Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Nature. 2005 Jun 9;435(7043):765-72.

Structural insights into a yeast prion illuminate nucleation and strain diversity.

Author information

  • 1Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, 9 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.

Abstract

Self-perpetuating changes in the conformations of amyloidogenic proteins play vital roles in normal biology and disease. Despite intense research, the architecture and conformational conversion of amyloids remain poorly understood. Amyloid conformers of Sup35 are the molecular embodiment of the yeast prion known as [PSI], which produces heritable changes in phenotype through self-perpetuating changes in protein folding. Here we determine the nature of Sup35's cooperatively folded amyloid core, and use this information to investigate central questions in prion biology. Specific segments of the amyloid core form intermolecular contacts in a 'Head-to-Head', 'Tail-to-Tail' fashion, but the 'Central Core' is sequestered through intramolecular contacts. The Head acquires productive interactions first, and these nucleate assembly. Variations in the length of the amyloid core and the nature of intermolecular interfaces form the structural basis of distinct prion 'strains', which produce variant phenotypes in vivo. These findings resolve several problems in yeast prion biology and have broad implications for other amyloids.

PMID:
15944694
PMCID:
PMC1405905
DOI:
10.1038/nature03679
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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 ...
    Support Center