Rice study probes basic science related to Alzheimer’s, other diseases
Patients suffering from diseases as varied as Type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and dozens of lesser known maladies have one thing in common: they suffer from a large build up of amyloids, tissue that’s created when millions upon millions of misfolded proteins stick together and form a mass that the body can’t get rid of on its own. Doctors don’t yet understand whether amyloids cause disease or result from it, but the fact that they are present in very different diseases affecting millions of people points to the need for improved understanding of the basic processes of protein folding, one of the most complicated and least understood of all biological phenomena.
Research appearing in the Oct. 8 issue of the Journal of Molecular Biology, describes a new technique that may help scientists predict which proteins are prone to misfold and at what point the folding process is likely to break down. The research could support efforts to find the causes for diseases involving amyloids, and it could prove useful for researchers studying proteins involved in even more prevalent diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Jade Boyd | EurekAlert!
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