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Home > Press > New Model of Prion Transport Through a Tunneling Nanotube Discovered

Abstract:
Researchers Kuznetsowv and Kuznetsov developed a useful mathematical model to describe the propagation of a prion concentration pulse entering a tunneling nanotube from an infected immune cell and propagating toward a neuron cell.This discovery is hoped to be utilized by dedicated prion researchers and to further advance therapeutic strategies for the affected patients.

New Model of Prion Transport Through a Tunneling Nanotube Discovered

London, UK | Posted on October 16th, 2012

A recently published article in Nanotube Therapy(2012), open access journal by Versita, addresses a current neuroengineering and pathology research problem concerning prion infection and transport within neuronal cells. The article by Kuznetsov and Kuznetsov features a newly developed, ground-breaking computational model of prion transport from an infected immune cell to a neural cell. The development advances our understanding of prion diseases - which are usually rapidly progressive and always fatal - with Creutzfeldt Jacobs Disease (CJD) to name the most infamous one. The model is the first computational prototype of prion transport through tunneling nanotubes of infected cells.

The symptoms of CJD are caused by the progressive death of the brain's nerve cells, which is related to the build-up of abnormal prion proteins forming amyloids. When brain tissue from a CJD patient is examined under a microscope, many tiny holes can be seen where whole areas of nerve cells have died.

Underlining the research findings, Professor David Foster of the University of Rochester said:
In their paper "A minimal model of prion transport through a tunneling nanotube," Nanotube Therapy (2012)", the authors developed a useful mathematical model to describe the propagation of a prion concentration pulse entering a tunneling nanotube from an infected immune cell and propagating toward a neuron cell. The model accounts for both lateral diffusion and driven transport in endosomes. The results are useful since they predict that actomyosin dependent transport is the major mechanism of prion transfer in tunneling nanotubes. Since tunneling nanotubes play an important role in many diseases, this model serves as an important step toward a better understanding of prion transport.

The researchers, working in collaboration, formulated and solved a mathematical model that represents the basic system of a prion molecule in a membrane nanotube. The model predicts that actomyosin-dependent transport, rather than lateral diffusion, is the major mechanism of prion transfer through tunneling nanotubes. This discovery is hoped to be utilized by dedicated prion researchers and to further advance therapeutic strategies for the affected patients.

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About Versita
Versita www.versita.com is one of the world's leading publishers of open access scientific content. Today Versita publishes about 350 own and third-party scholarly journals across all major disciplines. The company was established in 2001 and is now part of the De Gruyter publishing group www.degruyter.com. Since 2006 Versita has been a member of Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers and International Association of Scientific, Technical & Medical Publishers. Versita's book and journal programs have been endorsed by the international research community and some of the world's top scientists - Nobel Prize Winners included. The company is on the constant mission to make best scientific content freely available to all scholars and readers alike.

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