Do your proteins get tied up in knots?

In a previous post Protein origami and aging I mentioned how proteins fold themselves up in complex shapes as soon as they are formed and how stress often leads to the misfolding of proteins, a process that can accelerate with age creating vulnerability to a number of dysfunctional and disease conditions.  Misfolded proteins are generally bad news.  In fact, I asserted that if I were to add a 15th theory of aging to my Anti-Aging Firewalls treatise it would possibly be Misfoldings of proteins.  I have posted a long and rather technical note on the protein folding subject in that treatise.  Some proteins have very complex topologies involving knots and slipknots. It turns out that the processes of folding can involve intermediate configurations with slipknot transition states and the folding trajectory can even involve backtracking.  The presence of these can affect the probability of successful folding.  Modeling of the folding process for complex proteins is starting to yield insight of how it can work. 

About Vince Giuliano

Being a follower, connoisseur, and interpreter of longevity research is my latest career. I have been at this part-time for well over a decade, and in 2007 this became my mainline activity. In earlier reincarnations of my career. I was founding dean of a graduate school and a university professor at the State University of New York, a senior consultant working in a variety of fields at Arthur D. Little, Inc., Chief Scientist and C00 of Mirror Systems, a software company, and an international Internet consultant. I got off the ground with one of the earliest PhD's from Harvard in a field later to become known as computer science. Because there was no academic field of computer science at the time, to get through I had to qualify myself in hard sciences, so my studies focused heavily on quantum physics. In various ways I contributed to the Computer Revolution starting in the 1950s and the Internet Revolution starting in the late 1980s. I am now engaged in doing the same for The Longevity Revolution. I have published something like 200 books and papers as well as over 430 substantive.entries in this blog, and have enjoyed various periods of notoriety. If you do a Google search on Vincent E. Giuliano, most if not all of the entries on the first few pages that come up will be ones relating to me. I have a general writings site at and an extensive site of my art at Please note that I have recently changed my mailbox to
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