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Polyglutamine and Neurodegeneration: Structural Aspects

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Polyglutamine (polyQ) diseases are inherited neurodegenerative disorders caused by proteins with expanded polyQ regions. Although the pathological mechanisms of these diseases have not yet been elucidated, the processes of protein misfolding and aggregation seem to be a direct cause of neurodegeneration. Detailed structural information on polyQ proteins is therefore essential in order to understand the mechanisms underlying pathogenesis and to design therapeutic strategies. In the past decade, several studies have investigated the structural properties of polyQ proteins and the molecular basis of aggregation and fibre formation. The results obtained in these studies are reviewed here.
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Keywords: aggregation; neurodegenerative diseases; polyglutamine; structure; triplet expansion

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Division of Molecular Structure, National Institute for Medical Research, The Ridgeway, London NW7 1AA, U.K;

Publication date: 2004-06-01

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.
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