Aug 11, 2017

Proteostasis: How Misfolded Proteins Cause Age-related Diseases

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, life extension

Coming from a fusion of the words ‘protein’ (a molecule that a cell uses as a machine or scaffolding) and ‘stasis’ (meaning to keep the same), the term ‘proteostasis’ can essentially be simplified into “Each function reliant on proteins is running as it should. There are enough proteins to serve a function, and the concentrations of proteins are being maintained at healthy levels.”

Proteostasis is the process that cells perform in order to have all their proteins functioning properly; this, in turn, allows cells to work properly. Since cells are the building blocks of our bodies, when they work properly, we are healthy.

When proteostasis is not maintained, cells become dysfunctional and can die; this failure can lead to aging, cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, inflammation, developmental defects, and other problems. The loss of proteostasis is thought to be a primary reason we age, and we discuss how this happens in more detail here.

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