Bovine spongiform encephalopathy induces misfolding of alleged prion-resistant species cellular prion protein without altering its pathobiological features

Marti Pumarola Batlle, Enric Vidal Barba, M. Dolores Fondevila Palau, Natalia Fernández-Borges, Belén Pintado, Montserrat Ordóñez, Mercedes Márquez, Juan María Torres, Joaquín Castilla

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) prions were responsible for an unforeseen epizootic in cattle which had a vast social, economic, and public health impact. This was primarily because BSE prions were found to be transmissible to humans. Other species were also susceptible to BSE either by natural infection (e.g., felids, caprids) or in experimental settings (e.g., sheep, mice). However, certain species closely related to humans, such as canids and leporids, were apparently resistant to BSE. In vitro prion amplification techniques (saPMCA) were used to successfully misfold the cellular prion protein (PrPc) of these allegedly resistant species into a BSE-type prion protein. The biochemical and biological properties of the new prions generated in vitro after seeding rabbit and dog brain homogenates with classical BSE were studied. Pathobiological features of the resultant prion strains were determined after their inoculation into transgenic mice expressing bovine andhuman PrPc. Strain characteristics of the in vitro-adapted rabbit and dog BSE agent remained invariable with respect to the original cattle BSE prion, suggesting that the naturally low susceptibility of rabbits and dogs to prion infections should not alter their zoonotic potential if these animals became infected with BSE. This study provides a sound basis for risk assessment regarding prion diseases in purportedly resistant species. © 2013 the authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7778-7786
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Volume33
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2013

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