Copper may induce misfolding of prion proteins

Abnormal folding of prion proteins leads to neurodegenerative disease.

Iowa State University researchers have described with single-molecule precision how copper ions cause prion proteins to misfold and seed the misfolding and clumping of nearby prion proteins.

The researchers also found the copper-induced misfolding and clumping is associated with inflammation and damage to nerve cells in brain tissue from a mouse model.

Prions are abnormal, pathogenic agents that are transmissible and induce abnormal folding of a specific type of protein call

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