Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Unlatching a window into the molecular landscape of prion toxicity

A study published in Nature Structural & Molecular Biology now unveils, at the atomic level, the initial mechanisms of prion toxicity, providing insights into the pathogenic mechanisms of a protein neurodegenerative disease caused by protein misfolding.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Binding of the prion mimic POM1 induces an H-latch in PrPC as the first event in the toxicity cascade.
Fig. 2: A latch-blunt antibody is not only innocuous to COCS cells, but protects the culture from prion-induced toxicity.


  1. Carlson, G. A. & Prusiner, S. B. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 22, 4861 (2021).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Frontzek, K. et al. Nat. Struct. Mol. Biol. (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Aguzzi, A. J. Neurochem. 97, 1726–1739 (2006).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Kraus, A. et al. Mol. Cell. 81, 4540–4551e6 (2021).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Hoyt, H. et al. Nat. Commun. 13, 4005 (2022).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Manka, S. W. et al. Nat. Commun. 13, 4004 (2022).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. Herrmann, U. S. et al. PLoS Pathog. 11, e1004662 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Lakkaraju, A. K. K. et al. EMBO Mol. Med. 13, e14714 (2021).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Eraña, H. Prion 13, 41–45 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Sawaya, M. R., Hughes, M. P., Rodriguez, J. A., Riek, R. & Eisenberg, D. S. Cell 184, 4857–4873 (2021).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Spagnolli, G. et al. PLoS Pathog. 15, e1007864 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Ashe, K. H. Alzheimers Dement. 16, 1561–1567 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Gunther, E. C. & Strittmatter, S. M. J. Mol. Med. 88, 331–338 (2010).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


J.R.R. is supported by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (grant PID2020-117465GB-I00, partially funded by EU funds).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jesús R. Requena.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The author declares no competing interests.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Requena, J.R. Unlatching a window into the molecular landscape of prion toxicity. Nat Struct Mol Biol 29, 733–735 (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing