Apolipoprotein AI mutation Arg-60 causes autosomal dominant amyloidosis.
A mutation in the gene for apolipoprotein AI (apoAI) was identified in an English family with autosomal dominant non-neuropathic systemic amyloidosis. The plasma of all affected individuals contained a variant apoAI with one additional charge, as well as normal apoAI. The propositus was heterozygous; the coding region of his apoAI gene contained both the normal sequence and a single-base substitution changing the codon for residue 60 of the mature protein from CTG (leucine) to CGG (arginine). Allele-specific oligonucleotide hybridization showed that the other affected individuals were also heterozygotes and that there was concordance of the mutant allele with the presence of variant plasma apoAI. Amyloid fibrils isolated from the spleen of the propositus consisted of proteins that ran as a doublet with an apparent mass of approximately 10 kDa in SDS/PAGE and a trace band at 28 kDa. Electrospray mass spectrometry of the purified 10-kDa material revealed components with mass corresponding to the N-terminal 88, 92, 93, and 94 residues of apoAI each with substitution of arginine for leucine. These observations were confirmed by direct protein sequencing and laser desorption time-of-flight mass analysis. No material with the normal apoAI sequence was detected. The trace band at 28 kDa yielded the N-terminal sequence of mature apoAI, indicating that intact or minimally degraded apoAI was also present in the fibril preparation. Discovery of this mutation and the detailed characterization of the apoAI fragments that form the amyloid fibrils open additional avenues for investigation of amyloidogenesis.