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J Biol Chem. 1997 Jan 3;272(1):406-13.

Characterization of high affinity binding between laminin and the acute-phase protein, serum amyloid A.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Queen's University, Syl and Molly Apps Research Center, Kingston General Hospital, Ontario, Canada.


Serum amyloid A isoforms, apoSAA1 and apoSAA2, are acute-phase proteins of unknown function and can be precursors of amyloid AA peptides (AA) found in animal and human amyloid deposits. These deposits are often a complication of chronic inflammatory disorders and are associated with a local disturbance in basement membrane (BM). In the course of trying to understand the pathogenesis of this disease laminin, a major BM glycoprotein, has been discovered to bind saturably, and with high affinity to murine acute-phase apoSAA. This interaction involves a single class of binding sites, which are ionic in nature, conformation-dependent, and possibly involve sulfhydryls. Binding activity was significantly enhanced by Zn2+, an effect possibly mediated through Cys-rich zinc finger-like sequences on laminin. Collagen type IV also bound apoSAA but with lower affinity. Unexpectedly, no binding was detected for perlecan, a BM proteoglycan previously implicated in AA fibrillogenesis, although a low affinity interaction cannot be excluded. Entactin, another BM protein that functions to cross-link the BM matrix and is normally complexed with laminin, could inhibit laminin-apoSAA binding suggesting apoSAA does not bind to normal BM. Since laminin binds apoSAA with high affinity and has previously been shown to codeposit with AA amyloid fibrils, we postulate that laminin interacts with apoSAA and facilitates nucleation events leading to fibrillogenesis. This work also provides further support for the hypothesis that a disturbance in BM metabolism contributes to the genesis of amyloid. The specificity and avidity of the laminin-apoSAA interaction also implies that it may be a normal event occurring during the inflammatory process, which mediates one or more of the functions recently proposed for apoSAA.

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