A conceptual framework for integrating cellular protein folding, misfolding and aggregation

Seong Il Choi, Baik L. Seong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

How proteins properly fold and maintain solubility at the risk of misfolding and aggregation in the cellular environments still remains largely unknown. Aggregation has been traditionally treated as a consequence of protein folding (or misfolding). Notably, however, aggregation can be generally inhibited by affecting the intermolecular interactions leading to aggregation, independently of protein folding and conformation. We here point out that rigorous distinction between protein folding and aggregation as two independent processes is necessary to reconcile and underlie all observations regarding the combined cellular protein folding and aggregation. So far, the direct attractive interactions (e.g., hydrophobic interactions) between cellular macromolecules including chaperones and interacting polypeptides have been widely believed to mainly stabilize polypeptides against aggregation. However, the intermolecular repulsions by large excluded volume and surface charges of cellular macromolecules can play a key role in stabilizing their physically connected polypeptides against aggregation, irrespective of the connection types and induced conformational changes, under-lying the generic intrinsic chaperone activity of cellular macromolecules. Such rigorous distinction and intermolecular repulsive force-driven aggregation inhibition by cellular macromolecules could give new insights into understanding the complex cellular protein landscapes that remain uncharted.

Original languageEnglish
Article number605
JournalLife
Volume11
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding: This research was supported by a grant of the Korea Health Technology R&D Project through the Korea Health Industry Development Institute (KHIDI), funded by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, Republic of Korea (grant number: HV20C0001) and by Korea Institute of Planning and Evaluation for Technology in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (IPET) through Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Convergence Technologies Program for Educating Creative Global Leader, funded by Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA; 716002-7).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology

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