How the shapes of seeds can influence pathology

Neurobiol Dis. 2018 Jan;109(Pt B):201-208. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2017.03.011. Epub 2017 Mar 29.


It is widely accepted that the loss of function of different cellular proteins following their aggregation into highly stable aggregates or the gain of pathologic function of the resulting macromolecular assemblies or both processes are tightly associated to distinct debilitating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Creutzfeldt-Jacob, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis and Huntington's diseases. How the aggregation of one given protein leads to distinct diseases is unclear. Here, a structural-molecular explanation based on the ability of proteins such as α-synuclein or tau to form assemblies that differ by their intrinsic architecture, stability, seeding capacity, and surfaces is proposed to account for distinct synucleinopathies and tauopathies. The shape and surfaces of the seeds is proposed to define at the same time their seeding capacity, interactome and tropism for defined neuronal cells within the central nervous system.

Keywords: Alzheimer; Huntington diseases; Parkinson; Protein aggregation; Protein assemblies; Protein seeds; Strains.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / metabolism*
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / pathology*
  • Protein Conformation
  • Proteins / chemistry
  • Proteins / metabolism*


  • Proteins