Navigation Links
Tracking prions

This release is available in German.

Infectious proteins known as prions have been identified as the cause of "mad cow" disease (BSE). The culprits are "incorrectly folded" proteins that can "infect" healthy proteins. The molecular bases for such prion diseases are not yet fully understood. Why are some proteins infectious while others are not? A team headed by Beat Meier (ETH Zurich, Switzerland) and Raimon Sabat (University of Bordeaux, France) has examined two different forms of a prion-forming protein domain by means of NMR spectroscopy. In the journal Angewandte Chemie, the researchers report that the infectious and non-infectious forms differ markedly in their molecular structure.

The word prion is derived from the term Proteinaceous Infectious Particle. These are proteins that can fold in different ways. Pathogenic prions are dangerous because they can convert physiological, non-pathogenic molecules into the diseased form. Often, prions largely consist of -sheet structures. These are accordion-like folded protein ribbons that can easily aggregate into thread-like structures (amyloid fibrils).

The research team took on the prion-forming domain of the fungal protein HET-s. At a pH value of 7under physiological conditionsthis domain forms infectious fibrils. In acidic solution, at pH 3, it also forms fibrils, but these are not infectious.

By using nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), the team was able to get a closer look at this protein. NMR allows for the evaluation of interactions of the nuclear spins of specific atomic nuclei with each other and their chemical surroundings, which gives information about the structure and dynamics of molecules and molecular fragments.

Here's what the researchers found: The spectra of the pH 7 and pH 3 versions of the prion differ significantly. Both are mainly arranged in the rigid -sheet structure, but up close the structures diverge widely. Particularly striking is the fact that the infectious pH 7 form has highly flexible loops in addition to the rigid domains. These are absent from the non-infectious pH 3 prions.

"The lack of infectiousness of the pH 3 fibrils is thus related to the fact that their molecular structure is significantly different from that of the fibrils formed at physiological pH," the researchers conclude.


Contact: Beat Meier

Related biology news :

1. Tracking feline memories on the move
2. Louisiana Tech researchers investigate tracking, sensors to assist Air Force
3. NIH recognizes Clemson nanotechnology for molecule tracking
4. GestureTek/Imagination Launch AirPoint, Worlds First Hand-Tracking Unit, for Shell Group.
5. Tracking stroke
6. Tracking influenzas every movement
7. Prions and retroviruses -- an unholy alliance?
8. Prions show their good side
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Tracking prions
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016   The Weather Company , ... Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers will be ... able to ask questions via voice or text and receive ... Marketers have long sought an advertising ... that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and can scale ...
(Date:5/16/2016)... YORK , May 16, 2016   EyeLock ... solutions, today announced the opening of an IoT Center ... to strengthen and expand the development of embedded iris ... an unprecedented level of convenience and security with unmatched ... authenticate one,s identity aside from DNA. EyeLock,s platform uses ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... First quarter 2016:   , Revenues amounted to ... of 2015 The gross margin was 49% (27) ... operating margin was 40% (-13) Earnings per share rose ... was SEK 249.9 M (21.2) , Outlook   ... The operating margin for 2016 is estimated to exceed ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... - BIOREM Inc. (TSX-V: BRM) ("Biorem" or "the Company") announces ... Clean Technology Fund I, LP and Clean Technology Fund ... venture capital funds which together hold approximately 59% of ... as converted basis), that they have entered into an ... in Biorem to TUS Holdings Co. Ltd. ("TUS") ( ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... Rolf K. ... the faculty of the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School ... entrepreneurship at UNC Kenan-Flagler, with a focus on the school’s international efforts, leading ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use the ... models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent flow ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ - FACIT ... Ontario biotechnology company, Propellon Therapeutics ... development and commercialization of a portfolio of first-in-class ... Epigenetic targets such as WDR5 represent an exciting ... significantly in precision medicine for cancer patients. Substantial ...
Breaking Biology Technology: