Protein mobs kill cells that most need those proteins to survive

Artificial amyloid experiment gives insight into Alzheimer’s, other diseases

illustration of vascin

CRITICAL MASSES  Researchers have created an artificially clumpy protein, called vascin, which mimics the plaque-forming ability of proteins that cause Alzheimer’s disease. Vascin (red/yellow), a fragment of the VEGFR2 protein, forms fibers (gray strings in background) that penetrate cells (blue) and gum up the normal VEGFR2 protein (green, center), killing cells that rely on its action.

J. Schymkowitz, Rodrigo Gallardo. F. Rousseau

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