The Three Glycotypes in the London Classification System of Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Differ in Disease Duration

Mol Neurobiol. 2021 Apr 26. doi: 10.1007/s12035-021-02396-9. Online ahead of print.


Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD) is the most common form of CJD and is believed to be caused by the misfolding and aggregation of endogenous prion protein. Several classification systems have been developed to correlate the molecular characteristics of these misfolded prions (PrPSc) to the heterogeneous clinical presentations of sCJD. A central component of these systems is glycotyping, which involves the interpretation of the results of western immunoblotting of the protease-resistant fragment of the misfolded prion protein (PrPres). The two main classification systems differ in their recognition of a unique banding pattern on electrophoretic gels correlating to a putative clinical subtype. The perpetuation of both classification systems within scientific literature is, in part, due to a paucity of high-level evidence that conclusively addresses the merit of recognising each unique banding pattern. Here, 110 post-mortem confirmed cases of sCJD collected at the Australian Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Registry (ANCJDR) between 1993 and 2018 were analysed and classified as per the London classification system. The data presented here demonstrated that sCJD cases with 'type 1' and 'type 2' PrPSc as defined by the London classification system differ in their disease duration. No other differences in clinical phenotype or biological characteristics were found to be statistically significant. These findings highlight the importance of sample size and replicability in analyses of this rare disease process. Recognising these glycotypes as phenotypically distinct may represent 'best practice' in the collection and processing of sCJD samples within international registries for research purposes.

Keywords: Glycotype; SCJD; Sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.