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Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1998 Dec;8(6):799-809.

Conformational changes and disease--serpins, prions and Alzheimer's.

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  • 1Department of Haematology Cambridge Institute for Medical Research University of Cambridge Hills Road Cambridge CB2 2XY UK. rwc


Some of the most perplexing disorders in medicine are each now known to arise from the conformational instability of an underlying protein. The consequence is a continuum of pathologies with typically a change in fold leading to ordered aggregation and tissue deposition. The serpins provide a structural prototype for these pathologies and give a perspective on the assessment of current proposals as to the conformational basis of both Alzheimer's disease and the transmissible prion encephalopathies.

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