How are prions related to proteins?

1 Answer
Aug 7, 2014

Great A Prion is a small infectious particle that contains a misfolded protein.

Some researchers believe that a prion consists of proteins without nucleic acids because a prion is too small to contain a nucleic acid and because a prion is not destroyed by agents that digest nucleic acids.

One disease caused by prions is referred to as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are progressive neurological diseases that are fatal to humans and animals.

Researchers believe that prions cause Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is a neurological disease that causes progressive dementia

Another TSE is Kuru, characterized by progressive ataxia, incapacitation and death.

Prions cause the neurological disease Scrapie which is a degenerative neural condition in sheep. The sheep actually continuously rub their faces and bodies on fences and other objects.

Prions also cause other neurological diseases such as Kuruand Gerstmann-Strausler-Sheinker syndrome.

However, scientists are still studying prions to learn their origins and how prions replicate and cause disease.
(Microbiology Demystified)

The structure of a prion pseudoknot