Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker (GSS) disease is a cerebral amyloidosis linked to mutations of the PRNP gene. We previously reported that the amyloid protein in the Indiana kindred of GSS is an internal fragment of prion protein (PrP). To investigate whether this fragment originates only from mutant or from both mutant and wild-type PrP, we have characterized amyloid proteins purified from patients of the Indiana and Swedish GSS families. These patients were heterozygous for the Met-Val polymorphism at PRNP codon 129 and carried a mutation at PRNP codon 198 (Phe-->Ser) and codon 217 (Gln-->Arg), respectively. The smallest amyloid subunit was a 7 kDa peptide spanning residues approximately 81 to approximately 150 in the Indiana patient and approximately 81 to approximately 146 in the Swedish patient. In both patients, only Val was present at position 129. Since Val-129 was in coupling phase with Ser-198 and Arg-217, our findings indicate that only the mutant PrP is involved in amyloid formation in both kindreds.