Unscripted: Science and Engineering Research

Watch What Happens When Proteins Misfold

By Allison Mills | Published

Proteins are like intricate origami. Misfolding can lead to a number of neurodegenerative diseases.  

Ashutosh Tiwari, an associate professor of chemistry at Michigan Tech, calls misfolding “a breakdown of the cellular machinery” that leads to a number of diseases.

“If proteins are aggregating in different parts of the brain, they can affect different functions,” Tiwari says, explaining that these aggregates are called many names including plaques, tangles, and pick bodies. “At the end of the day, we as biochemists are describing a very specific structure of an aggregate and the big question in our field is, what are the toxic forms?”

Check out this video where Tiwari explains the basics of protein misfolding.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 60 countries around the world. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our beautiful campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.