Identification of scrapie prion protein-specific mRNA in scrapie-infected and uninfected brain

Bruce Chesebro, Kathy Wehrly, Jane Nishio, Marshall Bloom, David Lechner, Sven Bergstrom, Ken Robbins, Leonard Mayer, Jerry M. Keith, Claude Garon, Ashley T Haase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

347 Scopus citations


To date no nucleic acid has been found in the purified infectious agent which causes the spongiform encephalopathy known as scrapie. In an attempt to identify a unique scrapie virus-associated messenger RNA in tissues of infected animals, we have synthesized an oligonucleotide probe complementary to the mRNA sequence corresponding to the amino-acid sequence of the prion protein, PrP27-30 (ref. 1). We report here that, with this probe, a complementary DNA clone representing PrP27-30 was obtained from scrapie-infected mouse brain; the DNA sequence of this clone could be translated into a protein that matches exactly the published sequence of PrP27-30. The cDNA clone hybridized to a single 2.4-2.5-kilobase (kb) mRNA from both normal and scrapie-infected brain. Thus, the PrP27-30 mRNA is not uniquely associated with scrapie infectivity, suggesting that PrP27-30 may be a normal component of mouse and hamster brain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)331-333
Number of pages3
Issue number6017
StatePublished - 1985


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