Health Study: The formation of protein clusters or aggregates, which are common in Alzheimer's disease, has been discovered by researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mandi. Researchers from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom and the University of South Florida in the United States showed that the Amyloid Precursor Protein (APP) signal peptide can combine with other peptides to form misfolded aggregates like Amyloid beta peptide that deposit outside of cells and cause diseases.
Alzheimer's disease is the most common type of dementia, and it affects memory and other essential mental skills over time. The deposition of misfolded peptides called Amyloid beta peptide in the gaps between nerve cells, for example, is connected to Alzheimer's disease.
The proteins inside the cell use signal peptides as a postal address. While proteins are required for nearly every cellular process, their malfunctioning activities owing to aggregation and/or misfolding can have negative consequences. Protein aggregation/misfolding is linked to more than 50 different illnesses.
The Researchers highlighted in the study, which was published in the journal Cell Reports Physical Science, that signal peptides are frequently broken off from proteins when they reach their target and are often damaged by the cellular machinery.