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J Clin Invest. 1989 Mar;83(3):836-43.

Systemic senile amyloidosis. Identification of a new prealbumin (transthyretin) variant in cardiac tissue: immunologic and biochemical similarity to one form of familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy.

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Department of Medicine, State University of New York, Stony Brook 11794.


Isolated amyloid fibrils from three cases of systemic senile amyloidosis (SSA) contained subunit proteins with molecular masses of 14 (10-20%), 10-12 (60-80%), and 5-6 kD (5-10%) when fractionated under reducing and dissociating conditions. This grouping was identical to that seen in SKO, a case of familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP) studied earlier. Amino acid sequencing confirmed that SSA subunit proteins were in fact prealbumin (transthyretin). Complete sequence analysis of one SSA preparation revealed the presence of a new variant Pa (TTr) molecule with a single amino acid substitution of isoleucine for valine at position 122. Further studies used an antiserum specific for SKO IV, a subunit protein of SKO previously shown to correspond to carboxy-terminal 78 residues (positions 49-127) of (TTr). Anti-SKO IV reacted with SSA in tissue at equivalent dilutions to anti-Pa (TTr) and with the 10-12-kD fraction of SSA on Western blots; reactivity was blocked by SKO IV, but not by Pa (TTr). SSA is a form of systemic amyloidosis caused by tissue deposition of Pa (TTr) and its fragments, with shared conformational or subunit antigenicity to at least one form of FAP. Identification of a new variant Pa (TTr) molecule in one case suggests further that SSA may be a genetically determined disease expressed late in life.

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