Spontaneous neurodegeneration in transgenic mice with prion protein codon 101 proline→leucine substitution

K. Hsiao, M. Scott, D. Foster, S. J. DeArmond, D. Groth, H. Serban, S. B. Prusiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome (GSS) is an autosomal, dominantly inherited, human neurodegenerative disease that can sometimes be transmitted to non-human primates and rodents through intracerebral inoculation of brain homogenates from patients. Recent studies of GSS demonstrated significant genetic linkage between GSS and a leucine substitution at codon 102 of the human prion protein (PrP) gene. Transgenic mice were created to test the biologic activity of this mutation. Spontaneous neurologic disease with spongiform degeneration developed in one of three lines of transgenic mice containing murine PrP genes with a leucine substitution at codon 101 (homologous to codon 102 in humans). Transmission studies of brain homogenates from affected mice are in progress. These results indicate that some of the clinical and pathologic features of GSS can be reproduced in a transgenic mouse paradigm; this represents the first time a dominantly inherited, neurodegenerative process similar to a human disease has been genetically modeled in an experimental animal (Hsiao and Prusiner 1990).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-170
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
StatePublished - 1991


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