The Indiana kindred variant of Gerstmann-Sträussler-Scheinker disease has amyloid plaques that contain prion protein (PrP), but is atypical because neurofibrillary tangles like those of Alzheimer disease are present. To map the position of the disease causing gene, we used three markers for linkage analyses. A missense mutation at codon 198 of the PrP gene (PRNP) is found in all definitely affected individuals and yields a maximum lod score of 6.37 (θ= 0). The disease also is concordant with the two other PRNP-region markers. These results demonstrate tight linkage of the disease-causing gene to PRNP and support the hypothesis that the codon 198 mutation is the cause of IK-GSS. Our studies also suggest that methionine/valine heterozygotes at PRNP codon 129 have a later age of onset of the disease than codon 129 valine/valine homozygotes.
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