HOME >> BIOLOGY >> NEWS
Prions may play crucial role in evolution.

Prions, abnormally folded proteins associated with several bizarre human diseases, may hold the key to a major mystery in evolution: how survival skills that require multiple genetic changes arise all at once when each genetic change by itself would be unsuccessful and even harmful.

In a study in the September 28, 2000, issue of Nature researchers at the Howard Hughes Institute at the University of Chicago describe a prion-dependent mechanism that seems perfectly suited to solving this dilemma, at least for yeast. It allows yeast to stockpile an arsenal of genetic variation and then release it to express a host of novel characteristics, including the ability to grow well in altered environments.

"We found that a heritable genetic element based on protein folding, not encoded in DNA or RNA, allows yeast to acquire many silent changes in their genome and suddenly reveal them," said Susan Lindquist, Ph.D., professor of molecular genetics and cell biology at the University of Chicago, Howard Hughes Investigator and principal author of the study.

There are thousands of proteins in every cell and each one has to fold into just the right shape in order to function. In prion diseases, which include mad cow disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, a normal cell protein, PrP, assumes an abnormal shape.

Mis-folded proteins are usually just degraded, but the prion protein causes other PrP proteins to mis-fold, too, creating a protein-folding chain reaction. Thus, they act as infectious agents. As more and more of the proteins fold into the prion shape, they form inactive aggregates which lead to dysfunction and disease.

A few years ago geneticists made the startling discovery that yeast, the organism found in bread and beer, has prions, too. Yeast prions are unrelated to the mammalian prions, and dont harm humans or yeast. They do, however, have the unusual property of mis-folding in the same peculiar way and spreading their change in
'"/>

Contact: Jeanne Galatzer-Levy
jgalatz@uchospitals.edu
773-702-6241
University of Chicago Medical Center
27-Sep-2000


Page: 1 2 3 4

Related biology news :

1. Prions act as stepping stones in evolution
2. Prions offer nanotech building tool
3. Prions are modular
4. New Evidence On How Prions Turn Fatal
5. University Of California-San Francisco Researchers Report Test That Detects Prion Diseases, Illuminates Novel Findings About Infectious Prions
6. The telomere crisis: A crucial stage in breast cancer
7. UNC scientists uncover crucial mechanism for blood vessel development
8. When combining new oral anti-cancer agents with standard chemotherapy, timing may be crucial
9. UNC researchers identify protein crucial to gene silencing
10. Scientists map signaling molecule crucial to survival, disease
11. Researchers identify molecular signaling system that is crucial for plant fertility

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:8/2/2018)... ... August 02, 2018 , ... RxS LLC (“RxS”), a privately ... announced that Mark Jara, principal of the organization, has been named to PharmaVOICE ... Individuals named to PharmaVOICE 100 are leaders who drive the industry forward and ...
(Date:8/1/2018)... Md. (PRWEB) , ... August 01, 2018 , ... ... software portfolio, announces the release of Limfinity® version 7.1. Limfinity® is the software ... to Limfinity® itself creates new possibilities for both current users and the future ...
(Date:8/1/2018)... JUPITER, Fla. (PRWEB) , ... August 01, 2018 ... ... “YOU” the staff NP, PA’s, RN’s, LPN’s, MA's and Administrative staff. , This ... processing of all the biologics. The course will expose your staff to regenerative ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:7/25/2018)... ... July 25, 2018 , ... ... managing clinical trial patient and supplies data through its flagship IXRS® 3 ... IRT: Best Practices.” , This podcast features both Almac thought leaders and outside ...
(Date:7/24/2018)... ... July 24, 2018 , ... R3 Stem Cell is ... Vegas. The treatments are offered by Double Board Certified providers, with outcomes significantly improving ... with suppressing symptoms, but have done nothing to help repair and regenerate damaged lung ...
(Date:7/22/2018)... ... July 19, 2018 , ... CallTower ... joined their team. With more than ten years of strategic, result-oriented Channel experience ... expertise as CallTower’s Channel Director for the Southwest and Mountain region. , As ...
(Date:7/22/2018)... ... July 20, 2018 , ... ... automation and IT solutions with 150 employees on both the east and west ... Program. Superior Controls met the high criteria for application expertise, operational excellence ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: