Alpha- and beta- cleavages of the amino-terminus of the cellular prion protein

Biol Cell. 2004 Mar;96(2):125-32. doi: 10.1016/j.biolcel.2003.11.007.


It is commonly assumed that the physiological isoform of prion protein, PrP(C), is cleaved during its normal processing between residues 111/112, whereas the pathogenic isoform, PrP(Sc), is cleaved at an alternate site in the octapeptide repeat region around position 90. Here we demonstrated both in cultured cells and in vivo, that PrP(C) is subject to a complex set of post-translational processing with the molecule being cleaved upstream of position 111/112, in the octapeptide repeat region or at position 96. PrP has therefore two main cleavage sites that we decided to name alpha and beta. Cleavage of PrP(C) at these sites leads us to re-evaluate the function of both N- and C-terminus fragments thus generated.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Survival
  • Cricetinae
  • Humans
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Mice
  • Peptide Fragments / chemistry
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • PrPC Proteins / chemistry*
  • PrPC Proteins / genetics
  • PrPC Proteins / metabolism*
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational*
  • Sequence Deletion / genetics
  • Transfection


  • Peptide Fragments
  • PrPC Proteins