Protein aggregation that is associated with late age onset diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s has toxic effects. Cohen et al. show, in a worm model of amyloidosis, that the aging process is linked to toxic protein aggregation. Molecules associated with the insulin signaling pathway--a cascade that is linked to aging--also influence aggregation and toxicity. The transcription factor DAF-16 and heat shock protein HSF-1 function to promote aggregation or disaggregation, respectively, of β-amyloid peptides. The authors propose a cellular mechanism hinging on these two factors whereby toxic aggregates are identified and prepared for disaggregation and degradation.
- Of Aging and Aggregation
The insulin/insulin-like receptor pathway can detoxify protein aggregates in worms engineered to express excess protein in their muscles, perhaps partly explaining its role in aging.Permalink: