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Am J Pathol. 1994 Sep;145(3):526-30.

Potential role of apolipoprotein-E in fibrillogenesis.

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Department of Pathology, New York University Medical Center, NY 10016.


Immunohistochemical and biochemical studies have demonstrated several different proteins in amyloid deposits that are not intrinsic components of the fibril itself but may play a role in their deposition and fibril formation. We compared the distribution of several amyloid-associated proteins, ie, amyloid P component, apolipoprotein-E, apolipoprotein-J, and vitronectin, in the deposits of several different amyloids, in particular light chain amyloid, with those in the deposits of nonamyloid monoclonal immunoglobulin, which may be considered a form of preamyloid disease. Although 100% of amyloid specimens (7 amyloid A, 15 immunoglobulin light chain, and 1 transthyretin) had amyloid P component and 100% had apolipoprotein-E (2 amyloid A, 10 immunoglobulin light chain, and 1 transthyretin) co-localized with the primary amyloid protein, none of the monoclonal nonamyloid cases (14 light chain deposition disease and 6 light and heavy chain deposition disease) had amyloid P component and only 1 of 11 had apolipoprotein-E. On the other hand, staining for apolipoprotein-J and vitronectin was positive in 100% of cases of amyloid and nonamyloid monoclonal deposits. The association between the presence of apolipoprotein-E and amyloid P component in the fibrillar form of monoclonal light chain deposits and their absence in the nonfibrillar form of deposits suggest a role for these proteins in the process of fibrillogenesis. This lends support for the previously proposed concept that apolipoprotein-E functions as a pathological chaperone by altering the conformation of amyloidogenic proteins.

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