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- Prions are abnormally folded versions of cell membrane proteins which are otherwise normally found throughout the human body.
- Abnormal versions are resistant to most types of proteolytic degradation including resistance to many chemical and physical methods of inactivation.
- Can induce conversion of nearby proteins from the normal PrPC form to the abnormal and infective PrPSc form.
- Prions cause transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs).