Analysis of transthyretin in human serum by capillary zone electrophoresis electrospray ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry. Application to familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy type I.

PMID 25820240


Transthyretin (TTR) is known to misfold and aggregate, causing different types of amyloidosis. Familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy type I (FAP-I), which is the most common hereditary systemic amyloidosis, is associated with a TTR variant that presents a single amino acid substitution of valine for methionine at position 30 (Met 30). To screen for TTR-related amyloidosis rapidly and reliably, we have developed a novel procedure based on the analysis of monomers from the homotetrameric protein (∼56 kDa). First, we established a CZE-ESI-TOF-MS method to detect wild-type (normal) TTR with or without several PTMs, as well as an extra minor isoform in TTR standard solutions. Later, a sample pretreatment based on immunoprecipitation (IP) and centrifugal filtration was optimized to analyze serum samples from healthy controls and FAP-I patients (including an asymptomatic patient, a symptomatic patient, a liver-transplanted patient with the specific mutation, and a patient originally without the mutation who received a liver transplant from an FAP-I patient (iatrogenic FAP-I)). The mutant TTR (Met 30) variant with a relative molecular mass 32.07 higher than the wild-type TTR was found in the asymptomatic, the symptomatic and the iatrogenic FAP-I patients, who interestingly also presented the same concentration ratio between both variants of TTR (abnormal and normal). In contrast, as in the healthy controls, the abnormal TTR variant was not detected in the liver-transplanted patient with the specific mutation, which confirms the effectiveness of the treatment. The proposed procedure could be regarded as a suitable screening system for individuals with suspected TTR amyloidosis, and to gain insight into TTR structure, to understand the mechanism underlying the disease.