Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Protein involved in ’mad cow’ disease

19.10.2005


The scientific magazine Brain Research has recently published the results of research work by scientists from the University of Navarra. The work describes the presence and location of the cellular prion protein (PrPC) in the brain of the rat and characterises the neurones expressed therein, above all within the cerebral cortex of this rodent. The authors are José Luis Velayos and Francisco José Moleres, research scientists at the Department of Anatomy at the University of Navarra.



The PrPC is a normal physiological protein, especially present in the central nervous system, including that of the human, with functions that are little known as yet. Altered prionic proteins, pathogens, infectants, i.e. prions, are responsible for spongiform encephalopathies, amongst these being bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE or mad cow disease). In order to operate, prions require the presence of the PrPC. Thus, the importance of this investigation for the location of the PrPC in the central nervous system.

Knowing where in the central nervous system the prions operate


Locating the PrPC meant being able to identify which places in the central nervous system the prions operate. The findings enabled the research team to establish that the PrPC is a protein involved in the neuronal metabolism of calcium. Moreover, the existence of neurones without PrPC and surrounded by perineuronal nests breaks with the hypothesis, to date, that the disappearance of such nests – a special form of extracellular matrix – is a primary event in the course of spongiform encephalopathies; rather it is secondary event.

According to the researchers’ observations, the loss of these nests and consequent neuronal death are due to the damage produced after the appearance of the prions in the brain, where they act upon such perineuronal nests, amongst other structures.

According to the researchers’ comments, extrapolating these results from the rat to the human is valid, given that similar results had been obtained after carrying out the study on human brains. Moreover, this work and others carried out on the brains of the autochthonous Pyrenees breed of cow will help to explain the operating mechanisms of the prions in bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

This study, published in Brain Research, is an addition to the work of the Department of Pathological Histology and Anatomy at the University of Navarra regarding the manner in which prions enter the digestive tube of bovine animals, from which organ they enter the central nervous system, causing the mad cow disease or bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Garazi Andonegi | alfa
Further information:
http://www.basqueresearch.com

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution
27.03.2017 | Lancaster University

nachricht Parallel computation provides deeper insight into brain function
27.03.2017 | Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST) Graduate University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>