Chaperone overload is a possible contributor to 'civilization diseases'

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

85 Citations (Scopus)


Molecular chaperones dampen the effect of damaging mutations that would otherwise be removed from the population by natural selection. Here, I propose that the development of modern medical practice depressed this process, leading to a rise of phenotypically silent mutations in the genome. The background of misfolded proteins increases during ageing and, by competition, prevents the chaperone-mediated buffering of silent mutations. Phenotypically exposed mutations contribute to a more-abundant manifestation of multigene-diseases. This 'chaperone overload' hypothesis emphasizes the need for efficient ways to enhance chaperone capacity in ageing subjects, and will hopefully lead to the identification and 'repair' of silent mutations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)701-704
Number of pages4
JournalTrends in Genetics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics

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