Human Genetics

Crowding is bad for your health

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Science  09 Oct 2015:
Vol. 350, Issue 6257, pp. 174-175
DOI: 10.1126/science.350.6257.174-c

Pathological protein aggregates are known to be associated with many human neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's. The tendency to form aggregates can come from mutations that cause either a gain or loss of function in a protein. However, the number of proteins that contribute to disease-associated aggregates has not been explored. De Baets et al. computationally explored databases of human genetic variation, including those from cancer studies, to determine the likelihood of protein aggregations. They found that disease-associated genes showed a higher number of mutations predicted to increase the likelihood of aggregation. These findings indicate that aggregation may more commonly contribute to disease than previously thought.

PLOS Comput. Biol. 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004374 (2015).

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