Prions

A prion is an infectious agent consisting of a protein that is mis-folded. It can cause several central nervous system diseases. Included are Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease, Fatal Familial Insomnia and Kuru in humans plus Scrapie in sheep.

539 Questions
Prions

Is a virus a prion?

No, although there is a hypothesis that prion diseases are associated with an undetected viral pathogen.

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Prions

How does a virus differ from a prion?

A virus is a small packet of nucelic acid that can insert itself into the host DNA and alter its function to make more copies of the virus which then can spread to other hosts. A prion is a mis-folded protein ie it is not nucelic acid. Quite how it becomes infectious is beyond this little black duck.

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Prions

Why are prions unique?

Prions are made up only of proteins and lack nucleic acids.

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Prions

What are Prions and what disease they cause?

A prion is a misfolded protein that is considered an infectious agent because they cause properly folded proteins to convert into the misfolded, prion form. In humans, prions cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. In cattle, prions cause mad-cow disease.

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Prions

Why are prions hazardous?

Prions have the ability to transform normal, benign protein molecules into infectious, deadly ones by altering their structure.

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Prions

Who first studied prion disease?

Research on prion diseases was founded by Dr. Stanley Prusiner, a neurologist at the University of California San Francisco. He spent two decades working on the revolutionary topic of self-reproducing prions.

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Prions

What is a hereditary form of prion disease?

Prion diseases can also be hereditary, as seen in some cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), fatal familial insomnia (FFI), and Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease (GSS).

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Prions

How serious is prion disease?

All prion diseases are inevitably fatal; there are no known cures.

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Prions

How big is a mad cow disease prion?

So big that's it's often undetectable under the biggest, strongest microscope.

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Prions

Do prions replicate by binary fission?

no,they donot

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Prions

Where are gene sequence for protein in a prion?

there is no "protein in a prion", because prion is nothing but a protein. The gene sequence of this protein is just normal, with nothing special.

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Prions
Proteins

Are prions infectous proteins?

Yes

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Malaria
Prions

Is malaria caused by a bacteria virus or prion?

Malaria is caused by protists of the genus Plasmodium.

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Prions

Do prions enter the cytoplasm?

Prions are too poorly understood to give a definitive answer on this. However it is believed that the normal version of the protein (PrPC) resides on the cell membrane and is involved in cell to cell communication. So it's likely that the prions don't enter the cytoplasm.

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Prions

Are prions microorganisms?

Depends on your definition of life. Prions are self replicating (though only in the right conditions. ie inside a host), which is the basic requirement for a living organism. In theory life could have arisen through a similar self replicating molecule.

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Prions

Evidence that prions were responsible for mad cow disease?

At one time, cattle were fed the unwanted parts of ground up sheep. Some of those cows became infected with mad cow disease. Mad cow disease spread to humans. Cattle were also fed parts of ground up cow parts, cows eating ground up cattle were infected with that disease.

The breakthrough came in New Guinea. There, women and children would eat the brains of dead people. Men would not. Women and children would catch a disease similar to mad cow disease. Men would not. That made it obvious that the disease came from something common to women and children and not to men. Since they behaved the same as nearby groups except for eating the brains of dead people, that had to be the difference. The only difference in the brains of the dead people with mad cow disease and those without mad cow disease was the prions.

This was then tested in England where mad cow disease was common. The only difference between cows with mad cow disease and those without mad cow disease were the same prions. The people with mad cow disease had the same prions in their brains.

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Prions

How do prion cause infection?

Generally prions are able to transform normal proteins into the misfolded state through physical interaction. Much of how prions are created is a subject that is poorly understood by researchers.

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Prions

How can you avoid prions?

Absolutely. Pathologists wear masks when doing brain autopsies on brains to avoid Prions

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Prions

The only known infectious agents that lack genetic material are A. certain viruses. B. prions. C. viroids. D. none of the above D?

It is B Prions

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Prions

What actually causes the deaths of Alzheimer's patients Do the unraveling prions ultimately do so much damage to normal brain function that the patient's vital organs simply and systems shut down?

there are many reasons someone with alzheimer's can die. in my experiences, mostly i have seen patients die from pneumonia, which they get after aspirating. during the late stages of alzheimer's, difficulty swallowing is a very common thing, often patients may "pocket" food or liquid in their mouth and forget or refuse to swallow it, resulting in aspiration, which results in pneumonia often. i have also seen many people die from complications of some other condition they may have, like heart failure, cancer, etc.

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Prions

What is another name for prion disease?

Prion diseases are also called transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) because of the sponge-like holes they leave in infected brains.

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Prions

Is mad cow disease an example of a prion?

Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy, also known as BSE, or Mad Cow Disease, is an exact example of a proteinaceous infectious particle, or Prion. It is an infectious molecule composed primarily of protien, unlike viruses. BSE attacks the brain, it is a neurodegenerative disease causing a break down of the brain tissue and spinal cord.

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Prions

Why doesn't the immune system respond to an infection by prions?

prions are refolded versions of normal proteins, so the B and T cells see them as "normal" and thus ignore them.

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Prions

Do prions have RNA?

No, prions aren't organisms or even organism imitators like viruses. Prions are misfolded proteins that can aggregate and cause serious neurological problems.

See link below for more info about prions from Answers.com.

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Prions

Are prions viruses?

No, prions are malformed proteins. Viruses may play a part in the misfolding of the proteins according to one hypothesis, although this is unlikely.

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