University of Alberta
Prion Protein Proteostasis
The prion protein called PrP is needed first as fuel to make misfolded proteins that cause disease and second in a role where the misfolded protein kills brain cells. Surprisingly we have now found that brain cells are “fighting back” in prion infections by reducing the amount of prion protein they make. We call this process down-regulation. We intend to understand how down-regulation works and to find ways to augment this natural process.