Prions and the prion disorders

Prions and the prion disorders One of us remembers sitting in a high school biology class in 1977 being taught about scrapie, a naturally occurring disorder of sheep. The teacher had no particular interest in agriculture, but was pointing out some peculiar characteristics of this disease as a biological curiosity on a wet Friday afternoon. The prion disorders captured the imagination of a range of biologists (including that teacher) well before the epidemic of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and the appearance of a new variant of the human prion disease, Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (CJD), in the UK, because of their extraordinary biology and the unique properties of the infectious agent. We review the results of studies leading to a convergence of evidence that the causative infectious agent, the `prion', is devoid of nucleic acid and is composed of an abnormal isoform of a host-encoded protein, the prion protein (PrP). http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Mammalian Genome Springer Journals

Prions and the prion disorders

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Publisher
Springer-Verlag
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 by Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Subject
Life Sciences; Cell Biology; Animal Genetics and Genomics; Human Genetics
ISSN
0938-8990
eISSN
1432-1777
D.O.I.
10.1007/s003359900807
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

One of us remembers sitting in a high school biology class in 1977 being taught about scrapie, a naturally occurring disorder of sheep. The teacher had no particular interest in agriculture, but was pointing out some peculiar characteristics of this disease as a biological curiosity on a wet Friday afternoon. The prion disorders captured the imagination of a range of biologists (including that teacher) well before the epidemic of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and the appearance of a new variant of the human prion disease, Creutzfeldt Jakob disease (CJD), in the UK, because of their extraordinary biology and the unique properties of the infectious agent. We review the results of studies leading to a convergence of evidence that the causative infectious agent, the `prion', is devoid of nucleic acid and is composed of an abnormal isoform of a host-encoded protein, the prion protein (PrP).

Journal

Mammalian GenomeSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 1, 1998

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