Commentary: Proteooxidotoxic process of aggregation

Mark P. Mattson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


A recent editorial entitled "State of Aggregation" (Nat. Neurosci. 2011;14:399) described the importance of establishing the structural state of pathogenic protein aggregates (Aβ, α-synuclein, huntingtin, etc.) in studies of neurodegenerative disorders. While this is a laudable goal, it is based on the assumption that the neurotoxicity depends upon a specific tertiary structure of the protein aggregates. Here, I describe evidence (not mentioned in the editorial) that suggests that it is not the protein oligomers, per se, that damage neurons. Instead, neurons are damaged by an unseen sequence(s) of chemical reactions that generate reactive oxygen species (ROS), and it is the ROS that cause both protein aggregation and neurotoxicity. The latter "proteooxidotoxicity" mechanism provides an explanation for numerous findings in the field of neurodegenerative disorders, including the inability to identify specific receptors for the pathogenic proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-92
Number of pages2
JournalNeuroMolecular Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Amyloid beta-peptide
  • Huntington's disease
  • Membrane lipid peroxidation
  • Oxidative stress
  • Parkinson's disease

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Commentary: Proteooxidotoxic process of aggregation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this