Are Amyloids Infectious?
Misfolding and aggregation of proteins is the main feature of a group of maladies which include most of neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and prion diseases), as well as several systemic amyloidosis. Among them, prion disease are the only one known to be infectious. Current evidence shows that the infectious agent in prion diseases is the misfolded protein and that the molecular mechanisms responsible for transmissibility are very similar to the process of amyloid formation in all protein misfolding disorders (PMDs). In this chapter, we discuss the theoretical and experimental evidences suggesting the possible infectious nature of several PMDs.
KeywordsAmyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Prion Protein Misfolded Protein Prion Disease Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy
We thank Dr. Kristi Green for critical review of the manuscript. This manuscript was supported by a grant from the CART Foundation to Claudio Soto.
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