How To Treat Prion Diseases Essay

1607 words - 6 pages

How to Treat Prion Diseases

Scientists are stumped as to the development and nature of proteinaceous infectious particles. Neither virus nor bacteria, these prions, are believed to cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSE), rare diseases said to be 100% fatal, without possessing nucleic acids. Their unhindered growth is thought to be the cause for bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), or Mad Cow Disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob (CJD), scrapie and other TSE, diseases characterized by the brain microscopically turning into sponge-like matter. There are no cures or effective treatments available today because drawbacks constantly prevent the development of efficient therapy. Studies continue to slowly progress, hoping to find methods to immunize against more prion diseases.
No one presently has a solid understanding as to why TSE, or prion diseases, occur. The simple explanation is that PrP(c), the normal isoform of the prion protein, is forced to fold into PrPSc, the other pathological isoform, causing the misfolded PrP(c) to acquire protease-resistance. As to a physical presentation, a clumped protein consisting primarily of alpha-helices (spirals) is converted into one consisting primarily of beta-sheets (sets of pleated hairpins). In an essence, alpha-helical content decreases while beta-sheet content increases. The newly converted protein then possesses the same characteristics as those of the native PrPSc (Korth, Streit, & Oesch, 1999).
PrPSc acquires partial protease resistance upon the transformation and passes this resistance along to the naturally protease-sensitive PrP(c). Protease is an enzyme that breaks down proteins or peptides, deeming the protease-sensitive proteins soluble; so during the conversion, both PrPSc and the morphing PrP(c) increase in insolubility. Without the aid of the natural enzyme or some other form of treatment, there is little able to prevent a complete invasion of the mutated prions, which is why prion diseases are said to be 100% fatal, as rare as they are (Korth et al., 1999).
Possible Solutions: Methods
Since PrP(c) is not shown to be necessary for any major biological function, the obvious solution is to reduce the expression of that isoform. Mentioned earlier, PrPSc needs PrP(c) to multiply. It would then make sense if the reduction of the good isoform also reduced the spread of the disease. This method could be achieved by “altering the regulation of PrP gene expression or by using modern techniques of gene therapy,” meaning the use of antisense oligonucleotide, RNAi, or of genetically engineered ribozymes (Soto, 2006, p. 103). The effectiveness of such method, however, is still yet to be determined.
Another root lies in the interaction between PrP(c) and PrPSc. In vivo, the first step of the conversion is the binding of the two isoforms. Preventing the two from joining means preventing prion replication from occurring (Soto, 2006). Peptides, comprising linear sequences...

Find Another Essay On How to Treat Prion Diseases

His eaasy talk about the article "How Boys Become Men," by Jon Katz. I agree boys are forced to hide their emotions and men will act the same way as women if we treat them the same.

806 words - 3 pages other boys. However, I believe the most important idea of how boys become men is how adults treat and teach boys different from girls. In addition, boys are hearing messages that they need to be strong and tough from adults even though they are just babies. This might be the main problem that causes men to be insensitive or do not know how to express their own feeling.Even though I do not have any experiences of how boys become men because I am not

Critical Analysis of "How To Treat a Lady"

509 words - 2 pages James HortonTheatre2-06-06Critical Analysis of "No Way to Treat a Lady"This tragic comedy rendition of an early novel of William Goldman was written very well by Playwright Douglas J. Cohen. While keeping the main points of this novel intact, Cohen manages to make it very funny but yet still sensationally suspenseful. Cohen added some witty lyrics and song to this already well written play to add to this COP v. SERIAL KILLER Plot.With stage


1711 words - 7 pages prepared industrial food which was made with what was left of sheep bones and meat, most of these had been infected by scrapie. This prion is known to survive pasteurization and all cooking methods such as frying and stewing. Yet there are no certain ways on how to treat prion diseases and the only way to avoid more infection is by killing the animals and get totally rid of their bodies as prions can survive in placenta and stay on the ground for a

True Nature Of Prions

1330 words - 5 pages The True Nature of Prions Research conducted only over the past couple of decades has unveiled a new type of infectious agent quite unlike all currently known bacteria and viruses. This pathogen, which causes fatal damage to the brain and surrounding central nervous system of humans and other mammals, is called a prion. It has not been completely resolved as to how these agents propagate or how they are composed. The word itself derives

