Bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) involves insertion/deletion (in/del) polymorphisms in the prion protein gene (PRNP) promoter region that are associated with vulnerability to disease progression. Recently, a second member of the prion gene family, prion-like protein gene (PRND), has been reported to show the PRND R132Q polymorphism, which is associated with the susceptibility to BSE in German Fleckvieh breeds. The objective of this study was to examine the genotype, allele, and haplotype frequencies of PRND gene in Korean cattle and evaluate their susceptibility to BSE. We did this in 277 Korean native cattle (Hanwoo) and 124 Korean dairy cattle (Holstein) by direct sequencing and compared the R132Q genotype frequency between BSE-affected German cattle and Korean cattle. The results indicated a total of 5 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) including PRND c.149G > A (p.50Arg > His; R50H), PRND c.285C > T (C4819T), PRND c.395G > A (p.132Arg > Gln; R132Q) and PRND c.528T > A (T5063A) in the open reading frame (ORF) and c.602C > G in the 3′ untranslated region (UTR) of exon 2 in Korean Holstein and Hanwoo cattle. Except for c.149G > A, the remaining 4 SNPs showed significantly different genotype and allele frequencies between the Korean Holstein and Hanwoo (P < 0·01). There were no significant differences in genotype distribution of c.395G > A SNP between BSE-affected German and Korean Holstein cattle (P = 0·6778), but a significant difference was detected between BSE-affected German cattle and Hanwoo cattle (P = 0·0028). The results suggest that Hanwoo cattle may possess a relatively more BSE-resistant genotype than Korean Holstein cattle.