Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Dec;11(12):823-33. doi: 10.1038/nrm3007. Epub 2010 Nov 17.

The prion hypothesis: from biological anomaly to basic regulatory mechanism.

Author information

  • 1Kent Fungal Group, School of Biosciences, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent CT2 7NJ, UK. M.F.Tuite@kent.ac.uk

Abstract

Prions are unusual proteinaceous infectious agents that are typically associated with a class of fatal degenerative diseases of the mammalian brain. However, the discovery of fungal prions, which are not associated with disease, suggests that we must now consider the effect of these factors on basic cellular physiology in a different light. Fungal prions are epigenetic determinants that can alter a range of cellular processes, including metabolism and gene expression pathways, and these changes can lead to a range of prion-associated phenotypes. The mechanistic similarities between prion propagation in mammals and fungi suggest that prions are not a biological anomaly but instead could be a newly appreciated and perhaps ubiquitous regulatory mechanism.

Comment in

PMID:
21081963
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3003427
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Nature Publishing Group Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk