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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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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 aggregates are associated with a variety of debilitating human diseases, but they can have functional roles as well. Both pathological and nonpathological protein aggregates display tremendous diversity, with substantial differences in aggregate size, morphology, and structure. Among the different aggregation types, amyloids are particularly(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)
The self-assembly of proteins into higher order structures is both central to normal biology and a dominant force in disease. Certain glutamine/asparagine (Q/N)-rich proteins in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae assemble into self-replicating amyloid-like protein polymers, or prions, that act as genetic elements in an entirely protein-based system(More)