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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Apr 26;102(17):6098-102. Epub 2005 Apr 13.

Protein fibrils in nature can enhance amyloid protein A amyloidosis in mice: Cross-seeding as a disease mechanism.

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Division of Pathology, Karolinska University Hospital, SE-141 86 Huddinge, Sweden.


Secondary, or amyloid protein A (AA), amyloidosis is a complication of chronic inflammatory diseases, both infectious and noninfectious. AA constitutes the insoluble fibrils, which are deposited in different organs, and is a major N-terminal part of the acute phase protein serum AA. It is not known why only some patients with chronic inflammation develop AA amyloidosis. Nucleation is a widely accepted mechanism in amyloidogenesis. Preformed amyloid-like fibrils act as nuclei in amyloid fibril formation in vitro, and AA amyloid fibrils and synthetic amyloid-like fibrils also may serve as seed for fibril formation in vivo. In addition to amyloid fibrils, there is a variety of similar nonmammalian protein fibrils with beta-pleated structure in nature. We studied three such naturally occurring protein fibrils: silk from Bombyx mori, Sup35 from Saccharomyces cerevisiae, and curli from Escherichia coli. Our results show that these protein fibrils exert amyloid-accelerating properties in the murine experimental AA amyloidosis, suggesting that such environment factors may be important risk factors in amyloidogenesis.

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