Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.340, No.3, 894-900, 2006
GFP-tagged PrP supports compromised prion replication in transgenic mice
The ability of green fluorescent protein (GFP)-prion protein (PrP) fusions to support prion propagation has not been demonstrated. Here, we show that while transgenic mice expressing PrP tagged at its amino terminus with enhanced GFP, referred to as EGFPrP-N, Supported prion replication, disease onset was prolonged, the brains of diseased mice did not exhibit typical disease neuropathology and disease-associated EGFPrP-N lacked the full Spectrum of biochemical properties normally associated with PrPSc. Co-expression of wild type PrP and EGFPrP-N substantially reduced prion incubation times and resulted in accumulation of protease-resistant EGFPrP(Sc)-N in the brains of transgenic mice as well as chronically infected cultured cells, suggesting that wild-type PrP rescued a compromised amino terminal function in EGFPrP-N. While our results show that EGFPrP(C)-N adopts a conformation necessary for the production of infectious prions, the synergistic interaction of wild-type and EGFPrP-N underscores the importance of the amino terminus in modulating prion pathogenesis. (c) 2005 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.