Prions Cause Fatal Neurological Diseases in the Brain of Animals and Humans

556 Words Feb 26th, 2018 2 Pages
They are the ones that cause the well-known “mad cow” disease in Britain and “Scarpie” for animals. Prions act slowly, and are virtually indestructible.
Prions enter the brain through infection, or they can arise from mutations in the gene that encodes the protein. When a prion (misfolded form of protein normally present in brain cells) enters a cell with a normal protein structure, the prion converts the normal protein structures into a misfolded prion version. Many prions continue to add up forming a complex that converts other protein structures to prions. When all the prions add up they interfere with normal cellular functions and cause disease symptoms. Prions can also spread from one organism to another. They can be transmitted in food, as may occur when people eat prion-laden beef from cattle with mad cow disease.
Prion-like proteins are normal proteins with similar prion-like domains which may also be involved in diseases of the brain or other organs. Seeded protein aggregation will lead to many more diseases of the brain. In contrast to prions being simple infection in yeast cells prion-forming proteins initiate cell process such as the central dogma. The prion-like proteins may not be widely pathogenic…

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