Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New prion discovery reveals drug target for mad cow disease and related illnesses

Date:
December 4, 2010
Source:
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Summary:
In a new study, scientists have found that a protein our body uses to break up blood clots speeds up the progress of prion diseases. This substance, called plasminogen, is a new drug target for prion diseases in both humans and animals.

In a new research report in the December 2010 print issue of The FASEB Journal, scientists found that a protein our body uses to break up blood clots speeds up the progress of prion diseases. This substance, called plasminogen, is a new drug target for prion diseases in both humans and animals.

Related Articles


"I hope that our study will aid in developing therapy for prion diseases, which will ultimately improve the quality of life of patients suffering from prion diseases," said Chongsuk Ryou, Ph.D., a researcher involved in the work from the University of Kentucky in Lexington. "Since prion diseases can lay undetected for decades, delaying the ability of the disease-associated prion protein to replicate by targeting the cofactor of the process could be a monumental implication for treatment."

To make this discovery, the researchers used simple test tube reactions to multiply disease-associated prion proteins. The reactions were conducted in the presence or absence of plasminogen. They found that the natural replication of the prions was stimulated by plasminogen in both human and animal cells.

"Rogue prions are one of nature's most interesting, deadly and least understood biological freakshows," said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. "They are neither virus nor bacteria, but they kill or harm you just the same. By showing how prions hijack our own clot-busting machinery, this work points to a new target for anti-prion therapy."

According to the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, prion diseases are a related group of rare, fatal brain diseases that affect animals and humans. The diseases are characterized by certain misshapen protein molecules that appear in brain tissue. Normal forms of these prion protein molecules reside on the surface of many types of cells, including brain cells, but scientists do not understand what normal prion protein does.

On the other hand, scientists believe that abnormal prion protein, which clumps together and accumulates in brain tissue, is the likely cause of the brain damage that occurs. Scientists do not have a good understanding of what causes the normal prion protein to take on the misshapen abnormal form. Prion diseases are also known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, and include bovine spongiform encephalopathy ("mad cow" disease) in cattle; Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans; scrapie in sheep; and chronic wasting disease in deer and elk. These proteins may be spread through certain types of contact with infected tissue, body fluids, and possibly, contaminated medical instruments.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. C. E. Mays, C. Ryou. Plasminogen stimulates propagation of protease-resistant prion protein in vitro. The FASEB Journal, 2010; DOI: 10.1096/fj.10-163600

Cite This Page:

Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "New prion discovery reveals drug target for mad cow disease and related illnesses." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101201102601.htm>.
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. (2010, December 4). New prion discovery reveals drug target for mad cow disease and related illnesses. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 19, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101201102601.htm
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. "New prion discovery reveals drug target for mad cow disease and related illnesses." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101201102601.htm (accessed April 19, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Mind & Brain News

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Our Love Of Puppy Dog Eyes Explained By Science

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers found a spike in oxytocin occurs in both humans and dogs when they gaze into each other&apos;s eyes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Scientists Find Link Between Gestational Diabetes And Autism

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2015) Researchers who analyzed data from over 300,000 kids and their mothers say they&apos;ve found a link between gestational diabetes and autism. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

Video Messages Help Reassure Dementia Patients

AP (Apr. 17, 2015) Family members are prerecording messages as part of a unique pilot program at the Hebrew Home in New York. The videos are trying to help victims of Alzheimer&apos;s disease and other forms of dementia break through the morning fog of forgetfulness. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Common Pain Reliever Might Dull Your Emotions

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2015) Each week, millions of Americans take acetaminophen to dull minor aches and pains. Now researchers say it might blunt life&apos;s highs and lows, too. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins