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Heritable activity: a prion that propagates by covalent autoactivation

By B.Tibor Roberts and Reed B. Wickner


Known prions (infectious proteins) are self-propagating amyloids or conformationally altered proteins, but in theory an enzyme necessary for its own activation could also be a prion (or a gene composed of protein).We show that yeast protease B is such a prion, called [β].[β] is infectious, reversibly curable, and its de novo generation is induced by overexpression of the pro-protease. Present in normal cells but masked by the functionally redundant protease A, [β] is advantageous during starvation and necessary for sporulation.We propose that other enzymes whose active, modified, form is necessary for their maturation might also be prions

Topics: Research Communications
Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Press
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1101/gad.1115803
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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