Protein: Prion and prion protein
PDB ID#: 1dwy and 1tpx
Is Betsy feeling a bit mooooody? Perhaps she’s come down with a case of mad cow disease! Also known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy, mad cow disease is a fatal neurodegenerative disease of cattle. Infected cattle show behavioral changes, have difficulty standing and walking, and will lose weight without losing appetite. By a process not completely understood, normal prion proteins, shown in yellow alpha helices and pink beta sheets, transform into abnormal prions. These prions, represented by orange alpha helices and numerous red beta sheets, aggregate and give brain tissue its spongy appearance. The bipolarity between a mad cow and a happy one couldn’t be more obvious!