Prion diseases in mammals are caused by a conformational transition of the cellular prion protein from its native conformation (PrPC ) to a pathological isoform called "prion protein scrapie" (PrPSc ). A molecular level of understanding of this conformational transition will be helpful in unveiling the disease etiology. Experimental structural biological techniques (NMR and X-ray crystallography) have been used to unravel the atomic level structural information for the prion and its binding partners. More than one hundred three-dimensional structures of the mammalian prions have been deposited in the protein databank. Structural studies on the prion protein and its structural transitions will deepen our understanding of the molecular basis of prion pathogenesis and will provide valuable guidance for future structure-based drug discovery endeavors.