Two stable unfolding intermediates of the disease-causing L68Q variant of human cystatin C

B Gerhartz, I Ekiel, M Abrahamson
Biochemistry 1998 December 8, 37 (49): 17309-17
In hereditary cystatin C amyloid angiopathy (HCCAA), presence of the Leu68 --> Gln substitution in cystatin C is coupled to a decreased concentration of this major cysteine proteinase inhibitor in cerebrospinal fluid and leads to its amyloid deposition in the brain. We established a high-yield expression system for L68Q cystatin C in Escherichia coli resulting in inclusion body accumulation at a level of 40% of the total cellular protein. Refolding of protein from purified inclusion bodies yielded a pure, almost completely monomeric and active inhibitor. CD and NMR spectroscopy demonstrated that so produced L68Q cystatin C is folded, conformationally homogeneous, and structurally very similar to wild-type cystatin C. Incubation at pH 7.0-5.5 caused the cystatin C variant to dimerize rapidly. The molecular form present at pH 6.0 displayed a slightly increased amount of hydrophobic parts on the surface as measured by 1-anilinonaphthalene-8-sulfonic acid (ANS) binding. NMR results showed that the dimer has a structure similar to that of the wild-type cystatin C dimer formed as a result of slight denaturation. Under more acidic conditions, at pH 4.5, another stable unfolding intermediate of L68Q cystatin C was identified. This molecular form exists in a monomeric state, is characterized by changes in secondary structure according to far UV CD spectroscopy, and shows an altered ANS binding resembling that of a molten globule state. The acidic pH also caused an almost complete monomerization of preformed dimers. The state of denaturation of L68Q cystatin C in vivo is thus a critical factor for the concentration of active cysteine proteinase inhibitor in cerebrospinal fluid and likely also for the development of amyloidosis, in HCCAA patients.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"