Osmolytes are naturally occurring small organic molecules present in all kingdoms of life. These organic molecules are accumulated by living systems to circumvent stress conditions. A number of human diseases have been grouped under the protein-misfolding diseases. These entire diseases share the same hallmarks of the presence of cellular inclusions and plaques that are deposited in the cells and tissues affected by the disease. These misfolded forms of protein are responsible for initiating toxic cascades in the cell, causing vesicle dystrafficking, synaptic and cell organelle dysfunction, and ultimately cell death. Published results suggest that cells regulate many biological processes such as protein folding, protein disaggregation, and protein-protein interactions via accumulation of specific osmolytes. Since, as of now, complete cure for these protein-misfolding disorders does not exist; therefore, it becomes increasingly important to review the recent works on this aspect to develop strategies for therapeutics. It has been shown that certain osmolytes can prevent the proteins from misfolding. Thus, osmolytes can be utilized as therapeutics for such diseases. In this review article, we discuss the role of naturally occurring osmolytes in various forms of amyloidosis associated with human diseases.
Part of the book: Synucleins