Of Aging and Aggregation

Science's STKE  19 Sep 2006:
Vol. 2006, Issue 353, pp. tw326
DOI: 10.1126/stke.3532006tw326

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.

E. Cohen, J. Bieschke, R. M. Perciavalle, J. W. Kelly, A. Dillin, Opposing activities protect against age-onset proteotoxicity. Science 313, 1604-1610 (2006). [Abstract] [Full Text]