When it’s just right: Keeping the balance in protein aggregation
Scientists from the Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB) in Mainz, Germany, in the laboratory of Prof. René Ketting, have discovered a method by which cells regulate the aggregation of proteins. In neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's, the uncontrolled clumping together of proteins into large aggregate structures is a common feature. In an article published in the journal Developmental Cell, Ketting and his team describe how cells in the embryos of zebrafish specifically trigger the aggregation of a certain protein (Bucky ball). This process leads to defining which cells become reproductive cells. Their research gives a rare glimpse into the regulation of protein aggregation processes, which may shed light on what goes wrong in disease.