Susceptibility of common fibroblast cell lines to transmissible spongiform encephalopathy agents.
ABSTRACT The risk of contamination of tissue culture cells with transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) agents as a result of the use of animal products as medium components has been considered to be low, in part, because only a few brain-derived cell lines have been reported to be susceptible to TSE infection. In the present study, we demonstrate that the common laboratory fibroblast cell lines NIH/3T3 and L929, which express low levels of cellular mouse prion protein, are susceptible to infection with mouse-adapted scrapie. Our results show that the susceptibility of a cell line to TSE infection cannot be predicted on the basis of its tissue origin or its level of expression of the cellular prion protein, and they suggest that any cell line expressing normal host prion protein could have the potential to support propagation of TSE agents. Thus, testing of cells for TSE susceptibility might be necessary for all cell lines that are routinely used in vaccine production and in other medical applications.
Article: Mouse-adapted scrapie infection of SN56 cells: greater efficiency with microsome-associated versus purified PrP-res.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The process by which transmissible spongiform encephalopathy agents, or prions, infect cells is unknown. We employed a new differentiable cell line (SN56) susceptible to infection with three mouse-adapted scrapie strains to gain insight into the cellular infection process. The effect of disease-associated PrP (PrP-res) association with microsomal membranes on infection efficiency was examined by comparing sustained PrP-res production in cells treated with either scrapie brain microsomes or purified, detergent-extracted PrP-res. When normalized for quantity of input PrP-res, scrapie brain microsomes induced dramatically enhanced persistent PrP-res formation compared to purified PrP-res. Infected SN56 cells released low levels of PrP-res into the culture supernatant, which also efficiently initiated infection in recipient cells. Interestingly, microsomes labeled with a fluorescent marker were internalized by SN56 cells in small vesicles, which were subsequently found in neuritic processes. When bound to culture wells to reduce internalization during the infection process, scrapie microsomes induced less long-term PrP-res production than suspended microsomes. Long-term differentiation of infected SN56 cells was accompanied by a decrease in PrP-res formation. Our observations provide evidence that infection of cells is aided by the association of PrP-res with membranes and/or other microsomal constituents.Journal of Virology 04/2006; 80(5):2106-17. · 5.40 Impact Factor
Article: Propagation of RML prions in mice expressing PrP devoid of GPI anchor leads to formation of a novel, stable prion strain.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: PrP(C), a host protein which in prion-infected animals is converted to PrP(Sc), is linked to the cell membrane by a GPI anchor. Mice expressing PrP(C) without GPI anchor (tgGPI⁻ mice), are susceptible to prion infection but accumulate anchorless PrP(Sc) extra-, rather than intracellularly. We investigated whether tgGPI⁻ mice could faithfully propagate prion strains despite the deviant structure and location of anchorless PrP(Sc). We found that RML and ME7, but not 22L prions propagated in tgGPI⁻ brain developed novel cell tropisms, as determined by the Cell Panel Assay (CPA). Surprisingly, the levels of proteinase K-resistant PrP(Sc) (PrP(res)) in RML- or ME7-infected tgGPI⁻ brain were 25-50 times higher than in wild-type brain. When returned to wild-type brain, ME7 prions recovered their original properties, however RML prions had given rise to a novel prion strain, designated SFL, which remained unchanged even after three passages in wild-type mice. Because both RML PrP(Sc) and SFL PrP(Sc) are stably propagated in wild-type mice we propose that the two conformations are separated by a high activation energy barrier which is abrogated in tgGPI⁻ mice.PLoS Pathogens 06/2012; 8(6):e1002746. · 9.13 Impact Factor
Article: Inhibition of protease-resistant prion protein formation in a transformed deer cell line infected with chronic wasting disease[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Chronic wasting disease (CWD) is an emerging transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (prion disease) of North American cervids, i.e., mule deer, white-tailed deer, and elk (wapiti). To facilitate in vitro studies of CWD, we have developed a transformed deer cell line that is persistently infected with CWD. Primary cultures derived from uninfected mule deer brain tissue were transformed by transfection with a plasmid containing the simian virus 40 genome. A transformed cell line (MDB) was exposed to microsomes prepared from the brainstem of a CWD-affected mule deer. CWD-associated, protease-resistant prion protein (PrPCWD) was used as an indicator of CWD infection. Although no PrPCWD was detected in any of these cultures after two passes, dilution cloning of cells yielded one PrPCWD-positive clone out of 51. This clone, designated MDBCWD, has maintained stable PrPCWD production through 32 serial passes thus far. A second round of dilution cloning yielded 20 PrPCWD-positive subclones out of 30, one of which was designated MDBCWD2. The MDBCWD2 cell line was positive for fibronectin and negative for microtubule-associated protein 2 (a neuronal marker) and glial fibrillary acidic protein (an activated astrocyte marker), consistent with derivation from brain fibroblasts (e.g., meningeal fibroblasts). Two inhibitors of rodent scrapie protease-resistant PrP accumulation, pentosan polysulfate and a porphyrin compound, indium (III) meso-tetra(4-sulfonatophenyl)porphine chloride, potently blocked PrPCWD accumulation in MDBCWD cells. This demonstrates the utility of these cells in a rapid in vitro screening assay for PrPCWD inhibitors and suggests that these compounds have potential to be active against CWD in vivo.Journal of Virology 02/2006; · 5.40 Impact Factor