Inside and outside the brain, accumulation of amyloid fibrils plays key roles in the pathogenesis of fatal age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases and wild-type transthyretin amyloidosis. Although the incidence of all amyloidoses increases with age, for some types of amyloidosis aging is known as the main direct risk factor, and these types are typically diseases of elderly people. More than 10 different precursor proteins are known to cause age-associated amyloidosis; these proteins include amyloid β protein, α-synuclein, transthyretin, islet amyloid polypeptide, atrial natriuretic factor, and the newly discovered epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1. Except for intracerebral amyloidoses, most age-related amyloidoses have been little studied. Indeed, in view of the increasing life expectancy in our societies, understanding how aging is involved in the process of amyloid fibril accumulation and the effects of amyloid deposits on the aging body is extremely important. In this review, we summarize current knowledge about the nature of amyloid precursor proteins, the prevalence, clinical manifestations, and pathogenesis of amyloidosis, and recent advances in our understanding of age-related amyloidoses outside the brain.
- Epidermal growth factor-containing fibulin-like extracellular matrix protein 1
- Islet amyloid polypeptide
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology