RedAlert Posted July 16, 2006 Share Posted July 16, 2006 I am doing research on the Kuru disease now, which I learn is caused by a prion, and infectious protein. Now what I'd like to know is that what exactly does the prion do that causes the different brain problems? One thing I read on Wikipedia under the Prion article is that the PrP^Sc protein which is somewhat similar to the HuPrP^Sc (kuru prion protein) contains a lot more of a amino acid structure called "beta sheet". This beta sheet causes amyloid aggregation. Now what exactly is amyloid aggregation? The article for amyloids in Wikipedia didn't tell me much apart from the fact that it's plays a role in certain brain diseases, and that it's thin, fibrous and made up of proteins. That's how I understood the first sentence (which is really the important sentence). Would I be correct? So the HuPrP^Sc protein forms these long fibrils because of these beta sheets, and that causes many problems in the brain. I understood this bit from this site: http://www.ibridgenetwork.org/technology.asp?sID=01E525E2E6BC4B6EA4F69D25DBE7AF5F&page=1361. This is the paragraph that is important: "Conformational diseases," share a common etiology whereby proteins fold irregularly to produce structural flaws. These flaws result in the proteins unnaturally aggregating and thereafter precipitating as fibrils from their solvents. Such solvents include blood, urine, water, lymph, cerebrospinal fluid, and other physiological fluids. Diseases such as sickle cell anemia, amyloid light chain disease, senile systemic amyloidosis, Alzheimer's, and prion encephalopathies including kuru and "mad cow" disease or BSE, are the result of protein conformation anomalies. So why are these fibrils dangerous? What problems do they cause? I can't seem to find that information on Google, because it's buried under loads of scientific jargon that complicates it a lot, and leads to me to research a lot of other different things. I tried doing spending quite a bit of time on it (some 4-5 hours) but I didn't come up with anything worthwhile on the issue. I did a search on Wikipedia (thank god for wikipedia) and got that the fibrils cause problems in blood vessels, which can increase the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. But is Alzheimer's even a prion disease? Would the same thing occur in Kuru? I have not read of any hemorrhagic strokes under the symptoms for Kuru. So how would these prions affect a person's brain exactly in Kuru? What do they do to the nerve cells? I'd really appreciate help in this matter from someone who is well versed in the subject. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Create an account or sign in to comment
You need to be a member in order to leave a comment
Create an account
Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!Register a new account
Already have an account? Sign in here.Sign In Now