Immunoglobulin Light Chains Form an Extensive and Highly Ordered Fibril Involving the N- and C-Termini

Dennis W. Piehl, Luis M. Blancas-Mejía, Jonathan S. Wall, Stephen J. Kennel, Marina Ramirez-Alvarado, Chad M. Rienstra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Light-chain (AL)-associated amyloidosis is a systemic disorder involving the formation and deposition of immunoglobulin AL fibrils in various bodily organs. One severe instance of AL disease is exhibited by the patient-derived variable domain (VL) of the light chain AL-09, a 108 amino acid residue protein containing seven mutations relative to the corresponding germline protein, κI O18/O8 VL. Previous work has demonstrated that the thermodynamic stability of native AL-09 VL is greatly lowered by two of these mutations, Y87H and N34I, whereas a third mutation, K42Q, further increases the kinetics of fibril formation. However, detailed knowledge regarding the residues that are responsible for stabilizing the misfolded fibril structure is lacking. In this study, using solid-state NMR spectroscopy, we show that the majority of the AL-09 VL sequence is immobilized in the fibrils and that the N- and C-terminal portions of the sequence are particularly well-structured. Thus, AL-09 VL forms an extensively ordered and β-strand-rich fibril structure. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the predominant β-sheet secondary structure and rigidity observed for in vitro prepared AL-09 VL fibrils are qualitatively similar to those observed for AL fibrils extracted from postmortem human spleen tissue, suggesting that this conformation may be representative of a common feature of AL fibrils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)712-720
Number of pages9
JournalACS Omega
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 28 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering


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