Unraveling Infectious Structures, Strain Variants and Species Barriers for the Yeast Prion [PSI+]
Author(s)Lindquist, Susan; Tessier, Peter M.
Unraveling infectious structures, strain variants and species barriers for the yeast prion [PSI+]
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Prions are proteins that can access multiple conformations, at least one of which is beta-sheet rich, infectious and self-perpetuating in nature. These infectious proteins show several remarkable biological activities, including the ability to form multiple infectious prion conformations, also known as strains or variants, encoding unique biological phenotypes, and to establish and overcome prion species (transmission) barriers. In this Perspective, we highlight recent studies of the yeast prion [PSI+], using various biochemical and structural methods, that have begun to illuminate the molecular mechanisms by which self-perpetuating prions encipher such biological activities. We also discuss several aspects of prion conformational change and structure that remain either unknown or controversial, and we propose approaches to accelerate the understanding of these enigmatic, infectious conformers.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Biology
Nature Structural & Molecular Biology
Nature Publishing Group
Tessier, Peter M, and Susan Lindquist. “Unraveling infectious structures, strain variants and species barriers for the yeast prion [PSI+].” Nat Struct Mol Biol 16.6 (2009): 598-605.
Author's final manuscript