I am investigating ways to reliably decontaminate instrumentation that has come into contact with mammalian prions. Chaotropic salts and extreme pH are good at inactivating prions by disaggregating the assemblies of PrP.
Also phenol is among the most effective "prionicidal" agents. I presume that this is because it flips hydrophobic side chains of proteins towards the solvent, thereby denaturing/disaggregating PrPSc. My questions are:
- is this true?
- if so, might other phenolic scaffolds/derivatives be even more effective for prion disinfection?
- and if so, which scaffolds might be most promising?