The Opportunity of Proteostasis
James Shorter, University of Pennsylvania
Life demands that proteins fold into elaborate structures to perform the overwhelming majority of biological functions. Consequently, cells invest an enormous amount of energy in a protein homeostasis (proteostasis) network, which ensures that proteins fold correctly, remain correctly folded, and are subject to rapid elimination should they become irretrievably misfolded. However, problems can still arise, especially upon aging as evidenced by devastating protein-misfolding disorders such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Understanding how to manipulate the proteostasis network correctly could enable successful reversal of conditions such as ALS. Here, I briefly introduce proteostasis and our own focus on engineering protein disaggregases before introducing our two speakers: Alan Drummond and Anat Ben-Zvi
Background Review Article:
Balch WE, Morimoto RI, Dillin A, Kelly JW. Adapting proteostasis for disease intervention. Science. 2008 Feb 15;319(5865):916-9. doi: 10.1126/science.1141448.