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Neuron. 2006 May 4;50(3):353-7.

New insights into prion structure and toxicity.

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1
Department of Cell Biology and Physiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.

Abstract

Prion diseases in humans and animals are due to conformational conversion of PrP(C), a cellular glycoprotein of unknown function, into PrP(Sc), an isoform that appears to be infectious in the absence of nucleic acids. Proteins that behave as prions are also found in yeast and filamentous fungi. Although there is now strong experimental support for the hypothesis that prions are infectious proteins, two subjects have remained poorly understood: the structure of prions, and the mechanisms by which they kill neurons. In this review, we will highlight recent studies that shed new light on these important issues.

PMID:
16675391
DOI:
10.1016/j.neuron.2006.04.020
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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