Modeling of a propagation mechanism of infectious prion protein; a hexamer as the minimum infectious unit

Hironori K. Nakamura, Mitsunori Takano, Kazuo Kuwata

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3 Citations (Scopus)


To construct a new model of the propagation mechanism of infectious scrapie-type prion protein (PrPSc), here we conducted a disruption simulation of a PrPSc nonamer using structure-based molecular dynamics simulation method based on a hypothetical PrPSc model structure. The simulation results showed that the nonamer disrupted in cooperative manners into monomers via two significant intermediate states: (1) a nonamer with a partially unfolded surface trimer and (2) a hexamer and three monomers. Dimers and trimers were rarely observed. Then, we propose a new PrPSc propagation mechanism where a hexamer plays an essential role as a minimum infectious unit.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)789-793
Number of pages5
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2007 Sep 28



  • Amyloid
  • Coarse-grained model
  • Go model
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Prion disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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