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Transmission of Diabetes Prion-Like Aggregates Triggers Disease Symptoms

05:15 EDT 1 Aug 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

Protein misfolding disorders (PMDs) such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), are characterized by the accumulation of misfolded protein aggregates in tissues including the brain. A few rare PMDs, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE, or mad cow disease), and Creutzfeldt-Jacob Disease (CJD), can even be transmitted between humans or from animals to humans. In these cases exposure to the causative misfolded protein aggregates, known as prions, triggers the transformation of normal proteins into the abnormal form. Effectively, prions ‘seed’ the development of misfolded protein aggregation in the brain of the recipient, and this leads to the accumulation of toxic substances that destroy neurons.  Protein aggregation isn’t limited to the widely recognized PMDs, however. About 90% of patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) develop pancreatic islet deposits of the peptide hormone islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). These misfolded protein aggregates start accumulating many ...

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