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Genetics. 2003 Dec;165(4):1675-85.

Destabilizing interactions among [PSI(+)] and [PIN(+)] yeast prion variants.

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  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Laboratory for Molecular Biology, University of Illinois, Chicago, Illinois 60607, USA.

Erratum in

  • Genetics. 2011 Aug;188(4):1023.


The yeast Sup35 and Rnq1 proteins can exist in either the noninfectious soluble forms, [psi-] or [pin-], respectively, or the multiple infectious amyloid-like forms called [PSI+] or [PIN+] prion variants (or prion strains). It was previously shown that [PSI+] and [PIN+] prions enhance one another's de novo appearance. Here we show that specific prion variants of [PSI+] and [PIN+] disrupt each other's stable inheritance. Acquiring [PSI+] often impedes the inheritance of particular [PIN+] variants. Conversely, the presence of some [PIN+] variants impairs the inheritance of weak [PSI+] but not strong [PSI+] variants. These same [PIN+] variants generate a single-dot fluorescence pattern when a fusion of Rnq1 and green fluorescent protein is expressed. Another [PIN+] variant, which forms a distinctly different multiple-dot fluorescence pattern, does not impair [PSI+] inheritance. Thus, destabilization of prions by heterologous prions depends upon the variants involved. These findings may have implications for understanding interactions among other amyloid-forming proteins, including those associated with certain human diseases.

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