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Synthetic Mammalian Prions

Science  30 Jul 2004:
Vol. 305, Issue 5684, pp. 673-676
DOI: 10.1126/science.1100195

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Abstract

Recombinant mouse prion protein (recMoPrP) produced in Escherichia coli was polymerized into amyloid fibrils that represent a subset of β sheet–rich structures. Fibrils consisting of recMoPrP(89–230) were inoculated intracerebrally into transgenic (Tg) mice expressing MoPrP(89–231). The mice developed neurologic dysfunction between 380 and 660 days after inoculation. Brain extracts showed protease-resistant PrP by Western blotting; these extracts transmitted disease to wild-type FVB mice and Tg mice overexpressing PrP, with incubation times of 150 and 90 days, respectively. Neuropathological findings suggest that a novel prion strain was created. Our results provide compelling evidence that prions are infectious proteins.

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