Prions And Infectious Proteins
So today's topic is one I've wanted to address for a long time. It's the topic of Priante, a fascinating area of infectious particles that aren't. Alive, it's not it's not viruses or bacteria or or fungus, and in the days of cove it if you really wanted something else to have to worry about him. Here we go. Here's Priante and fascinating topic that has some very interesting routes and potentially some application to a number of important neurological diseases. So we'll say we're speaking with Dr Cassandra Teri. She's a reader in protein pathology at the London Metropolitan University in London so welcome to the podcast Dr Terry. Thank. You Kevin thanks for having me on. Yeah. This is really really good. I really appreciate you. Taking the time to meet with us because this is a topic that I think has. Just, so captivating. And we really need to start with the basics and there's a disease called Kuru. What is Kuru? and. Why is it important for us to understand pre-owned related disease? Okay. Yes. So curry is a really really interesting disease and. is. A disease that was found the tribes of people in. New Guinea. Um. What you what they used to do as part of that culture is when members family members of their tribe. Would die What they would do is they would actually. Senator. Eat parts of the of the of the person that had dead deceased. And And you know many years later when scientists looking into this, what happened was a lot of people down with this strange Strange symptoms the couldn't really work out why so many people within these tribes were getting these symptoms. So. When scientists eventually looked into it to try work out what was going on and they bend discovered the doing this practice this rich listrik cannibalism I'm what happened was essentially. A parts of the body such as. The central nervous system in the brain were eaten. By members of the tribe and those people who you know these parts of the brain. A parts of their body that were essentially infected with prions they got passed on to people who eat within the tribe. So essentially, what's happening is People within this community came down with the same disease Kuru. So it was it's been directly linked to the fact that. Members of this tribe were essentially add contracting this disease by ingesting m other m humans who had this these prions essentially I mean it's a fascinating disease unluckily this. The which list cannibalism has now been banned, it's not been stopped and there's been no more cases of crew and but it from a scientific point of view. It's very interesting to to see the actually this was one of the first reported cases of a transmission of a disease from humans to other humans. So this is why it's really Important to understand Karoo and from a scientific point of view because it shows prions can be transmitted. From humans to other humans. Now, you say, you say prey on and I've always said Priante and I've taken classes where said preempt is this like a tomato tomato thing like a UK okay. I try on other people, call them Priante if complete. Other. Correct pronunciations. Prions you can call them preowneds his. Just wanted to make sure I. got it right because you don't want to talk to a world expert and get it wrong. So that's a by. Could you tell us more about what is a PRI- on? So. They are essentially transmissible at infectious proteins. So they all proteins which are found within your body. And what they do is they can convert into a abnormally folded form of of the protein. And they can actually be transmitted. To species on cools disease essentially an infectious protein possible. It's really interesting stuff. So so you say they're naturally found in the body what is their role in the central nervous system? This is this is really important questions so. Obviously, lots of people, lots of scientists have tried to look at what it actually meant to be doing when they're not on the disease state, and actually if you look at mouse models, if you knock this protein out this off pc prion protein, if you knock your towels in mouse models. Mice. Absolutely. Fine. So exactly what it's doing in the body is not entirely clear. So there's lots of different theories are what it could be doing, but to this day was still not entirely sure what the prion protein does when it's not causing disease.