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Prion protein

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prion protein

small, infectious proteinaceous particle, of non-nucleic acid composition because of its resistance to nucleases; the causative agent, either on a sporadic, genetic, or infectious basis, of six neurodegenerative diseases in animals, and four in humans; the latter include the spongiform encephalopathies of kuru, creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, gerstmann-Straussler-Scheinker syndrome and fatal familial insomnia. The gene encoding for the prP is found on chromosome 20.

Synonym: prion.