Proliferative ileitis of hamsters See hamster enteritis

ProMED The Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases. It has inaugurated an e-mail conference system on the Internet to encourage timely information sharing and discussion on emerging disease problems worldwide.

promoter A region of DNA, usually upstream of a coding sequence which directs RNA polymerase to bind and initiate transcription. As well as the defined sequences (e.g. TATA box) there are upstream and sometimes downstream sequences which attenuate or modulate transcription.

pronase A non-specific proteolytic enzyme isolated from a fungus, Streptomyces griseus. Useful as a preliminary treatment during extraction of intact RNA molecules from cells or virus because of its strong inhibitory action on ribonuclease.

Huppert J and Semmel M (1965) Biochim Biophys Acta 108, 501

propagation Growth of a virus with successive passages in cell cultures, fertile eggs, or animals.

prophage The bacteriophage genome integrated into the genome of a lysogenic bacterial cell.

Lwoff A and Gutmann A (1950) Ann Inst Pasteur 78, 711

prop-pox Synonym for scrum-pox.

protein synthesis

Prospect Hill virus (PHV) A species in the genus Hantavirus, isolated from the meadow vole, Microtus pennsylvanicus, in Maryland, USA. Not known to cause disease in humans. Related viruses have been isolated in North Dakota and Nevada, USA from the voles, Microtus pennsylvanicus, M. ochrogaster and M. mon-tanus. Their disease potential is unclear.

Lee PW et al (1985) J Infect Dis 152, 826

Prospect Hill-like virus Strains isolated from Microtus pennsylvanicus, M. mon-tanus and M. ochrogaster.

protamines Simple basic proteins rich in argi-nine. Present in cell nuclei. See histones.

protease A generic term for an enzyme such as pepsin or trypsin which cleaves a polypeptide chain by hydrolysis. An important mechanism of pathogenicity associated with enveloped virus infections. In retroviruses, a protease that is essential for virus replication is encoded within the gag-pol gene, and is a target for anti-retroviral inhibitory drugs. See protease inhibitors.

Katz RA and Skalka AM (1994) Annu Rev Biochem 63, 133

Nagai Y (1993) Trends Microbiol 1, 81

protease inhibitors As antiviral agents, compounds which block the post-translational cleavage of the gag and gag-pol polypep-tides of Human immunodeficiency virus type 1, and so inhibit virus assembly and maturation. Several such compounds have been licensed for treatment of AIDS patients, usually in combination with other drug treatments such as zidovudine (AZT). They include ritonavir and saquinavir.

proteid An alternative name for protein.

protein A high-molecular-weight polypep-tide of l-amino acids that is synthesized by living cells. The principal constituent of the cytoplasm.

protein A A cell wall protein of some strains of Staphylococcus aureus, which has the ability to bind strongly to the Fc portion of an antibody molecule when that antibody is bound to an antigen; used to collect antigen-antibody complexes.

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