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Charge differences between in vivo deposits in immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis and non-amyloid light chain deposition disease

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Immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis (AL) and non-amyloid light chain deposition disease (NALCDD) are different forms of protein aggregation disorders that may occur in plasma cell dyscrasias with dysproteinemia. In systemic AL, the deposits are fibrillar and patchy in distribution, within and amongst different organs, whereas in NALCDD, the deposits are granular and diffusely distributed in systemic basement membranes, suggesting different mechanisms of aggregation and deposition. Previous evidence, that charge differences between the light chains in AL and NALCDD might account for their different phenotypes, prompted the present study, which compared the isoelectric points (pIs) of AL and NALCDD protein deposits extracted from human tissues. The pI profiles (5·2–8·8) of polypeptides in AL deposits were heterogenous in four cases, with a spread of both anionic and cationic isoforms; in contrast, in three of NALCDD the pI profiles (8·2–8·8) were homogeneous and restricted in the cationic range. These in vivo findings in human disease, together with other reported in vitro and in vivo experimental data, suggest that the fibrillar deposits in AL may form by electrostatic interaction between oppositely charged polypeptides, whereas the granular deposits in NALCDD form by the binding of cationic polypeptides to anionic proteoglycans sites in basement membranes.

Keywords: immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis; isoelectric focusing; non-amyloid light chain deposition disease; plasma cell dyscrasias; protein charge

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: The Heller Institute of Medical Research, Sheba Medical Centre, Tel-Hashomer, Israel 2: Department of Pathology, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA

Publication date: 2007-03-01

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