home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
 
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  
 

Yeasts Used To Investigate How Prions Jump The Species Barrier

 
  March, 9 2001 5:11
your information resource in human molecular genetics
 
     
MAD YEAST?

This week (Nature, Vol. 410, No. 6825, 08 Mar 2001) Peter Chien and Jonathan Weissman of the University of California–San Francisco explain how they used two species of yeast (Candida albicans and Saccharomyces cerevisae) and an artificial yeast prion protein to investigate how prions jump the species barrier — as happened in the recent BSE / new-variant CJD outbreak.

Yeast cells manufacture a protein, called sup35 that, under certain circumstances, displays prion like behaviour: it forms aggregates, converts its normal counterpart to the prion form, and thus can forms self propagating fibres. But the prion form of sup35 in C albicans can not convert sup35 from S cerevisae into prions and vice versa, due to an ill-understood species-barrier.

The researchers created a flexible prion chimaera — by fusing portions of a S. cerevisae prion and a C. albicans prion, which in principle could take on the shape of either of the two yeast prions. Once introduced in a specific yeast strain, C albicans for example, the chimaera could only take the shape of the prion specific for that strain (C albicans in this example).

Chien and Weissman’s results suggest that the shape of the yeast prion proteins dictate whether they are infectious and this may account for the strong species barrier found in most prion diseases. The fact however, that prions can exist in multiple forms or ‘strains’ in each species may mean that one strain of many may be of the right shape to cause infection across species barriers.

"It may be time to consider the disturbing possibility that certain bovine prion forms have an enhanced ability to cross the species barrier to humans," writes Susan Liebman of the University of Illinois in Chicago, in accompanying News and Views article.

CONTACT

Jonathan Weissman
tel +1 415 502 7642
e-mail jsw1@itsa.ucsf.edu

Susan Liebman
tel +1 312 996 4662
e-mail suel@uic.edu

(C) Nature press release.


Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Bookmark and Share this page (what is this?)

Social bookmarking allows users to save and categorise a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. This is different to using your own browser bookmarks which are available using the menus within your web browser.

Use the links below to share this article on the social bookmarking site of your choice.

Read more about social bookmarking at Wikipedia - Social Bookmarking

Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2016 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.