Author(s): Leach SP, Salman MD, Hamar D
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Abstract Transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) are a family of neurodegenerative diseases characterized by their long incubation periods, progressive neurological changes, and spongiform appearance in the brain. There is much evidence to show that TSEs are caused by an isoform of the normal cellular surface prion protein PrPC. The normal function of PrPC is still unknown, but it exhibits properties of a cupro-protein, capable of binding up to six copper ions. There are two differing views on copper's role in prion diseases. While one view looks at the PrPC copper-binding as the trigger for conversion to PrPSc, the opposing viewpoint sees a lack of PrPC copper-binding resulting in the conformational change into the disease causing isoform. Manganese and zinc have been shown to interact with PrPC as well and have been found in abnormal levels in prion diseases. This review addresses the interaction between select trace elements and the PrPC.
This article was published in Anim Health Res Rev
and referenced in Journal of Clinical Toxicology