—Plant protein acts like a prion “Discovery contributes to idea that prions are more than just bad actors” Prion proteins have a notorious reputation. These types of proteins can fold into conformations that coax other prions to join them, leading to the formation of insoluble protein aggregates. This is the mechanism behind some neurodegenerative diseases such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob, mad cow, and maybe Alzheimer’s disease. But not all prions are bad. In the past decade, researchers have found that some organisms, such as yeast, flies, and even mammals, use prions’ self-propagating clumping as part of normal cellular functions. Now, a team of scientists reports the first protein in plants that exhibits prion behavior (Proc.
by Michael Torrice |
April 29, 2016