Advancing Prion Science: Guidance for the National Prion by Institute of Medicine, Medical Follow-Up Agency, Committee

By Institute of Medicine, Medical Follow-Up Agency, Committee on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies: Assessment of Relevant Science, Laura B. Sivitz, Rick Erdtmann

Offers a file from the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies recommending examine to shut major gaps in current wisdom of prion ailments and methods for strengthening the U.S. learn infrastructure for learning those ailments. Softcover. DNLM: Prion ailments, prevention & control--United States.

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Extra info for Advancing Prion Science: Guidance for the National Prion Research Program

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The report text describes specific gaps in knowledge that need to be filled in each of the four areas. For instance, present models of prion conformation and tertiary structure are neither complete nor conclusive. Defining the structural differences between PrP isoforms could enable scientists to synthesize a PrPSc-specific antibody probe or aptamer. Defining the structures of PrPC and PrPSc at the sites where they interact during binding and conformational change could support the development of molecules that would block those interactions.

PrPSc is neurotropic, so it ultimately affects cells of nervous system tissues. Yet where and how PrPSc progresses through the body before its final assault on the nervous system are largely unclear, complicating the ability to locate and detect it. In addition, the similarities between prions and the normal host cellular protein PrPC pose a fundamental problem. Since it is normal to find PrPC in healthy individuals, detection tests must differentiate between the normal and abnormal prion protein molecules.

2002a,b), and the committee recommends that it be applied to TSEs. 4: Fund research to identify surrogate markers or signatures for the detection of prions or prion diseases. , 2001). Analogous to the polymerase chain reaction technique for amplifying small amounts of DNA, these strategies could significantly boost the power of prion diagnostics. Cell Culture Assays In vitro culture systems have been used for prion detection with moderate success. Yet the committee believes these assays would hold great promise if a stable and robust cell culture assay were developed.

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