Bovine encephalopathy

Richard Burge R.Burge at bay.cc.kcl.ac.uk
Mon Apr 25 09:19:25 EST 1994

In article <2p8vaq$jd3 at mule.fhcrc.org> Tim Buss <tbuss at fred.fhcrc.org> writes:

>What does the wild-type prion protein actually do??

Good question - it is is highly conserved between species (c. 95% or so 
between mammalian species), suggesting it has some important physiological 
role. However, knockout mice that are prp negative appear completely normal 
and have normal lifespans, plus they are resistant to prion disease (they 
don't develop prion diseases from intracerebroventricular injection of active 
prions). Heterozygotes (prp +/-) are still subsceptible to prion disease, but 
there is a longer latency between intracerebroventricular injection of prions 
and actual onset of any symptoms, compared to wild-type.

Maybe we could make a transgenic cow - it'd revolutionise British 

So, just what the hell does wild-type prion protein do?

Richard Burge         | e-mail:
King's College London |  R.Burge at bay.cc.kcl.ac.uk

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