Prions the Proteinacious Killer

1032 words - 4 pages protein and increase the amount of β-sheet. “The structural changes are followed by alterations in other biochemical properties, such as protease resistance, solubility, and the ability to form larger-order aggregates" (Soto, 16). Conclusion: Though scientists remain unsure as to what causes sporadic prion diseases and how PrPSc propagates, the prion-only hypothesis remains the most-likely and most widely-accepted theory concerning the TSE

Bacteria, Viruses and Prions

1604 words - 7 pages , jaundice, bleeding, and/or shock of organs. Prions refer to abnormal and pathogenic agents that get transferred. Normal prion proteins are found within the body and the brain and lack nucleic acids. They help neurons communicate and help transport minerals. The amino acids within prions fold up into a helical shape. In prion diseases, prions fold into an unusual shape to allow the flat structure to replace the helical shape. The unusual prion diseases

The Underlying Genetic Cause of Prion Diseases

2740 words - 11 pages can have disastrous effects through mutation. The underlying genetic cause of prion diseases is under investigation to understand how polymorphisms, host factors and mutations in the prion protein gene (PRNP) lead to severe physiological impairments and ultimately death, exemplified by Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and Familial Fatal Insomnia (Capellari et al., 2011). In humans there are multiple phenotypes associated with prion diseases the most

Protein Folding

3270 words - 14 pages Background: Prions are a particular type of amyloids that are related to a great variety of important processes in cells, but also responsible for serious diseases in mammals and human. Prion-related aggregation is mediated by specific protein domains with remarkable compositional bias towards glutamine/asparagine and against charged residues and prolines. The number of prions experimentally characterized nowadays corresponds to a handful of

Prion Diseases

2410 words - 10 pages Prion Diseases Abstract Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are neurodegenerative diseases that are thought to be caused by the misfolding of prion proteins. Prions are able to replicate in the absence of nucleic acids. TSEs include: scrapie, bovine spongiform encephalopathy, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, kuru, Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker disease, and Fatal Familial Insomnia. They can affect many different animals, including

Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease

1070 words - 4 pages . Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease is rare, but the most common of the human prion protein diseases. This disease occurs at a worldwide rate of about one case per one-millionth person. For about 85% of these cases, the duration of the disease is about four months after the onset of symptoms. Since 2006 researchers have been performing test to see if donors with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease were capable of passing the disease to patients through blood transfusion

Speech on different pathogens and the diseases they cause.

611 words - 2 pages Hello Everyone. I'm here to talk about the difference between prions, viruses, bacteria, protozoans, fungi and macro-parasites. These are all pathogens that cause diseases. I will also be giving examples of the diseases that these pathogens cause.Prions are infectious agents which do not have a nucleic acid genome. Prion diseases are often called spongiform encephalopathies (mad cows disease) because of the post mortem appearance of the brain

Similar Essays

How To Treat People Essay

1945 words - 8 pages How To Treat PeopleWe all want to have a life full of success. Many people assume without question that success is essentially material, that it can be measured in money, prestige, or an abundance of possessions. These can certainly play a role, but having such things is no guarantee of success. The success that we should strive for is the ability to love and have compassion, the capacity to feel joy and spread it to others, the security of

How To Treat A Burn Essay

959 words - 4 pages How to Treat a Burn Burns are classified in three categories according to their severity. First-Degree Burns affect the outer layer of the skin, first-degree burns cause pain, redness, and swelling. They usually do not require medical attention. Second-Degree Burns affect both the outer and underlying layer of the skin, causing pain, redness, swelling, and blistering. Third-Degree Burns Severe tissue damage is evident involving the skin

Infertility: What Causes It And How To Treat It

961 words - 4 pages Infertility is a very common thing. Infertility can affect your emotions. Both men and women can be infertile. You may have some questions such as, how is infertility caused or how is it treated? In women, infertility is one of the most common causes of women not being able to conceive. 30% of infertility problems are a cause of ovulation disorders. Luckily, 70% of these problems can be treated with drugs like; Clomiphene and Menogan/ Repronex

How To Treat A Woman On Your First Date

1338 words - 5 pages How To Treat a Woman On Your First Date I hear the complaints from my girlfriends all the time; men are clueless when it comes to planning and carrying out a good first date. Not to offend any men out there (well-intentioned though you may be), but it seems that some of you have no idea what to do, where to go, how to act, or what to wear on the first date. I know this first-hand. I’ve had my share of bad dates—really bad dates. However