Modulation of proteinase-K resistant prion protein by prion peptide immunization

Lina Souan, Yuval Tal, Yacov Felling, Irun R. Cohen*, Albert Taraboulos, Felix Mor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Prion diseases are caused by conformational alterations in the prion protein (PrP). The immune system has been assumed to be non-responsive to the self-prion protein, therefore, PrP autoimmunity has not been investigated. Here, we immunized various strains of mice with PrP peptides, some selected to fit the MHC class II-peptide binding motif. We found that specific PrP peptides elicited strong immune responses in NOD, C57BL/6 and A/J mice. To test the functional effect of this immunization, we examined the expression of proteinase-K-resistant PrP by a scrapie-infected tumor transplanted to immunized syngeneic A/J mice. PrP peptide vaccination did not affect the growth of the infected tumor transplant, but significantly reduced the level of protease-resistant PrP. Our results demonstrate that self-PrP peptides are immunogenic in mice and suggest that this immune response might affect PrP-scrapie levels in certain conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2338-2346
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Antibody
  • Neuroblastoma
  • T cell


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