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Cell Mol Life Sci. 2015 Feb;72(3):401-415. doi: 10.1007/s00018-014-1740-y. Epub 2014 Oct 5.

Dynamic droplets: the role of cytoplasmic inclusions in stress, function, and disease.

Author information

1
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 91904, Israel.
2
Alexander Grass Center for Bioengineering, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Israel.
3
Department of Cell and Developmental Biology, Alexander Silberman Institute of Life Sciences, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, 91904, Israel. dan@mail.huji.ac.il.

Abstract

Neurodegenerative diseases and other proteinopathies constitute a class of several dozen illnesses etiologically linked to pathological protein misfolding and aggregation. Because of this strong association with disease pathology, cell death, and aging, accumulation of proteins in aggregates or aggregation-associated structures (inclusions) has come to be regarded by many as a deleterious process, to be avoided if possible. Recent work has led us to see inclusion structures and disordered aggregate-like protein mixtures (which we call dynamic droplets) in a new light: not necessarily as a result of a pathological breakdown of cellular order, but as an elaborate cellular architecture regulating function and stress response. In this review, we discuss what is currently known about the role of inclusion structures in cellular homeostasis, stress response, toxicity, and disease. We will focus on possible mechanisms of aggregate toxicity, in contrast to the homeostatic function of several inclusion structures.

PMID:
25283146
DOI:
10.1007/s00018-014-1740-y
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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