Protein rescue from aggregates by powerful molecular chaperone machines

Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2013 Oct;14(10):617-29. doi: 10.1038/nrm3660.


Protein quality control within the cell requires the interplay of many molecular chaperones and proteases. When this quality control system is disrupted, polypeptides follow pathways leading to misfolding, inactivity and aggregation. Among the repertoire of molecular chaperones are remarkable proteins that forcibly untangle protein aggregates, called disaggregases. Structural and biochemical studies have led to new insights into how these proteins collaborate with co-chaperones and utilize ATP to power protein disaggregation. Understanding how energy-dependent protein disaggregating machines function is universally important and clinically relevant, as protein aggregation is linked to medical conditions such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, amyloidosis and prion diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alzheimer Disease / genetics
  • Alzheimer Disease / pathology
  • Amyloidosis / genetics
  • Amyloidosis / pathology
  • Humans
  • Molecular Chaperones / chemistry
  • Molecular Chaperones / genetics*
  • Molecular Chaperones / metabolism
  • Parkinson Disease / genetics
  • Parkinson Disease / pathology
  • Peptide Hydrolases / metabolism*
  • Prion Diseases / genetics*
  • Prion Diseases / pathology
  • Protein Conformation
  • Protein Folding
  • Protein Unfolding
  • Proteins / chemistry*
  • Proteins / genetics
  • Proteins / metabolism
  • Quality Control


  • Molecular Chaperones
  • Proteins
  • Peptide Hydrolases