BSE Heat Resistance -Reply

Ted Snazelle Snazelle at MC.EDU
Thu Mar 28 15:40:16 EST 1996

The reference to Prusiner brought back memory of his article which
appeared in Science in 1982 where a lot is said about the resistance of
prion to a number of things.  The reference is:  Science Vol. 216, No.
4542 (9 April 1982):136-144.

Ted Snazelle
Department of Biological Sciences
Mississippi College
Box 4045 
Clinton, MS 39058
snazelle at mc.edu

>>> Oladele A. OGUNSEITAN <oaogunse at uci.edu> 03/28/96 01:08pm

	You may find answers to your questions if you read up on
Stanley  Prusiner's (UC-Berkeley) work over the past 30 years or so on
prions.  He  answered many of these question through work on the
sheep variety of  prion that has been around for a long time.  Many
people still cling to  the unproven idea that a nucleic acid is somehow
involved in the  stability of the apparent protein.

Dele Ogunseitan

University of California
Irvine 92717-5150

On 28 Mar 1996, Nicholas Landau wrote:

>  > I am a microbial ecologist, but this BES/CJS connection has caught
> my attention, just like everybody else.
>  > I have noticed postings from UK microbiologists attesting to the
> great heat resistance of the BSE infective agent.  I have two
> questions about this.
>  > 1)  Is there any hyposthesis as to how a protein, such as the BSE
> prion, could retain its secondary and tertiary structure?  Secondary
> structure is generally determined by hydrogen bonds, which are
> at around 100 C in most substances.  How is it that BSE can retain its
> functionality after exposure to normally denaturing temperatures?
> Does it have a high cystein content?
>  > 2)  Given that the symptoms of BSE take many years after infection
> to manifest themselves, how is the virulence of the infective agent
> determined after such treatment?  Have the experiments been going on
> for years and decades, or is some criterion other than the causation
> of symptoms in test subjects used to determine virulence?
>  > Oh, yeah: one more question not involving thermostability....
>  > 3)  From the postings I have seen, it looks as if the infective
> agent has not been isolated and identified (some people say it is
> a virus, others a prion.)  This being the case, how is it that
> the British government can conclude that CJS is being caused by
> the same infectious agent as BSE?
>  > Thank you for responding.
>  > Nick Landau
> Dept. Biochemistry and Microbiology
> Rutgers University
> nlandau at eden.rutgers.edu
>  > 

More information about the Microbio mailing list

Send comments to us at biosci-help [At] net.bio.net