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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2008 Feb;12(1):25-31. doi: 10.1016/j.cbpa.2008.02.011. Epub 2008 Mar 18.

Protein misfolding and disease: from the test tube to the organism.

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


Protein misfolding is the underlying cause of many highly debilitating disorders ranging from Alzheimer's Disease to Cystic Fibrosis. Great strides have been made recently in understanding what causes proteins to misfold, primarily through the use of biophysical and computational techniques that enable systematic and quantitative analysis of the effects of a range of different perturbations in proteins. Correlation of the results of such analyses with observations made in animal models of disease has however been limited by their seemingly irreconcilable differences in methodology and scope. Several recent studies have however begun to overcome this limitation by combining the two approaches. This strategy has made it possible to investigate many of the consequences of protein misfolding in vivo, ranging from disease pathogenesis to epigenetic regulation, in the context of the fundamental physico-chemical principles derived from extensive and highly detailed studies undertaken in vitro.

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