Review of the current state of protein aggregation inhibition from a materials chemistry perspective: special focus on polymeric materials
Protein instability caused by exposure to external additives or severe stress may result in different diseases. Of these diseases, many are triggered by protein misfolding and denaturation, leading to neurodegenerative disorders. Additionally, many other diseases are treated by biopharmaceutical approaches using proteins as drugs, which is again prone to denaturation. Numerous reagents and methods have been developed to understand protein instability and protection. However, the development of polymer-based protein protection agents as well as small molecules and peptides for combatting protein instability by inhibiting aggregation and facilitating protein refolding only gained attention in the last decade. In this review, we discuss protein aggregation inhibition and the role of polymers in protein protection. Further, we outline the significance of chemical additives in facilitating protein refolding and their importance in the use of recombinant proteins for treating neurodegenerative disorders.