Navigation Links
Cellular stress can induce yeast to promote prion formation

It's a chicken and egg question. Where do the infectious protein particles called prions come from? Essentially clumps of misfolded proteins, prions cause neurodegenerative disorders, such as mad cow/Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, in humans and animals. Prions trigger the misfolding and aggregation of their properly folded protein counterparts, but they usually need some kind of "seed" to get started.

Biochemists at Emory University School of Medicine have identified a yeast protein called Lsb2 that can promote spontaneous prion formation. This unstable, short-lived protein is strongly induced by cellular stresses such as heat. Lsb2's properties also illustrate how cells have developed ways to control and regulate prion formation. Research in yeast has shown that sometimes, prions can actually help cells adapt to different conditions.

The results are published in the July 22 issue of the journal Molecular Cell. The senior author is Keith Wilkinson, PhD, professor of biochemistry at Emory University School of Medicine The first author is senior associate Tatiana Chernova, PhD.

The aggregated form of proteins connected with several other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's can, in some circumstances, act like prions. So the Emory team's finding provides insight into how the ways that cells deal with stress might lead to poisonous protein aggregation in human diseases.

"A direct human homolog of Lsb2 doesn't exist, but there may be a protein that performs the same function," Wilkinson says. "The mechanism may say more about other types of protein aggregates than about classical prions in humans, This mechanism of seeding and growth may be more important for aggregate formation in diseases such as Huntington's."

Lsb2 does not appear to form stable prions by itself. Rather, it seems to bind to and encourage the aggregation of another protein, Sup35, which does form prions.

"Our model is that stress induces high levels of Lsb2, which allows the accumulation of misfolded prion proteins," Wilkinson says. "Lsb2 protects enough of these newborn prion particles from the quality control machinery for a few of them to get out."


Contact: Holly Korschun
Emory University

Related biology news :

1. Researchers provide means of monitoring cellular interactions
2. Development of a FRET sensor for real-time imaging of intracellular redox dynamics
3. How muscle develops: A dance of cellular skeletons
4. Harvard scientists see the early cellular cause of dry eye disease for the first time
5. Thalidomide shows efficacy as adjuvant therapy for hepatocellular carcinoma patients
6. WSU proves extracellular matrix tugging creates come hither stimulus for cancer migration
7. Extracting cellular engines may aid in understanding mitochondrial diseases
8. New book highlights the cellular and molecular determinants of brain wiring
9. Some cancer drugs may block cellular cross talk but not kill cancer cells
10. BUSM researchers uncover cellular mechanism responsible for chronic inflammation, Type 2 diabetes
11. Massachusetts General Hospitals Warren Triennial Prize to honor pioneers of cellular reprogramming
Post Your Comments:
(Date:4/11/2017)... 2017 No two people are believed ... New York University Tandon School of Engineering and ... that partial similarities between prints are common enough ... phones and other electronic devices can be more ... lies in the fact that fingerprint-based authentication systems ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... -- The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces the ... and dynamic digital window into the human cell. The ... of deep learning to create predictive models of cell ... growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell Explorer ... available resources created and shared by the Allen Institute ...
(Date:4/4/2017)... NEW YORK , April 4, 2017   ... solutions, today announced that the United States Patent and ... The patent broadly covers the linking of an iris ... the same transaction) and represents the company,s 45 th ... our latest patent is very timely given the multi-modal ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/12/2017)... , ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... today announced the three Winners and six Finalists of the 2017 Blavatnik Regional ... by the Blavatnik Family Foundation and administered by the New York Academy of ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... ... United States multicenter, prospective clinical study that demonstrates the accuracy of the ... of identifying clinically significant acute bacterial and viral respiratory tract infections by ...
(Date:10/12/2017)... ... October 12, 2017 , ... AMRI, a global contract ... to improve patient outcomes and quality of life, will now be offering its ... attributed to new regulatory requirements for all new drug products, including the finalization ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... ... Andi Purple announced Dr. Suneel I. Sheikh, the co-founder, CEO and chief research ... Inc. has been selected for membership in ARCS Alumni Hall of Fame ...
Breaking Biology Technology: