred to the surveillance unit with suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and 35 control patients without dementia.
Main outcome measure: Serum concentration of S100 protein in patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, in patients with other diseases causing dementia, and in the control group.
Results: Of the 224 patients with suspected Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, 65 were classed as definitely having the disease after neuropathological verification, an additional 6 were classed as definitely having the disease as a result of a genetic mutation, 43 as probably having the disease, 36 as possibly having the disease, and 74 patients were classed as having other disease. In the 108 patients classed as definitely or probably having Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease the median serum concentration of S100 was 395 pg/ml (SD 387 pg/ml). This was significantly higher than concentrations found in the 74 patients classed as having other diseases (median 109 pg/ml; SD 177 pg/ml; P=0.0001). At a cut off point of 213 pg/ml sensitivity for the diagnosis of the disease was 77.8% (95% confidence interval 68.8% to 85.2%) and specificity was 81.1% (70.3% to 89.3%). There was a significant difference in survival at different concentrations of S100 in Kaplan-Meier curves (P=0.023).
Conclusion: Measurement of serum concentrations of S100 is a valuable tool which can be used more easily than tests on cerebrospinal fluid in the differential diagnosis of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. More studies are needed to determine whether serial testing of serum S100 improves diagnostic accuracy.
Key messages Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a rare, fatal neurodegenerative disease. Diagnosis is made clinically and neuropathologically There is no serum test which allows the diagnosis to be made while the patient is alive In this study raised serum concentrations of S100 protein were found in patients with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease Serum concentrations of S100 could be used with a sensitivity of 77.8% and a specificity of 81.1% to confirm Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in the differential diagnosis of diseases that cause dementia Serial measurement of S100 concentrations will enhance diagnostic accuracy
Sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease (sCJD) is characterized by wide clinical and pathological variability, which is mainly influenced by the conformation of the misfolded prion protein, and by the methionine and valine polymorphism at codon 129 of the prion protein gene. This heterogeneity likely implies differences in the molecular cascade that leads to the development of certain disease phenotypes. In this study, we investigated the proteome of the frontal cortex of patients with the two most common sCJD subtypes (MM1 and VV2) using 2D-DIGE and MS. Analysis of 2D maps revealed that 46 proteins are differentially expressed in the sCJD. Common differential expression was detected for seven proteins, four showed opposite direction of differential expression, and the remaining ones displayed subtype-specific alteration. The highest number of differentially expressed proteins was associated with signal transduction and neuronal activity. Moreover, functional groups of proteins involved in cell cycle and death, as well as in structure and motility included subtype-specific expressed proteins exclusively. The expression of Rab GDP dissociation inhibitor alpha, which regulates Rab3a-mediated neurotransmitter release, was affected in both sCJD subtypes that were analyzed. Therefore, we also investigated as to whether Rab3a recycling is altered. Indeed, we found an accumulation of the membrane-associated form, thus the active one, which suggests that dysfunction of the Rab3a-mediated exocytosis might be implicated in sCJD pathology.
Biomedicine; 2D-DIGE; Prion; Proteome; Rab3a; Sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease