Prions are infectious protein polymers that have been found to cause fatal diseases in mammals. Prions have also been identified in fungi (yeast and filamentous fungi), where they behave as cytoplasmic non-Mendelian genetic elements. Fungal prions correspond in most cases to fibrillary β-sheet-rich protein aggregates termed amyloids. Fungal prion models and, in particular, yeast prions were instrumental in the description of fundamental aspects of prion structure and propagation. These models established the "protein-only" nature of prions, the physical basis of strain variation, and the role of a variety of chaperones in prion propagation and amyloid aggregate handling. Yeast and fungal prions do not necessarily correspond to harmful entities but can have adaptive roles in these organisms.
|State||Published - Jan 1 2016|