Prions – Infectious Proteins With no Nucleic Acids

by Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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    Hello and welcome to Prions. We are going to be diving a little deeper into this topic. And after you've listened to this video, I hope you'll understand two assays for detecting prions. You'll know why Mad Cow Disease and Chronic Wasting Disease may be a threat to the food chain for humans. You’ll comprehend the species barrier to prion infections, and you'll be able to trace the possible origin of prion diseases. Prions cause diseases that we call transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, which I'll now refer to as TSEs, and here are some of the human TSEs: Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease (CJD), Fatal Familial Insomnia (FFI), Gerstmann Straussler syndrome (GSS), Kuru, and variant CJD (vCJD). These are human TSEs, they are also TSEs of animals. TSEs or prion diseases are protein misfolding diseases. They involve the misfolding of a normal cell protein. So let's explore exactly what that means. The normal cell protein involved in TSEs is called the prion protein PrP with the superscript C, which means it's the cellular version. And shown here on the left is the structure of the PrPc protein. It's the normal version. You can see lots of swirls in this protein, those are alpha helices. This protein has high alpha helical content and very low beta sheet content. The pathogenic version of PRP, which is associated with TSEs as shown on the right, is called PrPsc, SC stands for scrapie, because that was the first TSE discovered, and the one where the role of the prion protein was figured it out. This protein is abnormally folded. Now we don't have the structure of this solved, but we think it has a lot of beta sheets and you can see those four long sheets going up and down in green and in yellow, those are beta...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Prions – Infectious Proteins With no Nucleic Acids by Vincent Racaniello, PhD is from the course Microbiology: Advanced. It contains the following chapters:

    • TSE Diseases of Humans
    • TSE Pathogenesis
    • Prion Protein
    • Mad Cow Disease
    • Molecular Test for TSE Prions
    • Chronic Wasting Disease
    • Origins of Prion Diseases
    • Prions: Learning Outcomes

    Author of lecture Prions – Infectious Proteins With no Nucleic Acids

     Vincent Racaniello, PhD

    Vincent Racaniello, PhD

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