Amyloid: Definition, Functions, and Diseases

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Do you know about this protein fragment that your body generates regularly and can be responsible for many functions and disorders? Amyloid is an aggregated protein, learn more about it through the underlying article.



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What is Amyloid?

Amyloid was a debatable subject in past till 1860, because they were considered as fats by some and carbohydrates by other. Later, they were confirmed in a category of globular proteins.


These are generated by bone marrow and get deposited in any tissue or organ of the body.


The disease is due to an aggregation of protein which gets deposited and stuck in various parts of the body like kidneys, liver, and spleen.


Due to this adherence, a risk of many diseases arouses in the human body. The deposition of amyloid also leads to a formation of fibrils. Fibrils are a thread like structure found in all kind of living organisms.




What are the Structure and Function of Amyloid?

These are generated of long fiber-like structures formed by the polypeptide and polymerizers. Its structure is characterized by cross-beta sheet in which antiparallel chains of beta-stranded peptides are arranged in an orientation perpendicular to the axis of the fiber.


These are mainly detected through methods of stain polarimetry, circular dichroism, fluorescent dyes, or FTIR (All forms of indirect measurements). These lies parallel to fibril axis.


When thousands of monomeric peptides convert into long fibers amyloids are formed. It forms aggregation with peptide hormone which helps in the formation of secretory granules. The study shows that amyloids have a huge support in the process of peptide synthesis.


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What are the Diseases Caused by Amyloid?

Amyloid can turn infectious in nature often due to abnormal aggregation of proteins in neurodegeneration. Hence, the diseases caused due to its dysfunction are majorly related to neurodegeneration disorders. Major diseases caused by the disorder are:


1. Alzheimer’s Disease:

It is a chronic neurodegenerative disease which is generally termed as Alzheimer’s. This disease takes a slow path toward acquiring the patient and gets worse as time passes.


Earliest symptoms that are indicated in Alzheimer’s are short-term memoryless, speech problems and mood swings.



2. Parkinson’s Disease:

This is a long-term degenerative disorder which occurs in a central nervous system and disrupts the motor system of the body.


A person suffering from Parkinson’s disease is most likely to be unable to perform daily chores. Earliest symptoms that are indicated in Parkinson’s disease are slow body movements, shaking, difficulty in walking and thinking problems.



3. Amyloidosis:

This is a rare kind of disease occurs due to the expansion of it in organs. It is an incurable disease which affects various parts of the body.


Earliest symptoms that are indicated in Amyloidosis are swelling in your ankles and legs, shortness of breath, enlargement of the tongue, sudden weight loss and diarrhea with blood.




What is Amyloid Plaque?

Amyloid plaque is another reason behind causing the chronic disease Alzheimer’s due to its accumulation in the nerve cells of the brain.


Generally, beta-amyloid and amyloid are eliminated by the brain but in the condition of Alzheimer’s these two construct a hard and insoluble plaque.





Amyloid is a lesser known protein fragment which can be stressful in case of disorder or dysfunctioning. One must keep habitual and regular check-ups to stay away from all the possible diseases caused by this fragment.


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