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LETTERS TO THE EDITORS

More Misfoldings

To the Editors:

I read the article "A New Understanding of Protein Mutation Unfolds" by P. Michael Conn and Jo Ann Janovick (July-August) with great interest, but I was disappointed to find prions, slow viral infections and mad cow disease omitted. These poorly understood illnesses may well be the result of misfolded proteins.

David J. Melvin
Chester, New Jersey

Dr. Conn responds:

We share Dr. Melvin's view that prion diseases may result from problems in folding; this possibility was mentioned in Figure 10 and in the section of the text titled "Misfolding as a Disease Etiology." The third reference cited in the article, by Castro-Fernandez et al., has more detail on prion disease and other disorders for which the current evidence of protein misfolding is as yet less compelling than for those examples we cited in the article.

 

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