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Protein Branded As Culprit in Mad Cow Disease
Date:6/11/2009

s studies on laboratory mice done by the researchers had found that brain deterioration follows when cytoplasm contains too much PrP.

To further solidify this finding, a subsequent study on mice with Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker (GSS) Syndrome -- a rare neurodegenerative disease in which PrP is found in cell cytoplasm -- found that some brain cells lacked Mahogunin in these mice. A similar Mahogunin depletion did not occur if the scientists altered the PrP to avoid contact with the cytoplasm.

"PrP probably interferes with other proteins, too. But our findings strongly suggest that the loss of Mahogunin is an important factor," study co-author Dr. Ramanujan S. Hegde, of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development's cell biology and metabolism program, said in the news release.

More information

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has more about mad cow disease.



-- Kevin McKeever



SOURCE: National Institutes of Health, news release, June 11, 2009


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