1932

Abstract

The remarkable variety of microbial species of human pathogens and microbiomes generates significant quantities of secreted amyloids, which are structured protein fibrils that serve diverse functions related to virulence and interactions with the host. Human amyloids are associated largely with fatal neurodegenerative and systemic aggregation diseases, and current research has put forward the hypothesis that the interspecies amyloid interactome has physiological and pathological significance. Moreover, functional and molecular-level connections between antimicrobial activity and amyloid structures suggest a neuroimmune role for amyloids that are otherwise known to be pathological. Compared to the extensive structural information that has been accumulated for human amyloids, high-resolution structures of microbial and antimicrobial amyloids are only emerging. These recent structures reveal both similarities and surprising departures from the typical amyloid motif, in accordance with their diverse activities, and advance the discovery of novel antivirulence and antimicrobial agents. In addition, the structural information has led researchers to postulate that amyloidogenic sequences are natural targets for structural mimicry, for instance in host–microbe interactions. Microbial amyloid research could ultimately be used to fight aggressive infections and possibly processes leading to autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases.

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2022-06-21
2024-06-19
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