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EMBO J. 2001 Nov 15;20(22):6277-87.

Furin initiates gelsolin familial amyloidosis in the Golgi through a defect in Ca(2+) stabilization.

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  • 1Departments of Molecular and Cell Biology, The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, USA.


Hereditary familial amyloidosis of Finnish type (FAF) leading to amyloid in the peripheral and central nervous systems stems from deposition of a 71 residue fragment generated from the D187N/Y variants of plasma gelsolin by two sequential endoproteolytic events. We identify the protease accomplishing the first cleavage as furin, a proprotein convertase. Endoproteolysis of plasma gelsolin occurs in the trans-Golgi network due to the inability of the FAF variants to bind and be stabilized by Ca(2+). Secretion and processing of the FAF variants by furin can be uncoupled by blocking the convergence of the exocytic pathway transporting plasma gelsolin and the endocytic recycling of furin. We propose that coincidence of membrane trafficking pathways contributes to the development of proteolysis-initiated amyloid disease.

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