Navigation Links
Strongest proof yet found for prion hypothesis

UTMB scientists offer strongest evidence yet that infectious misformed proteins cause mad cow disease and other mysterious brain disorders

Researchers at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) have produced the strongest proof yet that the mysterious and devastating brain diseases known as "transmissible spongiform encephalopathies" (TSEs) are transmitted by an infectious agent composed only of a malformed protein, and not a virus. TSEs, which can afflict both human beings and animals, include mad cow disease, new-variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome, scrapie, kuru and chronic wasting disease.

This controversial "prion hypothesis" was proposed by Stanley Prusiner in 1982, and led to Prusiner receiving the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1997. Until now, however, scientists have been unable to confirm its validity by causing a TSE in normal lab animals by infecting them with malformed proteins (dubbed "prions" by Prusiner) created entirely in a test tube. Such an approach eliminates the possibility that some other agent might be causing the disease.

In a paper scheduled to appear in the journal Cell on April 21, the UTMB researchers describe the use of a method they developed called "protein misfolding cyclic amplification" (PMCA) to vastly accelerate the activity of a small number of prions taken from infected hamsters and placed in test tubes containing healthy brain proteins. When the healthy proteins had been largely transformed into prions, the samples were diluted over and over again and the process repeated, until the only remaining prions were those that had been generated in the test tubes. These were then injected into the brains of healthy hamsters, which began showing TSE symptoms within four months and, on average, died less than six months after inoculation.

"For many years, people have tried to make these infectious prions in test tubes, because what is needed to prove the prion hypothesis completely is to be able to produce this process in vitro in the absence of living cells and thus rule out the presence of a virus," said Claudio Soto, professor of neurology at UTMB and senior author of the paper. "The evidence in favor of the prion hypothesis was strong, but the final proof was still missing. Now we have supplied this proof."

Soto emphasized that a tremendous increase in efficiency of the PMCA technology played a crucial role in the work of his team, which included study co-authors Joaquín Castilla, Paula Saá and Claudio Hetz. By mimicking the natural mechanism of prion formation but doing so at a much higher rate, PMCA made it possible to produce the large quantities of prion protein necessary for the success of the experiments and opened the door to further TSE studies. According to Soto, it should also soon facilitate creating a much-needed blood test for prions, which would greatly improve current surveillance techniques for mad cow disease and its human form, new-variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome.


'"/>

Source:University of Texas Medical Branch


Related biology news :

1. Experiments provide proof of how traveling in groups protects insects
2. Experiments provide proof of how traveling in groups protects insects
3. Scientists find fossil proof of Egypts ancient climate
4. Researchers offer proof-of-concept for Altered Nuclear Transfer
5. New component of the brakes on nerve regeneration found
6. A puzzle piece found in unraveling the wiring of the brain
7. New World founders small in number
8. Norovirus found to cause travelers diarrhea
9. Pair of cancer genes found to drive both cell migration and division
10. Alien woodwasp, threat to US pine trees, found in N.Y.
11. Achilles heel of the herpes virus possibly found
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:3/21/2016)... Unique technology combines v ... security   Xura, Inc. ... digital communications services, today announced it is working alongside ... customers, particularly those in the Financial Services Sector, the ... within a mobile app, alongside, and in combination with, ...
(Date:3/15/2016)... March 15, 2016 --> ... by Transparency Market Research "Digital Door Lock Systems Market - ... - 2023," the global digital door lock systems market in ... 2014 and is forecast to grow at a CAGR of ... small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) across the world and high ...
(Date:3/14/2016)... 2016 http://www.apimages.com ) - ... - Renvoi : image disponible via AP Images ... --> DERMALOG, le leader de ... lecteurs d,empreintes digitales pour l,enregistrement des réfugiés en ... pour produire des cartes d,identité aux réfugiés. DERMALOG ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/27/2016)... ... April 27, 2016 , ... Global Stem Cells ... of an Asia-Pacific Symposium as other research and development initiatives for potential stem cell ... and top Global Stem Cells Group executives began meeting to establish a working agenda ...
(Date:4/27/2016)... 2016 ReportsnReports.com adds 2016 ... focus on US, EU, China ... the healthcare business intelligence collection of its growing ... report on the Flow Cytometry market spread across ... 282 tables and figures is now available at ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... 26, 2016 , ... BaseHealth , the comprehensive predictive ... as Chief Business Officer. Arianpour, a genomics pioneer and visionary commercial leader with ... recently Chief Commercial Officer of Pathway Genomics. He has held senior executive roles ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Heidelberg Instruments, a leader in design, development ... Volume Pattern Generator (VPG) line of lithography systems. The breakthrough VPG+ system is ... a solution for mid volume direct write lithography applications. It utilizes the ...
Breaking Biology Technology: