Navigation Links
Medical researchers in Canada and the US discover hidden side of prion diseases
Date:11/30/2011

Medical researchers in Canada and the United States recently published their joint findings that fatal prion diseases, which include BSE or "mad cow disease," have a hidden signature.

Findings published this month in the peer-reviewed journal, Public Library of Science (PLoS) Pathogens, demonstrate that up to seven months before an animal shows physical signs of having a prion infection, a particular prion protein in the brain was being eradicated. This member of the prion family is known as shadoo protein.

"What we discovered is that as the early prion disease process unfolds in an infected brain, that the shadoo protein is simultaneously disappearing," said lead author and co-principal investigator, David Westaway, a researcher in the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta.

"This is telling us there is a process within the disease that we were previously unaware of, a process that is happening before the infected animals are getting sick. It's telling us that the brain cells are more active in defending themselves than what we thought they were. The brain cells are in fact trying to get rid of the prion protein and as a consequence, this bystander shadoo protein is being destroyed unintentionally.

"This finding suggests that prion diseases are dynamic and not necessarily unstoppable, that there could be a cellular process trying to destroy the infectious prions as they appear. And if we could help that process a little bit more, that might be an avenue to attenuate the disease."

Westaway, who works in both the Division of Neurology of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry, and the Centre for Prions and Protein Folding Diseases at the U of A, collaborated with a team of researchers from Ontario, the University of California, the Institute for Systems Biology in Washington, the McLaughlin Research Institute in Montana and a researcher in Germany, on this discovery.

The same day this paper was published, very similar findings were published by a team of researchers from the University of California, which demonstrates "these new chemical changes are a concrete and reproducible hallmark of prion disease," says Westaway.

Co-principal investigator George Carlson, from the McLaughlin Research Institute, added: "Given that shadoo may be destroyed by a process that actually targets infectious prions, it was surprising that when we increased the amount of shadoo in laboratory models that the course of disease was not changed. We need to understand why."

The next step for Westaway's research team is to determine why this shadoo protein is disappearing.

The finding opens up a new window of research opportunities.

"We need to better understand this. We want to solve this mystery," he says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Raquel Maurier
raquel.maurier@ualberta.ca
780-492-5986
University of Alberta Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Roche NimbleGen and BGI develop advanced MHC region capture technology for biomedical research
2. New medical, research tool possible by probing cell mechanics
3. University Hospitals Case Medical Center unlocks mystery of dystonia with advanced imaging
4. Advanced Medical Care for At-Risk Newborns Nets Economic Benefits
5. Biotech start-up brings DNA-sequencing to the medical market
6. Medical researchers make important research link between active ingredient in saffron and MS
7. Athens Regional Medical Center Upgrades to Omnicell G4 Platform for Supply and Medication Management
8. Manufacturing microscale medical devices for faster tissue engineering
9. Lung regeneration closer to reality with new discovery by Weill Cornell Medical College researchers
10. 21 Fellows inducted into American College of Medical Informatics
11. Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center review the microbiome and its possible role in cancers
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/22/2016)... ANGELES , June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... identity management and verification solutions, has partnered ... edge software solutions for Visitor Management, Self-Service ... provides products that add functional enhancements ... partnership provides corporations and venues with an ...
(Date:6/20/2016)... 2016 Securus Technologies, a leading provider ... public safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that ... has secured the final acceptance by all three ... Access Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have ... installed by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... innovation leader in attendance control systems is proud to announce the introduction of fingerprint ... sure the right employees are actually signing in, and to even control the opening ... ... ... Photo ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Houston Methodist Willowbrook Hospital has signed ... to serve as their official health care provider. ... will provide sponsorship support, athletic training services, and ... volunteers, athletes and families. "We are ... and to bring Houston Methodist quality services and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, the Industry Network ... Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design Lab’s mission is ... projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The Design Lab is ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016 Andrew ... http://doi.org/10.17925/OHR.2016.12.01.22 Published recently in ... journal from touchONCOLOGY, Andrew D Zelenetz , ... cancer care is placing an increasing burden on ... biologic therapies. With the patents on many biologics ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 22, 2016  Amgen (NASDAQ: AMGN ) ... QB3@953 life sciences incubator to accelerate the development ... laboratory space at QB3@953 was created to help high-potential ... for many early stage organizations - access to laboratory ... Amgen launched two "Amgen Golden Ticket" awards, providing each ...
Breaking Biology Technology: