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Key players in mysterious process of protein quality control identified

Image of protein after folding
Nov 28 2018

Posted In:

Research, Faculty

A new discovery reveals how cells decide what to do with misshapen proteins – whether to salvage or destroy them – and could guide research into neurodegenerative diseases and other cellular processes.

When a protein mis-folds, the cell can try to salvage the situation by re-folding the protein or destroying it, but how cells make that decision has been a mystery. In a recent study published in Nature, Professor Judith Frydman and her team identified the key molecular players in this decision. She sees this basic knowledge as the first step toward treating many human diseases, including neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases and cancers that sometimes result when a cell fails to eliminate mis-folded proteins.