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Nat Rev Microbiol. 2007 Aug;5(8):611-8.

Prions of fungi: inherited structures and biological roles.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Biochemistry and Genetics, National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland 20892-0830, USA. wickner@helix.nih.gov

Abstract

The term 'prion' means an infectious protein that does not need an accompanying nucleic acid. There are six fungal prions, including four self-propagating amyloids and two enzymes that are necessary to activate their inactive precursors. Here we explore the scope of the prion phenomenon, the biological and evolutionary roles of prions, the structural basis of the amyloid prions and the prominent role of chaperones (proteins that affect the folding of other proteins) and other cellular components in prion generation and propagation.

PMID:
17632572
PMCID:
PMC2376760
DOI:
10.1038/nrmicro1708
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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