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Identifying conserved alternative splicing (AS) events among evolutionarily distant species can prioritize AS events for functional characterization and help uncover relevant cis- and trans-regulatory factors. A genome-wide search for conserved cassette exon AS events in higher plants revealed the exonization of 5S ribosomal RNA (5S rRNA) within the gene of(More)
Strong viroid-caused pathogenesis was achieved in tomato cv. Rutgers by biolistic transfer of severe or lethal potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) strains, while other tomato genotypes (e.g., Moneymaker) were tolerant. With reciprocal hybrids between sensitive and tolerant genotypes, we show that plant depression dominates over tolerance. Biolistic transfer(More)
Prion diseases are transmissible neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and animals. The agent of the disease is the prion consisting mainly, if not solely, of a misfolded and aggregated isoform of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP). Transmission of prions can occur naturally but also accidentally, e.g. by blood transfusion, which has raised serious(More)
Viroids are single-stranded, circular RNAs of 250 to 400 bases, that replicate autonomously in their host plants but do not code for a protein. Viroids of the family Pospiviroidae, of which potato spindle tuber viroid (PSTVd) is the type strain, are replicated by the host's DNA-dependent RNA polymerase II in the nucleus. To analyze the initiation site of(More)
Prion diseases are transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in humans and animals, including scrapie in sheep, bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle, chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer, and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans. The hallmark of prion diseases is the conversion of the host-encoded prion protein (PrP(C)) to its pathological(More)
Prion diseases are infectious neurodegenerative diseases affecting humans and animals. The food-borne bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) had serious impact on both economy and public health, respectively. To follow the pathogenesis of BSE, oral challenge studies were previously conducted, among others on the Isle of Riems, Germany (Balkema-Buschmann et(More)
Recent studies indicate that small amyloid-β peptide (Aβ) oligomers are the major toxic species responsible for development and progression of Alzheimer's disease (AD). Therefore, we suggest that the number of Aβ oligomers in body fluids is the most direct and relevant biomarker for AD. Determination of the Aβ oligomer content of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF)(More)
Neurodegenerative disorders associated with protein misfolding are fatal diseases that are caused by fibrillation of endogenous proteins such as α-synuclein (α-syn) in Parkinson's disease (PD) or amyloid-β in Alzheimer's disease. Fibrils of α-syn are a major pathological hallmark of PD and certain aggregation intermediates are postulated to cause synaptic(More)
Prion diseases, Alzheimer's disease, and Parkinson's disease are age-related neurodegenerative diseases that are characterized by the formation of protein aggregates during the progress of the disease. Although it is still not known whether these aggregates are causative for, or symptoms of, the disease. Many studies show that aggregates or even oligomers(More)