Display Settings:

Format

Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Trends Biochem Sci. 2011 Mar;36(3):151-8. doi: 10.1016/j.tibs.2010.11.001. Epub 2010 Dec 3.

Prion hypothesis: the end of the controversy?

Author information

  • Mitchell Center for Alzheimer's Disease and Related Brain Disorders, Department of Neurology, The University of Texas Medical school at Houston, 6431 Fannin St, Houston, TX 77030, USA. Claudio.Soto@uth.tmc.edu

Abstract

Forty-three years have passed since it was first proposed that a protein could be the sole component of the infectious agent responsible for the enigmatic prion diseases. Many discoveries have strongly supported the prion hypothesis, but only recently has this once heretical hypothesis been widely accepted by the scientific community. In the past 3 years, researchers have achieved the 'Holy Grail' demonstration that infectious material can be generated in vitro using completely defined components. These breakthroughs have proven that a misfolded protein is the active component of the infectious agent, and that propagation of the disease and its unique features depend on the self-replication of the infectious folding of the prion protein. In spite of these important discoveries, it remains unclear whether another molecule besides the misfolded prion protein might be an essential element of the infectious agent. Future research promises to reveal many more intriguing features about the rogue prions.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

PMID:
21130657
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3056934
Free PMC Article

Images from this publication.See all images (2)Free text

Figure 1
Figure 2
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk