Episode Summary

Prions in yeast can allow better adaptation to changing conditions!

Thanks to David Garcia for his contribution!

Microbe of the episode

Microbe of the episode: Hepatovirus F

Jesse's takeaways

Prions can be deadly. They're misshapen proteins that cause a cascade of misfolding of similar proteins if they get into the nervous system, resulting in neurodegeneration in mammals. But in other organisms, they are not always so scary; some fungi use prions to regulate their behavior in varying conditions.
In this study, a prion allows yeast to switch between a fast-growing lifestyle with shorter reproductive lifespan that can be beneficial in conditions where nutrients are often plentiful, and a slower-growing but more enduring lifestyle that helps in more scarce conditions.

News Item

Journal Paper

Garcia DM, Campbell EA, Jakobson CM, Tsuchiya M, Shaw EA, DiNardo AL, Kaeberlein M, Jarosz DF. 2021. A prion accelerates proliferation at the expense of lifespan. eLife 10:e60917.

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