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Prion Diseases: A group of genetic, infectious, or sporadic degenerative human and animal nervous system disorders associated with abnormal PRIONS. These diseases are characterized by conversion of the normal prion protein to an abnormal configuration via a post-translational process. In humans, these conditions generally feature DEMENTIA; ATAXIA; and a fatal outcome. Pathologic features include a spongiform encephalopathy without evidence of inflammation. The older literature occasionally refers to these as unconventional SLOW VIRUS DISEASES. (From Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 1998 Nov 10;95(23):13363-83)Prions: Small proteinaceous infectious particles which resist inactivation by procedures that modify NUCLEIC ACIDS and contain an abnormal isoform of a cellular protein which is a major and necessary component. The abnormal (scrapie) isoform is PrPSc (PRPSC PROTEINS) and the cellular isoform PrPC (PRPC PROTEINS). The primary amino acid sequence of the two isoforms is identical. Human diseases caused by prions include CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB SYNDROME; GERSTMANN-STRAUSSLER SYNDROME; and INSOMNIA, FATAL FAMILIAL.PrPSc Proteins: Abnormal isoform of prion proteins (PRIONS) resulting from a posttranslational modification of the cellular prion protein (PRPC PROTEINS). PrPSc are disease-specific proteins seen in certain human and animal neurodegenerative diseases (PRION DISEASES).PrPC Proteins: Normal cellular isoform of prion proteins (PRIONS) encoded by a chromosomal gene and found in normal and scrapie-infected brain tissue, and other normal tissue. PrPC are protease-sensitive proteins whose function is unknown. Posttranslational modification of PrPC into PrPSC leads to infectivity.Creutzfeldt-Jakob Syndrome: A rare transmissible encephalopathy most prevalent between the ages of 50 and 70 years. Affected individuals may present with sleep disturbances, personality changes, ATAXIA; APHASIA, visual loss, weakness, muscle atrophy, MYOCLONUS, progressive dementia, and death within one year of disease onset. A familial form exhibiting autosomal dominant inheritance and a new variant CJD (potentially associated with ENCEPHALOPATHY, BOVINE SPONGIFORM) have been described. Pathological features include prominent cerebellar and cerebral cortical spongiform degeneration and the presence of PRIONS. (From N Engl J Med, 1998 Dec 31;339(27))Scrapie: A fatal disease of the nervous system in sheep and goats, characterized by pruritus, debility, and locomotor incoordination. It is caused by proteinaceous infectious particles called PRIONS.Endopeptidase K: An enzyme that catalyzes the hydrolysis of keratin, and of other proteins with subtilisin-like specificity. It hydrolyses peptide amides. Endopeptidase K is from the mold Tritirachium album Limber. (Enzyme Nomenclature, 1992) EC 3.4.21.64.Insomnia, Fatal Familial: An autosomal dominant disorder characterized by degeneration of the THALAMUS and progressive insomnia. It is caused by a mutation in the prion protein (PRIONS).Gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker Disease: An autosomal dominant familial prion disease with a wide spectrum of clinical presentations including ATAXIA, spastic paraparesis, extrapyramidal signs, and DEMENTIA. Clinical onset is in the third to sixth decade of life and the mean duration of illness prior to death is five years. Several kindreds with variable clinical and pathologic features have been described. Pathologic features include cerebral prion protein amyloidosis, and spongiform or neurofibrillary degeneration. (From Brain Pathol 1998 Jul;8(3):499-513; Brain Pathol 1995 Jan;5(1):61-75)Wasting Disease, Chronic: A transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (prion disease) of DEER and elk characterized by chronic weight loss leading to death. It is thought to spread by direct contact between animals or through environmental contamination with the prion protein (PRIONS).Encephalopathy, Bovine Spongiform: A transmissible spongiform encephalopathy of cattle associated with abnormal prion proteins in the brain. Affected animals develop excitability and salivation followed by ATAXIA. This disorder has been associated with consumption of SCRAPIE infected ruminant derived protein. This condition may be transmitted to humans, where it is referred to as variant or new variant CREUTZFELDT-JAKOB SYNDROME. (Vet Rec 1998 Jul 25;143(41):101-5)Kuru: A prion disease found exclusively among the Fore linguistic group natives of the highlands of NEW GUINEA. The illness is primarily restricted to adult females and children of both sexes. It is marked by the subacute onset of tremor and ataxia followed by motor weakness and incontinence. Death occurs within 3-6 months of disease onset. The condition is associated with ritual cannibalism, and has become rare since this practice has been discontinued. Pathologic features include a noninflammatory loss of neurons that is most prominent in the cerebellum, glial proliferation, and amyloid plaques. (From Adams et al., Principles of Neurology, 6th ed, p773)Deer: The family Cervidae of 17 genera and 45 species occurring nearly throughout North America, South America, and Eurasia, on most associated continental islands, and in northern Africa. Wild populations of deer have been established through introduction by people in Cuba, New Guinea, Australia, New Zealand, and other places where the family does not naturally occur. They are slim, long-legged and best characterized by the presence of antlers. Their habitat is forests, swamps, brush country, deserts, and arctic tundra. They are usually good swimmers; some migrate seasonally. (Walker's Mammals of the World, 5th ed, p1362)Amyloid: A fibrous protein complex that consists of proteins folded into a specific cross beta-pleated sheet structure. This fibrillar structure has been found as an alternative folding pattern for a variety of functional proteins. Deposits of amyloid in the form of AMYLOID PLAQUES are associated with a variety of degenerative diseases. The amyloid structure has also been found in a number of functional proteins that are unrelated to disease.Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.Infectious Disease Incubation Period: The amount time between exposure to an infectious agent and becoming symptomatic.Mesocricetus: A genus of the family Muridae having three species. The present domesticated strains were developed from individuals brought from Syria. They are widely used in biomedical research.Protein Folding: Processes involved in the formation of TERTIARY PROTEIN STRUCTURE.Sheep: Any of the ruminant mammals with curved horns in the genus Ovis, family Bovidae. They possess lachrymal grooves and interdigital glands, which are absent in GOATS.Cricetinae: A subfamily in the family MURIDAE, comprising the hamsters. Four of the more common genera are Cricetus, CRICETULUS; MESOCRICETUS; and PHODOPUS.Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Quinacrine: An acridine derivative formerly widely used as an antimalarial but superseded by chloroquine in recent years. It has also been used as an anthelmintic and in the treatment of giardiasis and malignant effusions. It is used in cell biological experiments as an inhibitor of phospholipase A2.PrP 27-30 Protein: Protease-resistant core of PrPSC, the abnormal isoform of prion proteins (PRIONS). PrP 27-30 is produced by limited proteolysis of the N-terminus of PrPSc.Proteostasis Deficiencies: Disorders caused by imbalances in the protein homeostasis network - synthesis, folding, and transport of proteins; post-translational modifications; and degradation or clearance of misfolded proteins.Neurodegenerative Diseases: Hereditary and sporadic conditions which are characterized by progressive nervous system dysfunction. These disorders are often associated with atrophy of the affected central or peripheral nervous system structures.Protein Conformation: The characteristic 3-dimensional shape of a protein, including the secondary, supersecondary (motifs), tertiary (domains) and quaternary structure of the peptide chain. PROTEIN STRUCTURE, QUATERNARY describes the conformation assumed by multimeric proteins (aggregates of more than one polypeptide chain).Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Bentonite: A colloidal, hydrated aluminum silicate that swells 12 times its dry size when added to water.Dendritic Cells, Follicular: Non-hematopoietic cells, with extensive dendritic processes, found in the primary and secondary follicles of lymphoid tissue (the B cell zones). They are different from conventional DENDRITIC CELLS associated with T-CELLS. They are derived from MESENCHYMAL STEM CELLS and are negative for class II MHC antigen and do not process or present antigen like the conventional dendritic cells do. Instead, follicular dendritic cells have FC RECEPTORS and C3B RECEPTORS that hold antigen in the form of ANTIGEN-ANTIBODY COMPLEXES on their surfaces for long periods for recognition by B-CELLS.Ruminants: A suborder of the order ARTIODACTYLA whose members have the distinguishing feature of a four-chambered stomach, including the capacious RUMEN. Horns or antlers are usually present, at least in males.Brain Chemistry: Changes in the amounts of various chemicals (neurotransmitters, receptors, enzymes, and other metabolites) specific to the area of the central nervous system contained within the head. These are monitored over time, during sensory stimulation, or under different disease states.Blotting, Western: Identification of proteins or peptides that have been electrophoretically separated by blot transferring from the electrophoresis gel to strips of nitrocellulose paper, followed by labeling with antibody probes.Amyloidogenic Proteins: Proteins that form the core of amyloid fibrils. For example, the core of amyloid A is formed from amyloid A protein, also known as serum amyloid A protein or SAA protein.Libya: A country in northern Africa, bordering the Mediterranean Sea, between Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria, having southern border with Chad, Niger, and Sudan. Its capital is Tripoli.Mice, Inbred C57BLNeurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Copper: A heavy metal trace element with the atomic symbol Cu, atomic number 29, and atomic weight 63.55.Protein Isoforms: Different forms of a protein that may be produced from different GENES, or from the same gene by ALTERNATIVE SPLICING.Slow Virus Diseases: Diseases of viral origin, characterized by incubation periods of months to years, insidious onset of clinical manifestations, and protracted clinical course. Though the disease process is protracted, viral