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Prions are proteins that convert between structurally and functionally distinct states, one or more of which is transmissible. In yeast, this ability allows them to act as non-Mendelian elements of phenotypic inheritance. To further our understanding of prion biology, we conducted a bioinformatic proteome-wide survey for prionogenic proteins in S.(More)
Prion proteins undergo self-sustaining conformational conversions that heritably alter their activities. Many of these proteins operate at pivotal positions in determining how genotype is translated into phenotype. But the breadth of prion influences on biology and their evolutionary significance are just beginning to be explored. We report that a prion(More)
Pathogens and cellular danger signals activate sensors such as RIG-I and NLRP3 to produce robust immune and inflammatory responses through respective adaptor proteins MAVS and ASC, which harbor essential N-terminal CARD and PYRIN domains, respectively. Here, we show that CARD and PYRIN function as bona fide prions in yeast and that their prion forms are(More)
Amyloid aggregation is associated with numerous protein misfolding pathologies and underlies the infectious properties of prions, which are conformationally self-templating proteins that are thought to have beneficial roles in lower organisms. Amyloids have been notoriously difficult to study due to their insolubility and structural heterogeneity. However,(More)
Prions are fascinating but often misunderstood protein aggregation phenomena. The traditional association of the mammalian prion protein with disease has overshadowed a potentially more interesting attribute of prions: their ability to create protein-based molecular memories. In fungi, prions alter the relationship between genotype and phenotype in a(More)
The self-templating conformations of yeast prion proteins act as epigenetic elements of inheritance. Yeast prions might provide a mechanism for generating heritable phenotypic diversity that promotes survival in fluctuating environments and the evolution of new traits. However, this hypothesis is highly controversial. Prions that create new traits have not(More)
Prions are an unusual form of epigenetics: Their stable inheritance and complex phenotypes come about through protein folding rather than nucleic acid-associated changes. With intimate ties to protein homeostasis and a remarkable sensitivity to stress, prions are a robust mechanism that links environmental extremes with the acquisition and inheritance of(More)
Protein conformational diseases are associated with the aberrant accumulation of amyloid protein aggregates, but whether amyloid formation is cytotoxic or protective is unclear. To address this issue, we investigated a normally benign amyloid formed by the yeast prion [RNQ(+)]. Surprisingly, modest overexpression of Rnq1 protein was deadly, but only when(More)
Tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) activates apoptosis through the death receptors DR4 and DR5. Because of its superior safety profile and high tumor specificity compared to other TNF family members, recombinant soluble TRAIL and agonistic antibodies against its receptors are actively being developed for clinical cancer(More)
Sequences rich in glutamine (Q) and asparagine (N) residues often fail to fold at the monomer level. This, coupled to their unusual hydrogen-bonding abilities, provides the driving force to switch between disordered monomers and amyloids. Such transitions govern processes as diverse as human protein-folding diseases, bacterial biofilm assembly, and the(More)