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Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2004 Feb;15(1):3-16.

Principles of protein folding, misfolding and aggregation.

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  • 1Department of Chemistry, University of Cambridge, Lensfield Road, Cambridge CB2 1EW, UK.


This review summarises our current understanding of the underlying and universal mechanism by which newly synthesised proteins achieve their biologically functional states. Protein molecules, however, all have a finite tendency either to misfold, or to fail to maintain their correctly folded states, under some circumstances. This article describes some of the consequences of such behaviour, particularly in the context of the aggregation events that are frequently associated with aberrant folding. It focuses in particular on the emerging links between protein aggregation and the increasingly prevalent forms of debilitating disease with which it is now known to be associated.

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