Two cell lines from mice with 2 different types of spongiform encephalitis—with each expressing the same prion protein with a single amino acid difference—spontaneously created prions that could be transmitted among mice to induce human-like symptoms of their respective diseases, report researchers from institutions in Cambridge and Worcester, Massachusetts (Jackson WS et al. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013;110:14759-14764). A third, normal cell line that differed at the same amino acid did not create transmissible prions.
Hampton T. Researchers Trigger Prion Formation in Mouse Models of Disease. JAMA. 2013;310(13):1331. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.279213