Amyloids Are Novel Cell-Adhesive Matrices

  • Reeba S. Jacob
  • Subhadeep Das
  • Namrata Singh
  • Komal Patel
  • Debalina Datta
  • Shamik Sen
  • Samir K. MajiEmail author
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1112)


Amyloids are highly ordered peptide/protein aggregates traditionally associated with multiple human diseases including neurodegenerative disorders. However, recent studies suggest that amyloids can also perform several biological functions in organisms varying from bacteria to mammals. In many lower organisms, amyloid fibrils function as adhesives due to their unique surface topography. Recently, amyloid fibrils have been shown to support attachment and spreading of mammalian cells by interacting with the cell membrane and by cell adhesion machinery activation. Moreover, similar to cellular responses on natural extracellular matrices (ECMs), mammalian cells on amyloid surfaces also use integrin machinery for spreading, migration, and differentiation. This has led to the development of biocompatible and implantable amyloid-based hydrogels that could induce lineage-specific differentiation of stem cells. In this chapter, based on adhesion of both lower organisms and mammalian cells on amyloid nanofibrils, we posit that amyloids could have functioned as a primitive extracellular matrix in primordial earth.


Amyloids Protein aggregates Cell adhesion Extracellular matrix Tissue engineering 



The authors wish to acknowledge DBT (BT/PR9797/NNT/28/774/2014), Government of India, and Wadhwani Research Center for Bioengineering (WRCB) for their financial support.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Reeba S. Jacob
    • 1
  • Subhadeep Das
    • 1
  • Namrata Singh
    • 1
  • Komal Patel
    • 1
  • Debalina Datta
    • 1
  • Shamik Sen
    • 1
  • Samir K. Maji
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Biosciences and BioengineeringIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia

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