Biochemistry (Moscow)

, Volume 76, Issue 13, pp 1375–1384

Interspecies transmission of prions

  • E. G. Afanasieva
  • V. V. Kushnirov
  • M. D. Ter-Avanesyan
Review

Abstract

Mammalian prions are infectious agents of proteinaceous nature that cause several incurable neurodegenerative diseases. Interspecies transmission of prions is usually impeded or impossible. Barriers in prion transmission are caused by small interspecies differences in the primary structure of prion proteins. The barriers can also depend on the strain (variant) of a transmitted prion. Interspecies barriers were also shown for yeast prions, which define some heritable phenotypes. Yeast prions reproduce all the main traits of prion transmission barriers observed for mammals. This allowed to show that the barrier in prion transmission can be observed even upon copolymerization of two prionogenic proteins. Available data allow elucidation of the mechanisms that impede prion transmission or make it impossible.

Key words

interspecies barrier prions PrP [PSI+yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae 

Abbreviations

a.a.

amino acid residue

PRNP

gene which encodes the PrP protein

PrP

mammalian prion protein

PrPC

normal cellular form of the prion protein

PrPSc

infectious form of the prion protein

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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. G. Afanasieva
    • 1
  • V. V. Kushnirov
    • 1
  • M. D. Ter-Avanesyan
    • 1
  1. 1.Bach Institute of BiochemistryRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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