Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cellular stress can induce yeast to promote prion formation

25.07.2011
It's a chicken and egg question. Where do the infectious protein particles called prions come from?

Essentially clumps of misfolded proteins, prions cause neurodegenerative disorders, such as mad cow/Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, in humans and animals. Prions trigger the misfolding and aggregation of their properly folded protein counterparts, but they usually need some kind of "seed" to get started.

Biochemists at Emory University School of Medicine have identified a yeast protein called Lsb2 that can promote spontaneous prion formation. This unstable, short-lived protein is strongly induced by cellular stresses such as heat. Lsb2's properties also illustrate how cells have developed ways to control and regulate prion formation. Research in yeast has shown that sometimes, prions can actually help cells adapt to different conditions.

The results are published in the July 22 issue of the journal Molecular Cell. The senior author is Keith Wilkinson, PhD, professor of biochemistry at Emory University School of Medicine The first author is senior associate Tatiana Chernova, PhD.

The aggregated form of proteins connected with several other neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington's can, in some circumstances, act like prions. So the Emory team's finding provides insight into how the ways that cells deal with stress might lead to poisonous protein aggregation in human diseases.

"A direct human homolog of Lsb2 doesn't exist, but there may be a protein that performs the same function," Wilkinson says. "The mechanism may say more about other types of protein aggregates than about classical prions in humans, This mechanism of seeding and growth may be more important for aggregate formation in diseases such as Huntington's."

Lsb2 does not appear to form stable prions by itself. Rather, it seems to bind to and encourage the aggregation of another protein, Sup35, which does form prions.

"Our model is that stress induces high levels of Lsb2, which allows the accumulation of misfolded prion proteins," Wilkinson says. "Lsb2 protects enough of these newborn prion particles from the quality control machinery for a few of them to get out."

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Reference:

T.A. Chernova et al. Prion Induction by the Short-lived Stress Induced Protein Lsb2 Is Regulated by Ubiquitination and Association with the Actin Cytoskeleton Mol. Cell (2011).

Holly Korschun | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.emory.edu

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein
24.01.2017 | Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY

nachricht Choreographing the microRNA-target dance
24.01.2017 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>