Amyloids are highly ordered fibrous cross-β protein aggregates that are notorious primarily because of association with a variety of incurable human and animal diseases (termed amyloidoses), including Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD), type 2 diabetes (T2D), and prion diseases. Some amyloid-associated diseases, in particular T2D and AD, are widespread and affect hundreds of millions of people all over the world. However, recently it has become evident that many amyloids, termed “functional amyloids,” are involved in various activities that are beneficial to organisms. Functional amyloids were discovered in diverse taxa, ranging from bacteria to mammals. These amyloids are involved in vital biological functions such as long-term memory, storage of peptide hormones and scaffolding melanin polymerization in animals, substrate attachment, and biofilm formation in bacteria and fungi, etc. Thus, amyloids undoubtedly are playing important roles in biological and pathological processes. This review is focused on functional amyloids in mammals and summarizes approaches used for identifying new potentially amyloidogenic proteins and domains.
Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)