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An increase in amyloids will be observed any time cells are malfunctioning for whatever reason.

They are the most thermodynamically stable structure that polypeptides can form, and require constant housekeeping to prevent. Accumulation of amyloids is like failing to taking out the trash in your house.

Afaik, there has never been a disease state checked for amyloids that failed to be associated with them (heart disease, cancer, stroke, etc).

>"From a wide range of in vitro experiments on peptides and proteins we now know that the formation of amyloid structures is not a rare phenomenon associated with a small number of diseases but rather that it reflects a well-defined structural form of the protein that is an alternative to the native state — a form that may in principle be adopted by many, if not all, polypeptide sequences

[...]

These observations, therefore, have led to the remarkable conclusion that, at the concentrations present in living systems, the native states may not always represent the absolute free energy minima of the corresponding polypeptide chains — the native form of a protein could in some cases simply be a metastable monomeric (or functionally oligomeric) state that is separated from its polymeric amyloid form by high kinetic barriers" http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24854788

I've previously commented the same thing:

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=14914528#14917057

https://hn.algolia.com/?query=amyloid%20nonbel&sort=byPopula...






That's fascinating! I wonder if we could ever get to a point where people regularly can check their amyloid levels to see if they are becoming ill

Not a bad idea in principle.

In practice you have to figure out a way to detect them non-destructively (eg via light interacting with it in the tissue or some metabolite in excretions).


Please keep mentioning this stuff. It's shocking how poorly informed the average scientist is about this topic.

I plan to. I was similarly ignorant until I looked into the topic of natively unfolded peptides for a different reason (anomalous western blot results).

If you have any examples of these "uninformed scientists" on display it may be helpful to others. The purpose is not to point fingers, but to see where things may have gone wrong.


Is it fair to infer based on this that they are a symptom and not a cause? Or at least, not a primary cause, though their presence may crate a feedback loop?

I would think it is a good idea to assume they are a symptom but could also cause further problems.

Just like sneezing/coughing does occur normally, but is also a symptom of many different health issues, and in the worst cases could lead to broken ribs, etc.


Could amyloids be a proxy for aging in general? And systems declining in their ability to remove amyloids the cause of aging?

Or a symptom of aging. As for a proxy I doubt it would be much better than actual age.



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