Prion-like Transmission of Protein Aggregates in Neurodegenerative Diseases

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2010 Apr;11(4):301-7. doi: 10.1038/nrm2873.

Abstract

Neurodegenerative diseases are commonly associated with the accumulation of intracellular or extracellular protein aggregates. Recent studies suggest that these aggregates are capable of crossing cellular membranes and can directly contribute to the propagation of neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. We propose that, once initiated, neuropathological changes might spread in a 'prion-like' manner and that disease progression is associated with the intercellular transfer of pathogenic proteins. The transfer of naked infectious particles between cells could therefore be a target for new disease-modifying therapies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Amyloid / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology*
  • Prions / metabolism*

Substances

  • Amyloid
  • Prions