Altered dimer interface decreases stability in an amyloidogenic protein

Elizabeth M. Baden, Barbara A.L. Owen, Francis C. Peterson, Brian F. Volkman, Marina Ramirez-Alvarado, James R. Thompson

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83 Scopus citations


Amyloidoses are devastating and currently incurable diseases in which the process of amyloid formation causes fatal cellular and organ damage. The molecular mechanisms underlying amyloidoses are not well known. In this study, we address the structural basis of immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis, which results from deposition of light chains produced by clonal plasma cells.Wecompare light chain amyloidosis protein AL-09 to its wild-type counterpart, the κI O18/O8 light chain germline. Crystallographic studies indicate that both proteins form dimers. However, AL-09 has an altered dimer interface that is rotated 90° from the κI O18/O8 dimer interface. The three nonconservative mutations in AL-09 are located within the dimer interface, consistent with their role in the decreased stability of this amyloidogenic protein. Moreover, AL-09 forms amyloid fibrils more quickly than κI O18/O8 in vitro. These results support the notion that the increased stability of the monomer and delayed fibril formation, together with a properly formed dimer, may be protective against amyloidogenesis. This could open a new direction into rational drug design for amyloidogenic proteins.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)15853-15860
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number23
StatePublished - Jun 6 2008
Externally publishedYes


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