Protein aggregation in crowded environments

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The generic tendency of proteins to aggregate into nonfunctional, and sometimes cytotoxic, structures poses a universal problem for all types of cell. This tendency is greatly exacerbated by the high total concentration of macromolecules found within most intracellular compartments, a phenomenon referred to as macromolecular crowding. This review discusses the quantitative effects of crowding on protein aggregation and the role of molecular chaperones in combating this problem.

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