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14-3-3 protein

Last revised by Dr Jeremy Jones on 25 Aug 2021

14-3-3 proteins are found in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and are currently used to help identify patients with sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sCJD)

Seven distinct 14-3-3 proteins have been found in humans.

In diagnosing sCJD, the sensitivity of 14-3-3 protein is 92%, and its specificity is 80% 1. A negative 14-3-3 assay may help reduce the suspicion of sCJD.

Results need to be correlated with the patient's history as CSF 14-3-3 can be falsely positive in acute stroke, encephalitis, and other dementias 1.

History and etymology

The unusual name of the protein family derived from the time of the first protein's discovery when it was found to distribute in the 14th fraction when eluted with DEAE chromatography, and then within fraction 3.3 after additional analysis with gel electrophoresis 4.

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1: Sporadic Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease
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  • Case 2: Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (sporadic)
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