Next Article in Journal
Genomic and Global Approaches to Unravelling How Hypermutable Sequences Influence Bacterial Pathogenesis
Previous Article in Journal
Genomics-Based Exploration of Virulence Determinants and Host-Specific Adaptations of Pseudomonas syringae Strains Isolated from Grasses
Previous Article in Special Issue
Involvement of Endogenous Retroviruses in Prion Diseases
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Pathogens 2014, 3(1), 149-163; doi:10.3390/pathogens3010149

Prions and Prion-Like Pathogens in Neurodegenerative Disorders

Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Viale G. Colombo 3, Padova 35131, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 January 2014 / Revised: 24 January 2014 / Accepted: 1 February 2014 / Published: 18 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Prions)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [234 KB, uploaded 18 February 2014]


Prions are unique elements in biology, being able to transmit biological information from one organism to another in the absence of nucleic acids. They have been identified as self-replicating proteinaceous agents responsible for the onset of rare and fatal neurodegenerative disorders—known as transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, or prion diseases—which affect humans and other animal species. More recently, it has been proposed that other proteins associated with common neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, can self-replicate like prions, thus sustaining the spread of neurotoxic entities throughout the nervous system. Here, we review findings that have contributed to expand the prion concept, and discuss if the involved toxic species can be considered bona fide prions, including the capacity to infect other organisms, or whether these pathogenic aggregates share with prions only the capability to self-replicate.
Keywords: prion; prion-like; PrP; neurodegeneration; amyloid-β; tau; α-synuclein; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease prion; prion-like; PrP; neurodegeneration; amyloid-β; tau; α-synuclein; Alzheimer’s disease; Parkinson’s disease
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Peggion, C.; Sorgato, M.C.; Bertoli, A. Prions and Prion-Like Pathogens in Neurodegenerative Disorders. Pathogens 2014, 3, 149-163.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Pathogens EISSN 2076-0817 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top