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J Biol Chem. 2005 Mar 25;280(12):12012-8. Epub 2005 Jan 19.

Seeding-dependent maturation of beta2-microglobulin amyloid fibrils at neutral pH.

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Institute for Protein Research, Osaka University and CREST, Japan Science and Technology Agency, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


Beta2-microglobulin (beta2-m) is a major component of amyloid fibrils deposited in patients with dialysis-related amyloidosis. Recent studies have focused on the mechanism by which amyloid fibrils are formed under physiological conditions, which had been difficult to reproduce quantitatively. Yamamoto et al. (Yamamoto, S., Hasegawa, K., Yamaguchi, I., Tsutsumi, S., Kardos, J., Goto, Y., Gejyo, F. & Naiki, H. (2004) Biochemistry 43, 11075-11082) showed that a combination of seed fibrils prepared under acidic conditions and a low concentration of sodium dodecyl sulfate below its critical micelle concentration enabled extensive fibril formation at pH 7.0. Here, we found that repeated self-seeding at pH 7.0 with fibrils formed at the same pH causes a marked acceleration of growth, indicating the maturation of fibrils. The observed maturation can be simulated by assuming the existence of two types of fibrils with different growth rates. Importantly, some mutations of beta2-m or the addition of a low concentration of urea, both destabilizing the native conformation, were not enough to extend the fibrils at pH 7.0, and a low concentration of sodium dodecyl sulfate (i.e. 0.5 mM) was essential. Thus, even though the first stage fibrils in patients are unstable and require stabilizing factors to remain at neutral pH, they can adapt to a neutral pH with repeated self-seeding, implying a mechanism of development of amyloid deposition after a long latent period in patients.

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