Author(s): Rogers M, Serban D, Gyuris T, Scott M, Torchia T,
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Abstract The cellular prion protein (PrPc) is a host-encoded sialoglycoprotein bound to the external surface of the cell membrane by a glycosyl phosphatidylinositol anchor. A posttranslationally modified PrP isoform (PrPSc) is a component of the infectious particle causing scrapie and the other prion diseases. mAb have been raised against the protease-resistant core of Syrian hamster (SHa) PrPSc designated PrP 27-30. To map the epitopes within PrP reacting to these antibodies, we have expressed wild-type, chimeric mouse (Mo)/SHa and mutant MoPrP genes using recombinant vaccinia virus systems. The fidelity of the expression of recombinant PrPC was examined using vaccinia viruses expressing SHa-PrPC. It is full length, possesses Asn-linked carbohydrates and is attached to the external surface of the cell membrane by a glycosyl phosphatidylinositol anchor that is sensitive to cleavage by phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C. We have tested 18 mAb for their ability to bind to chimeric prion proteins on immunoblots. Three distinct epitopes were identified that mapped to amino acid differences between SHa and MoPrP sequences. The first epitope, recognized by three of the antibodies tested, was defined by methionines at amino acids 108 and 111 in the mouse protein. The second epitope was dependent upon the presence of asparagines at positions 154 and 174 in MoPrP and was recognized by four of the antibodies tested. The third epitope mapped to a single amino acid substitution at residue 138 in MoPrP. mAb raised against SHaPrP 27-30 specific for this epitope are able to bind MoPrPC which has a single amino acid change (Ile to Met) at position 138. Eleven of the 18 antibodies tested mapped to this immunodominant epitope. It is located within a postulated amphipathic helix, a structure associated with immunodominant Ag. Inasmuch as PrPC, in its native form on the cell surface, is detected by the mAb 13A5 (a prototypic antibody of the immunodominant third epitope class), it is likely that this epitope is accessible in the native conformation of this protein.
This article was published in J Immunol
and referenced in Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy