prion protein

noun

Definition of prion protein

: a glycoprotein found especially on the cell surface of neurons in the brain and spinal cord that sometimes occurs in an abnormal misfolded form which proliferates by inducing the normal protein to convert to the misfolded pathogenic form When the normal prion protein misfolds, it resists recycling and forms a hardy gunk. Some aspect of this process produces lethal sponge-like holes in brain cells.— Sandra Blakeslee abbreviation PrP — see prion entry 2

Examples of prion protein in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But these conditions are increasingly being seen as variants of the same disease, all stemming from the misfolding of one specific protein: the prion protein, or PrP. Vallabh and Minikel believe this protein is a suitable target for ASO treatments. Bret Stetka, Scientific American, 15 Aug. 2019 Why these prion proteins change in harmful ways is not yet understood. Korin Miller, SELF, 20 Feb. 2019 Generally, prions are infectious, deformed versions of the normal prion protein (PRNP), which functions on the outside of healthy cells in the brain. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 26 Apr. 2018 The gnarled versions prompt normal prion proteins to deform and malfunction, setting off a cascade that leads to telltale clumps of contorted proteins. Beth Mole, Ars Technica, 26 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'prion protein.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of prion protein

1982, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About prion protein

Time Traveler for prion protein

Time Traveler

The first known use of prion protein was in 1982

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near prion protein

Prionotus

prion protein

Prionurus

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for prion protein

Cite this Entry

“Prion protein.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/prion%20protein. Accessed 5 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!