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All about prions

All about prions
Photo by CDC / Unsplash
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Prions are the result of a protein misfolding. They're characterized by beingsuitable to transmit their imperfectform to another protein of the samevariety, when this happens a prion complaint occurs (degenerative neurological conditions). Prions are consideredcontagiousagents but don't contain nucleic acids since they're onlycomposed of aminoacids.Prions were discovered by StanleyB. Prusiner in 1982 when he wasprobinghabitualconditions affecting the centralnervoussystem. The prion protein (PrNp) is responsible for furnishing instructions for the conflationof a protein, occasionally it can come a pathogenic protein (PrPSc) when its secondarystructure is altered, which causes the misfolding of its tertiary structure. Unlike othercontagiousagents, prions differ in that they're independentfrom their hosts. When a prion enters the organism of a host it acts on the normalform of the rest of the proteins of the samevarietymodifying it and converting it into a prion, this causes a chainresponse where the rest of the proteins come prions.

How are they transported to the brain?

From an ingestion of a defiledfood, the prion is transported through the intestine, from where it enters the M cells which are specialized in the transport of macromolecules. The prion also enters macrophages. Once honored as an contagiousagent, an antibody is synthesized against the prion, but it's ineffective, which is why the prion is transported by the vulnerablesystem and accumulates in the spleen and lymph bumps, which are largely innervated. This fact produces the contagion to the nervoustowel and the consequent neuronal death.