Such differences may be one of the causes of cell tropism for PrPSc accumulation, and furthermore, might result in the prion strain-specific PrPSc accumulation pattern in the brain. Species specificity in cell-free conversion has been reported
(14, 23), and the products preserve strain-specific properties (24). These data suggest that the cell-free conversion reaction mimics some aspects of in vivo conversion of PrPC into PrPSc. In this study, we demonstrated that the effect of reducing conditions and removal of Cys residues on binding and conversion differed among prion strains; indeed, these may mirror prion strain properties in vivo. In fact, classification of the five prion strains Opaganib supplier by their binding and the conversion efficiencies correlated well with classification according to their biological and biochemical properties. Therefore, the
in vivo properties of each strain likely correlate with their conversion capacity. Binding and conversion assays may thus aid in the classification of prion strains. Reduction of the Akt inhibitor intramolecular disulfide bond did not interfere with binding of PrPSc to MoPrP and conversion of MoPrP into PrPres. However, substitution of Cys with Ser in MoPrP inhibited binding and conversion of the ME7 and Obihiro strains and conversion of the Chandler and 79A strains. Therefore, Cys residues may play a key role in the conversion and binding of Chandler and 79A, ME7, and Obihiro PrPSc. However, we cannot rule out the possibility that such a substitution alters the tertiary structure
of the prion protein. Addition of DTT significantly increased the ADP ribosylation factor conversion efficiencies of MoPrP and the Cys-less mutant driven by mBSE PrPSc. This suggests that the effect of DTT may be mediated by a mechanism other than cleaving of the disulfide bond in MoPrP. DTT diminishes the carbohydrate binding activity of a Cys-less mutant of pigpen as well as inhibiting the intact molecule (25). Therefore, in an mBSE-seeded cell-free conversion, DTT may improve the efficiency of mBSE-seeded conversion independently of the reduction of disulfide bonds. In summary, reducing conditions did not inhibit conversion in vitro and markedly increased mBSE-seeded conversion. This suggests that cell-free conversion under reducing conditions mimics the conversion of PrPC into PrPSc within endosomes and lysosomes. In addition, classification of prion strains by their efficiency at binding and conversion of both MoPrP and its Cys-less mutant in the absence and presence of DTT correlates well with classification based on biological and biochemical properties. Therefore, the cell-free conversion assay may be useful in discriminating between prion strains. We are grateful to Dr.