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Prions: new possible therapeutic target discovered

19 September 2022
A new study led by SISSA delves into the dynamics that cause prion proteins to take on the pathological form

Prion diseases, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy ('mad cow disease'), are lethal neurodegenerative infectious diseases that affect humans and other mammals and for which there is currently no cure. These diseases are caused by the accumulation of prions, which are misfolded versions of proteins that are naturally present in our brains. New research led by Giuseppe Legname of SISSA and Roberto Fattorusso of the University of Campania 'Luigi Vanvitelli', and recently published in Chemical Science, delves into the molecular mechanism that causes prion proteins to take on their pathological form. A discovery that paves the way for possible therapeutic options.