Re: scientific american

From: Eugene Leitl (
Date: Mon May 29 2000 - 15:06:10 MDT writes:
> I can't make any general statement about prions. In
> the case of Alzheimer's and scrapie, the defective proteins
> produce a breakdown product which is very, very resistant
> to proteolysis. The lysosome suck it up, but can't degrade
Not only that, but the altered conformation seems to act
autocatalytically, i.e. accelerating conversion of prion proteins in
their biologically bona fide conformation. Just another exploitable
glitch in the evolutionary design.

> it. Somehow this accumulation of junk and frustrated
> lysosomes eventually kills the cells. Then other cells come
> in to fix the mess but they're no better than the first set,
> so you get this ever-growing mess.

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