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Nat Rev Neurosci. 2010 Mar;11(3):155-9. doi: 10.1038/nrn2786. Epub 2009 Dec 23.

Prion-like mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, Boston, MA 02115, USA.

Abstract

Many non-infectious neurodegenerative diseases are associated with the accumulation of fibrillar proteins. These diseases all exhibit features that are reminiscent of those of prionopathies, including phenotypic diversity and the propagation of pathology. Furthermore, emerging studies of amyloid-beta, alpha-synuclein and tau--proteins implicated in common neurodegenerative diseases--suggest that they share key biophysical and biochemical characteristics with prions. Propagation of protein misfolding in these diseases may therefore occur through mechanisms similar to those that underlie prion pathogenesis. If this hypothesis is verified in vivo, it will suggest new therapeutic strategies to block propagation of protein misfolding throughout the brain.

PMID:
20029438
PMCID:
PMC3648341
DOI:
10.1038/nrn2786
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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