Prof Mark Wilson
University of Wollongong
Defining systems that clear dangerous misfolded proteins from body fluids
Australian Research Council
The project intends to establish how the human body defends itself against protein-folding related disease and loss of quality of life. Exposure to everyday physical and chemical stresses can cause proteins to lose their normal shape and become misfolded. Misfolded proteins are causally involved in human ageing and serious diseases (for example, Alzheimer’s disease). However, the body does have a protective system that clears dangerous misfolded proteins from body fluids. Using cutting-edge approaches and a novel animal model, the project aims to establish how this system works. The outcomes are expected to improve understanding of the molecular processes affecting human ageing and disease and strengthen the framework needed to develop better strategies to combat these.