Scrapie and cellular PrP isoforms are encoded by the same chromosomal gene

Cell. 1986 Aug 1;46(3):417-28. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(86)90662-8.


PrP 27-30 is the major protein in purified preparations of scrapie agent. An almost complete PrP cDNA was used to select PrP-related genomic clones from normal hamster DNA. The gene contains a noncoding exon of 56 to 82 bp and a 2 kb coding exon, separated by a 10 kb intron. Transcription initiates at the same multiple sites in vivo and in vitro. The promoter lacks a TATA box and contains three repeats of the sequence GCCCCGCCC, which resembles the Sp1 binding site found in "housekeeping" genes. The PrP coding sequence encodes a presumptive amino-terminal signal peptide. The primary structure of PrP encoded by the gene of a healthy animal does not differ from that encoded by a cDNA from a scrapie-infected animal, suggesting that the different properties of PrP from normal and scrapie-infected brains are due to post-translational events.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • Brain Chemistry
  • Cricetinae / genetics*
  • DNA / analysis
  • Mesocricetus / genetics*
  • Poly A / genetics
  • PrP 27-30 Protein
  • Prions / genetics*
  • Promoter Regions, Genetic
  • Protein Precursors / biosynthesis
  • Protein Processing, Post-Translational
  • Protein Sorting Signals / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / biosynthesis


  • Prions
  • Protein Precursors
  • Protein Sorting Signals
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Viral Proteins
  • PrP 27-30 Protein
  • Poly A
  • DNA

Associated data

  • GENBANK/M14054
  • GENBANK/M14055