Bovine encephalopathy

Richard Burge R.Burge at bay.cc.kcl.ac.uk
Fri Apr 29 11:04:56 EST 1994

In article <1994Apr26.201622.61780 at ucl.ac.uk> spbcnsp at ucl.ac.uk (Mr Neville Steven Percy) writes:
>I should also say that just because the knockout PrP-null mice don't appear to
>suffer any ill effects from this lack, doesn't mean that PrP isn't doing 
>something really crucial.  There is a strong precedent from bacterial work that
>when a protein is _utterly_ crucial, it has a back-up; this could be masking
>more-or-less any consequences of knocking out the PrP.

I wasn't implying that the null mice experiments negated the argument for PrP 
having some crucial role. I was simply saying that they don't tell us much 
about what it actually does. There _is_ very strong precedent for other 
proteins assuming the compromised roles, and not just from bacterial work - 
there appears to be a high amount of redundancy in all the signalling 
mechanisms going on in the animal. Just look at all the LTP guys pulling their 
hair out over all their perfectly healthy null mutants :)

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

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