'Protein-only' prions confirmed in FSU yeast study

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.--A key discovery about how prions -- mysterious bits of protein thought to be the cause of mad cow disease and similar brain disorders -- infect healthy cells is being hailed by scientists as a breakthrough in the quest to understand the role of these proteins in neurological diseases.

The findings by two Florida State University scientists are described in the March 18 issue of the journal Nature.

What they found, according to co-discoverer Chih-Yen King, is the "first definitive proof" that prions can transfer heritable traits from one living system to another without the help of gene-carrying DNA or its cousin RNA, compounds called nucleic acids. The finding means that what school kids have been taught for decades -- that DNA is the basis of all heredity, including the transmission of deadly diseases -- now must be revisited, says Donald Caspar, a structural biologist based in FSU's Institute of Molecular Biophysics. King and his co-discoverer, Ruben Diaz-Avalos, are post-doctoral scientists in Caspar's lab.

King and Diaz-Avalos, working with yeast cultures, isolated and identified three different strains of yeast prions, each of which were found to originate from the same protein molecule that, for reasons yet unknown, turned into infectious prions. The team found that these all-protein particles act like genes in transferring life-changing information in yeast cells without relying on DNA or RNA as the information carriers.

Work by Jonathan Weissman at the University of California, San Francisco, whose research also appears in Nature, reached the same conclusions as the FSU scientists, albeit from a different angle. Also using yeast cultures as a model, Weissman's group isolated and identified two distinct yeast prion strains caused by "protein-only" prions.

Collectively, the research helps resolve the most puzzling question in prion research, King said. Since prions were first hypothesized in 1982 by Stanl

Contact: Ross Ellington
Florida State University

Page: 1 2 3

Related biology news :

1. Researchers make major gain in understanding how prions jump species
2. Artificial prions created
3. Fox Chase Cancer Center researcher develops new model for studying prions mad cow disease
4. Study shows prions stick around in certain soils
5. UCSF-led team reports new test improves detection of prions in animals
6. Scientists at the Scripps Research Institute find a way to block prions that cause mad cow disease
7. A dose of prions might slow the progress of prion diseases.
8. Deadly to cattle and humans, prions may help other organisms survive, researchers find
9. Early treatment confirmed as key to stroke recovery
10. Fears of second-hand smoke confirmed
11. New target for skin cancer confirmed

Post Your Comments:

(Date:3/27/2019)... ... 2019 , ... Evan Holden , a shareholder in the Atlanta ... at the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Roundtable on Biomedical Engineering Materials Applications (BEMA), ... firm’s award-winning Pharmaceutical, Medical Device & Health Care Litigation Practice , addressed, “Medical ...
(Date:3/26/2019)... ... March 26, 2019 , ... ... introduce the four recipients of the Society's 2019 Outstanding Achievement Award, Outstanding New ... will be presented at the ASGCT 22nd Annual Meeting . , Outstanding ...
(Date:3/25/2019)... ... March 25, 2019 , ... ... and research genetic testing, today announced a new laboratory services agreement with Clovis ... for cancer. Through this laboratory services agreement, Ambry Genetics and Clovis Oncology ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:4/10/2019)... ... April 10, 2019 , ... ... have locked into multiple agreements to help companies advance their innovations to ... industry, ranging from synthetic biology companies that are gene editing therapeutic cells ...
(Date:4/9/2019)... ... 09, 2019 , ... The American Society of Gene & Cell Therapy ... including a new addition to the presidential line of succession, at the 22nd ... Society's leadership team for a three-year term (2019-2021). , All five incoming members of ...
(Date:4/4/2019)... ... April 02, 2019 , ... ... it would be releasing it’s latest field-ready solution for performing PCR, RT-PCR, qPCR, ... thermocycler Franklin™ pays homage to Rosland Franklin, an English chemist and X-ray crystallographer ...
(Date:3/27/2019)... ... 27, 2019 , ... In honor of National Nutrition Month, Lajollacooks4u has collaborated ... meals and good nutrition. This month, Chef Jodi Abel appeared on two segments ... , The first segment addressed the nutritional value of USDA’s MyPlate, a nutrition guide ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: