Franziska Wopfner

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The critical initial event in the pathophysiology of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) appears to be the conversion of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)) into the abnormal isoform PrP(Sc). This isoform forms high-molecular-weight protease K (PK) resistant aggregates that accumulate in the central nervous system of affected individuals. We(More)
The mechanisms underlying prion-linked neurodegeneration remain to be elucidated, despite several recent advances in this field. Herein, we show that soluble, low molecular weight oligomers of the full-length prion protein (PrP), which possess characteristics of PrP to PrPsc conversion intermediates such as partial protease resistance, are neurotoxic in(More)
Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders in man and animal associated with conformational conversion of a cellular prion protein (PrPc) into the pathologic isoform (PrPSc). The function of PrPcand the tertiary structure of PrPScare unclear. Various data indicate which parts of PrP might control the species barrier in prion diseases and the(More)
Prion diseases are neurodegenerative infectious disorders for which no prophylactic regimens are known. In order to induce antibodies/auto-antibodies directed against surface-located PrP(c), we used a covalently linked dimer of mouse prion protein expressed recombinantly in Escherichia coli. Employing dimeric PrP as an immunogen we were able to effectively(More)
Chromosome studies were performed on lymphocyte cultures from the peripheral blood of 43 patients undergoing a cytostatic interval therapy with a regimen of methyl-CCNU, 5-fluorouracil, and vincristine. From a total of 229 individual examinations (30 prior to the start of therapy, the rest at different stages of the therapy) more than 23 000 metaphases were(More)
Prion diseases are characterized by the deposition of an abnormal form (termed PrP(Sc)) of the cellular prion protein (PrP(C)). Because antibodies to PrP(C) can antagonize deposition of PrP(Sc) in cultured cells and mice, they may be useful for anti-prion therapy. However, induction of protective anti-prion immune responses in WT animals may be hindered by(More)
Both prion protein and the structurally homologous protein doppel are associated with neurodegenerative disease by mechanisms which remain elusive. We have prepared murine doppel, and a mutant with one of the two disulphide bonds removed, in the expectation of increasing the similarity of doppel to prion protein in terms of conformation and stability.(More)
The fear of malevolent use of variola virus by terrorists has led to the implementation of a health care worker vaccination program and to the consideration of vaccination for the general public. However, due to concerns about side effects of the classical smallpox vaccine, especially for immunocompromised individuals, a safer vaccine is urgently needed. We(More)