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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Polymerization of intact beta 2-microglobulin in tissue causes amyloidosis in patients on chronic hemodialysis.


PMID 3532124

Abstract

Systemic amyloidosis with a predilection for bone and synovium may complicate the course of patients on long-term hemodialysis. This form of amyloidosis can be typed as distinct from other amyloid diseases by using small tissue samples obtained by bone biopsy and at postmortem. Immunoblot analysis of two-dimensional gels of partially solubilized amyloid fibrils established that tissue deposits are composed of monomers, dimers, and higher polymers of beta 2-microglobulin (beta 2m) and that amyloid P component was also present. Anti-beta 2m antiserum recognized fibrils, as shown by immunoelectron microscopy. Purified monomer isolated from dissociated fibrils yielded peptides corresponding to the entire known sequence of beta 2m. Virtually all serum beta 2m, as well as that present in tissue fluid bathing amyloid fibrils, was monomeric. Hemodialysis-related amyloidosis is an example of a deposition disease occurring in hemodialysis patients. We have shown conclusively that, in this amyloid disease, polymerization of an intact normal serum protein to a fibrillar configuration may occur without proteolysis. We propose the designation A beta 2m for this form of amyloid fibril subunit protein.