Hsp70 and Antifibrillogenic Peptides Promote Degradation and Inhibit Intracellular Aggregation of Amyloidogenic Light Chains
In light chain (LC) amyloidosis an immunoglobulin LC assembles into fibrils that are deposited in various tissues. Little is known about how these fibrils form in vivo. We previously showed that a known amyloidogenic LC, SMA, can give rise to amyloid fibrils in vitro when a segment of one of its β sheets undergoes a conformational change, exposing an Hsp70 binding site. To examine SMA aggregation in vivo, we expressed it and its wild-type counterpart, LEN, in COS cells. While LEN is rapidly oxidized and subsequently secreted, newly synthesized SMA remains in the reduced state. Most SMA molecules are dislocated out of the ER into the cytosol, where they are ubiquitinylated and degraded by proteasomes. A parallel pathway for molecules that are not degraded is condensation into perinuclear aggresomes that are surrounded by vimentin-containing intermediate filaments and are dependent upon intact microtubules. Inhibition of proteasome activity shifts the balance toward aggresome formation. Intracellular aggregation is decreased and targeting to proteasomes improved by overexpression of the cytosolic chaperone Hsp70. Importantly, transduction into the cell of an Hsp70 target peptide, derived from the LC sequence, also reduces aggresome formation and increases SMA degradation. These results demonstrate that an amyloidogenic LC can aggregate intracellularly despite the common presentation of extracellular aggregates, and that a similar molecular surface mediates both in vitro fibril formation and in vivo aggregation. Furthermore, rationally designed peptides can be used to suppress this aggregation and may provide a feasible therapeutic approach.