Artifical amyloids

A team of scientists around Frederic Rousseau from Switch Laboratory at KU Leuven have designed a biologically active amyloid from a peptide sequence occurring in vascular endothelial growth factor 2 (VEGFR2). The peptide, which the researchers named vascin forms artificial amyloids. The results show, however, that vascin amyloids are not inherently toxic but that the emergence of amyloid toxicity is dependent on the biological context. When vascin oligomers are applied to cultured cells, they are efficiently absorbed and lead to a functional knockdown of VEGFR2. As such, vascin oligomers are only toxic to cells that rely on VEGFR2 signalling. LCOs were used in this study to confirm presence of vascin amyloids in HUVEC cells.

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