It has recently been suggested that the concentrations of proteins in the cell are tuned towards their critical values, and that the alteration of this balance often results in misfolding diseases. This concept is intriguing because the in vivo concentrations of proteins are closely regulated by complex cellular processes, while their critical concentrations are primarily determined by the chemical characters of their amino acid sequences. We discuss here how the presence of a link between the upper levels of in vivo concentrations and critical concentrations offers an opportunity to make quantitative predictions in cell biology based on the chemical properties of proteins.
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