Help with Prions?! Watch

mediclyfe
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So I'm doing microbiology and we're going over the structure and replication of prions(scrapie) and I've found it so confusing. I dont know if it's just the way my teacher has gone over it or if it's generally just a confusing topic. My understanding is that they're misfolded infectious proteins which contain no genome. How do they go on to then replicate? Our teacher has dedicated one slide to it which doesn't make much sense at all. I can post a picture of the slide to show you what I'm working with but I would appreciate any help. We have to be able to explain their structure and go on to say how they replicate.
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Jpw1097
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(Original post by mediclyfe)
So I'm doing microbiology and we're going over the structure and replication of prions(scrapie) and I've found it so confusing. I dont know if it's just the way my teacher has gone over it or if it's generally just a confusing topic. My understanding is that they're misfolded infectious proteins which contain no genome. How do they go on to then replicate? Our teacher has dedicated one slide to it which doesn't make much sense at all. I can post a picture of the slide to show you what I'm working with but I would appreciate any help. We have to be able to explain their structure and go on to say how they replicate.
Prions do not replicate per se. Prion protein (PrP) is found in the cell membrane as PrPc. Prion diseases occur when PrPc become misfolded forming the infectious prion particle (PrPSc). PrPSc can then cause other PrPc particles to become misfolded, producing more PrPSc particles.
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mediclyfe
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(Original post by Jpw1097)
Prions do not replicate per se. Prion protein (PrP) is found in the cell membrane as PrPc. Prion diseases occur when PrPc become misfolded forming the infectious prion particle (PrPSc). PrPSc can then cause other PrPc particles to become misfolded, producing more PrPSc particles.
So we naturally have PrPc but when exposed to PrPSc, it goes on to change other PrPc into PrPSc? What differentiates the structure of a pathogenic prion protein from a non pathogenic prion protein?
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Jpw1097
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(Original post by mediclyfe)
So we naturally have PrPc but when exposed to PrPSc, it goes on to change other PrPc into PrPSc? What differentiates the structure of a pathogenic prion protein from a non pathogenic prion protein?
Yes, although bear in mind that the majority of prion diseases (i.e. Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease) are sporadic - that is, they are caused by PrPc misfolding and forming PrPSc spontaneously. As for the specifics regarding the structure of prion particles, I don't know.
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