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