Analytical background and discussion of the chaperone model of prion diseases

Acta Biotheoretica 47 (3-4):219-238 (1999)
It is generally accepted that prion infection is due solely to a protein i.e. the protein-only hypothesis. The essential constituent of infectious prions is the scrapie prion protein (PrPSc) which is chemically indistinguishable from the normal, cellular protein (PrPC) but exhibits distinct secondary and tertiary structure. This very unusual feature seems to be in contradiction with a major paradigm of present structural biology stated by Anfinsen: a protein folds to the most stable conformation, this means only one structure.In order to reconcile the results obtained on prions with the biophysics of protein folding, a model is proposed. It is based on the hypothesis that a thermodynamically irreversible step is involved in protein folding. The model is then extended to chaperone-assisted protein folding. It is shown that, under certain conditions, the transitory secondary structure formed during the earlier step of folding could interact with chaperone. Analysis shows that chaperone may help the protein to find correct conformation. On the other hand, analysis reveals the possibility that more than one structure may form from a single polypeptide chain. Under these conditions, the behaviour of chaperones resembles the characteristics of prion diseases.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy of Biology   Evolutionary Biology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1023/A:1002642821806
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,433
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

16 ( #281,379 of 1,924,984 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #417,998 of 1,924,984 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.