multiplication may not be unusually slow. Conventional viruses produce slow virus diseases such as SUBACUTE SCLEROSING PANENCEPHALITIS, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (LEUKOENCEPHALOPATHY, PROGRESSIVE MULTIFOCAL), and AIDS. Diseases produced by unconventional agents were originally considered part of this group. They are now called PRION DISEASES.Mutation: Any detectable and heritable change in the genetic material that causes a change in the GENOTYPE and which is transmitted to daughter cells and to succeeding generations.Disease Models, Animal: Naturally occurring or experimentally induced animal diseases with pathological processes sufficiently similar to those of human diseases. They are used as study models for human diseases.Codon: A set of three nucleotides in a protein coding sequence that specifies individual amino acids or a termination signal (CODON, TERMINATOR). Most codons are universal, but some organisms do not produce the transfer RNAs (RNA, TRANSFER) complementary to all codons. These codons are referred to as unassigned codons (CODONS, NONSENSE).Pentosan Sulfuric Polyester: A sulfated pentosyl polysaccharide with heparin-like properties.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Glycosylphosphatidylinositols: Compounds containing carbohydrate or glycosyl groups linked to phosphatidylinositols. They anchor GPI-LINKED PROTEINS or polysaccharides to cell membranes.Species Specificity: The restriction of a characteristic behavior, anatomical structure or physical system, such as immune response; metabolic response, or gene or gene variant to the members of one species. It refers to that property which differentiates one species from another but it is also used for phylogenetic levels higher or lower than the species.Nerve Degeneration: Loss of functional activity and trophic degeneration of nerve axons and their terminal arborizations following the destruction of their cells of origin or interruption of their continuity with these cells. The pathology is characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases. Often the process of nerve degeneration is studied in research on neuroanatomical localization and correlation of the neurophysiology of neural pathways.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Protein Structure, Secondary: The level of protein structure in which regular hydrogen-bond interactions within contiguous stretches of polypeptide chain give rise to alpha helices, beta strands (which align to form beta sheets) or other types of coils. This is the first folding level of protein conformation.Repetitive Sequences, Amino Acid: A sequential pattern of amino acids occurring more than once in the same protein sequence.Neuroblastoma: A common neoplasm of early childhood arising from neural crest cells in the sympathetic nervous system, and characterized by diverse clinical behavior, ranging from spontaneous remission to rapid metastatic progression and death. This tumor is the most common intraabdominal malignancy of childhood, but it may also arise from thorax, neck, or rarely occur in the central nervous system. Histologic features include uniform round cells with hyperchromatic nuclei arranged in nests and separated by fibrovascular septa. Neuroblastomas may be associated with the opsoclonus-myoclonus syndrome. (From DeVita et al., Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology, 5th ed, pp2099-2101; Curr Opin Oncol 1998 Jan;10(1):43-51)Microglia: The third type of glial cell, along with astrocytes and oligodendrocytes (which together form the macroglia). Microglia vary in appearance depending on developmental stage, functional state, and anatomical location; subtype terms include ramified, perivascular, ameboid, resting, and activated. Microglia clearly are capable of phagocytosis and play an important role in a wide spectrum of neuropathologies. They have also been suggested to act in several other roles including in secretion (e.g., of cytokines and neural growth factors), in immunological processing (e.g., antigen presentation), and in central nervous system development and remodeling.Phenotype: The outward appearance of the individual. It is the product of interactions between genes, and between the GENOTYPE and the environment.Molecular Sequence Data: Descriptions of specific amino acid, carbohydrate, or nucleotide sequences which have appeared in the published literature and/or are deposited in and maintained by databanks such as GENBANK, European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), National Biomedical Research Foundation (NBRF), or other sequence repositories.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Recombinant Proteins: Proteins prepared by recombinant DNA technology.Amino Acid Sequence: The order of amino acids as they occur in a polypeptide chain. This is referred to as the primary structure of proteins. It is of fundamental importance in determining PROTEIN CONFORMATION.Circular Dichroism: A change from planar to elliptic polarization when an initially plane-polarized light wave traverses an optically active medium. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Glycosylation: The chemical or biochemical addition of carbohydrate or glycosyl groups to other chemicals, especially peptides or proteins. Glycosyl transferases are used in this biochemical reaction.