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Biology 1090 Seminar 1.docx

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BIOL 1090
Marc Coppolino

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Biology 1090 Seminar Karu or CJD is a disease that causes dementia and death (discovered by eating contaiminated beef or blood transfusion) What is a prion? Prion proteins (PrPc) are lipid-anchored proteins found on the plasma membrane Exam Question: what is the role of prions? (4 roles) The role of prions is not fully understoof, but thought to be involed in:  Growth of dendrites and axons  Protection against apoptosis and oxidative stress  Maintenance of myelinated axons  Snyapses formation and function How can a protein encoded by our own genome be an infectious agent? -like all proteins, prion function is dependent on the corrent folding of the protein -the normal (healthy) prion protein (PrPc) contains a region with an a-helix conformation -it can also exis in an infection form (PrPsc) in which this region folds in a B-Sheet conformation One Protein – Two Shapes -the two forms of the protein are encoded by the same gene and have the same mino acid sequence.
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