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Review article - Peer-reviewed, 2016

Transmissible amyloid

Tjernberg, L. O.; Rising, A.; Johansson, J.; Jaudzems, K.; Westermark, P.


There are around 30 human diseases associated with protein misfolding and amyloid formation, each one caused by a certain protein or peptide. Many of these diseases are lethal and together they pose an enormous burden to society. The prion protein has attracted particular interest as being shown to be the pathogenic agent in transmissible diseases such as kuru, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease and bovine spongiform encephalopathy. Whether similar transmission could occur also in other amyloidoses such as Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and serum amyloid A amyloidosis is a matter of intense research and debate. Furthermore, it has been suggested that novel biomaterials such as artificial spider silk are potentially amyloidogenic. Here, we provide a brief introduction to amyloid, prions and other proteins involved in amyloid disease and review recent evidence for their potential transmission. We discuss the similarities and differences between amyloid and silk, as well as the potential hazards associated with protein-based biomaterials.Read more articles from the symposium: Amyloid - a multifaceted player in human health and disease.


amyloid; fibril; prion; transmission; spider silk

Published in

Journal of Internal Medicine
2016, Volume: 280, number: 2, pages: 153-163