Author(s): van der Hilst JC
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Abstract The amyloidoses are a group of life-threatening diseases in which fibrils made of misfolded proteins are deposited in organs and tissues. The fibrils are stable, insoluble aggregates of precursor proteins that have adopted an antiparallel beta-sheet structure. In type AA, or reactive, amyloidosis, the precursor protein of the fibrils is serum amyloid A (SAA). SAA is a 104-amino-acid protein that is produced in the liver in response to proinflammatory cytokines. Although the protein that is produced by the liver contains 104 amino acids, only the N-terminal 66-76 amino acids are found in amyloid fibrils. Furthermore, SAA has been shown to have an alpha-helical structure primarily. Thus, for SAA to be incorporated into an amyloid fibril, two processes have to occur: C-terminal cleavage and conversion into a beta-sheet. Only a minority of patients with elevated SAA levels develop amyloidosis. Factors that contribute to the risk of amyloidosis include the duration and degree of SAA elevation, polymorphisms in SAA, and the type of autoinflammatory syndrome. In the Hyper-IgD syndrome, amyloidosis is less prevalent than in the other autoinflammatory diseases. In vitro work has shown that the isoprenoid pathway influences amyloidogenesis by farnesylated proteins. Although many proteins contain domains that have a potential for self-aggregation, amyloidosis is only a very rare event. Heat shock proteins (HSPs) are chaperones that assist other proteins to attain, maintain, and regain a functional conformation. In this review, recent insights into the pathogenesis of amyloidosis are discussed, in addition to a new hypothesis for a role of HSPs in the pathogenesis of type AA.
This article was published in ScientificWorldJournal
and referenced in Journal of Genetic Syndromes & Gene Therapy