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Redefining what it means to be a prion
Date:4/2/2009

changes drastically. Various prions in the yeast cells may switch from inactive to active or active to inactive to help the cells survive under water. Some of those activation switches help the yeast, but some do not.

"We think that the fact that prions are sometimes beneficial and sometimes detrimental for the yeast is at the heart of their biology that they present a sort of bet-hedging strategy, where in some circumstances it's good to be in the prion state and in some cases it's not," says Whitehead Member and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator Susan Lindquist.

This research opens several additional avenues of study, including the application of similar strategies to find additional yeast prions, thorough testing of prions in vivo and in vitro, and scanning of other organisms' genomes for prion candidates.


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Contact: Nicole Giese
giese@wi.mit.edu
617-258-6851
Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2 3

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