Amyloid Formation in Bacteria
Amyloids result from the structural conversion of soluble proteins into self-associating conformations able to assemble into macromolecular insoluble fibrillar aggregates. The formation of amyloids is the underlying cause of incurable human disorders like Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s diseases or certain cancers. However, these highly ordered protein assemblies also form in the simplest organisms, like yeast or bacteria (de Groot et al. 2009). Common limitations of recombinant protein production in bacteria are misfolding and the concomitant formation of insoluble protein aggregates known as inclusion bodies (IBs). The formation of IBs in bacteria is now seen as part of a general cellular response related to the presence in the cell of unfolded proteins and as a pathway for the control of aggregation. These intracellular aggregates are dense, porous, hydrated, apparently amorphous, and refractile particles of nearly 1 μm in diameter and are...