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The Hypothesis of the Catalytic Action of Nucleic Acid on the Conversion of Prion Protein

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 3 ]


Yraima Cordeiro and Jerson L. Silva   Pages 251 - 255 ( 5 )


The main hypothesis for prion diseases proposes that the cellular protein (PrPC) can be altered into a misfolded, β-sheet-rich isoform (PrPSc). We describe here that host nucleic acid may catalyze the conversion between PrPC and PrPSc isoforms, by reducing the protein mobility and by making the protein-protein interactions more likely. We summarize the findings, focusing in the biological relevance of the catalytic action of nucleic acid.


prion, structural conversion, nucleic acid, catalysis, aggregation


Departamento de Bioquimica Medica, Centro Nacional de Ressonancia Magnetica Nuclear de Macromoleculas, Instituto de Ciencias Biomedicas, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, RJ 21941-590, Brazil.

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