Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Two alleles of a neural protein gene linked to scrapie in sheep.

Abstract

Scrapie-associated fibrils and their major protein, prion protein (PrP) accumulate in the brains of all species affected by scrapie and related diseases. PrP is encoded by a single gene that is linked to (and may be) the major gene controlling the incubation period of the various strains of scrapie pathogens. To investigate the role of PrP in natural scrapie, its gene structure and expression in the sheep were determined. Two sheep genomic DNA clones that encode proteins of 256 amino acids with high homology to the PrPs of other species were isolated. Sheep PrPs had an arginine/glutamine polymorphism at position 171 that may be related to the alleles of the scrapie incubation-control gene in this species.