Anti-prion activity of protein-bound polysaccharide K in prion-infected cells and animals

Taichi Hamanaka, Yuji Sakasegawa, Akihiro Ohmoto, Tomohiro Kimura, Takao Ando, Katsumi Doh-ura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Protein-bound polysaccharide K (PSK) is a clinical immunotherapeutic agent that exhibits various biological activities, including anti-tumor and anti-microbial effects. In the present study, we report on the anti-prion activity of PSK. It inhibited the formation of protease-resistant abnormal prion protein in prion-infected cells without any apparent alterations in either the normal prion protein turnover or the autophagic function in the cells. Its anti-prion activity was predominantly composed of the high molecular weight component(s) of the protein portion of PSK. A single subcutaneous dose of PSK slightly but significantly prolonged the survival time of peritoneally prion-infected mice, but PSK-treated mice produced neutralizing antibodies against the anti-prion activity of PSK. These findings suggest that PSK is a new anti-prion substance that may be useful in elucidating the mechanism of prion replication, although the structure of the anti-prion component(s) of PSK requires further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-290
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Feb 11


  • Immunotherapeutic agent
  • Prion
  • Prion-infected cells
  • Protein-bound polysaccharide K

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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