Proteins are notorious for their unpleasant behavior-continually at risk of misfolding, collecting damage, aggregating, and causing toxicity and disease. To counter these challenges, cells have evolved elaborate chaperone and quality control networks that can resolve damage at the level of the protein, organelle, cell, or tissue. On the smallest scale, the integrity of individual proteins is monitored during their synthesis. On a larger scale, cells use compartmentalized defenses and networks of communication, capable sometimes of signaling between cells, to respond to changes in the proteome's health. Together, these layered defenses help protect cells from damaged proteins.
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