Reference: Son M, et al. (2023) Prions in Microbes: The Least in the Most. J Microbiol 61(10):881-889

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Abstract


Prions are infectious proteins that mostly replicate in self-propagating amyloid conformations (filamentous protein polymers) and consist of structurally altered normal soluble proteins. Prions can arise spontaneously in the cell without any clear reason and are generally considered fatal disease-causing agents that are only present in mammals. However, after the seminal discovery of two prions, [PSI+] and [URE3], in the eukaryotic model microorganism Saccharomyces cerevisiae, at least ten more prions have been discovered, and their biological and pathological effects on the host, molecular structure, and the relationship between prions and cellular components have been studied. In a filamentous fungus model, Podospora anserina, a vegetative incomparability-related [Het-s] prion that directly triggers cell death during anastomosis (hyphal fusion) was discovered. These prions in eukaryotic microbes have extended our understanding to overcome most fatal human prion/amyloid diseases. A prokaryotic microorganism (Clostridium botulinum) was reported to have a prion analog. The transcriptional regulators of C. botulinum-Rho can be converted into the self-replicating prion form ([RHO-X-C+]), which may affect global transcription. Here, we outline the major issues with prions in microbes and the lessons learned from the relatively uncovered microbial prion world.

Reference Type
Journal Article | Review
Authors
Son M, Han S, Lee S
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