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FEBS J. 2005 Dec;272(23):5962-70.

The Yin and Yang of protein folding.

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Astbury Centre for Structural Molecular Biology and Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, Gerstang Building, University of Leeds, UK.


The study of protein aggregation saw a renaissance in the last decade, when it was discovered that aggregation is the cause of several human diseases, making this field of research one of the most exciting frontiers in science today. Building on knowledge about protein folding energy landscapes, determined using an array of biophysical methods, theory and simulation, new light is now being shed on some of the key questions in protein-misfolding diseases. This review will focus on the mechanisms of protein folding and amyloid fibril formation, concentrating on the role of partially folded states in these processes, the complexity of the free energy landscape, and the potentials for the development of future therapeutic strategies based on a full biophysical description of the combined folding and aggregation free-energy surface.

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