More than 300,000 new cases of amyloidoses are recorded in Germany every year. The diseases are caused by abnormally modified proteins being deposited in the body, usually in intercellular spaces. These insoluble protein fibrils, referred to as amyloids, damage not only the nervous system but also internal organs such as the heart, liver, kidneys, spleen or gastrointestinal tract and, in severe cases, also lead to their loss of function.
The Protein Misfolding Diseases unit carries out research into the impact of protein post-translational modifications and their influence on the emergence and prevention of amyloid diseases. To be able to detect pathogenic modifications using immunological assays, amyloid proteins are first expressed, purified and made to aggregate in vitro. Monoclonal antibodies are then produced and tested as therapeutic agents. The aim here is to develop personalized treatments in the form of antibodies.