Characterization of amyloid A protein in human secondary amyloidosis: the predominant deposition of serum amyloid A1

Juris J. Liepnieks, Barbara Kluve-Beckerman, Merrill D. Benson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

79 Scopus citations


Serum amyloid A protein (SAA) is the plasma precursor for amyloid A protein (AA), the subunit protein in amyloid deposits of secondary or reactive amyloidosis. Several forms of acute phase SAA have been identified in human plasma. To elucidate whether one of these forms of SAA predominates in the formation of AA amyloid deposits, the amino acid sequence of the subunit protein in six cases of reactive amyloidosis was investigated. Minimal heterogeneity was present at the N-terminus as all samples started with residue 1, 2, or 3 of SAA. The C-terminus, however, was more heterogeneous with the AA protein in each case terminating at multiple sites from residue 58 to 84 of SAA. Since less than 20% of the AA protein in each case contained sequence past residue 67 of SAA, the sequence and recovery of tryptic peptides containing residues 52, 57, and 60 where human SAA1 and 2 differ was used to determine the relative amounts of SAA1 and 2 present. One sample contained only SAA1 sequence, four contained approx. 11% or less of SAA2 sequence, and the sixth contained 24-33% of SAA2 sequence. Thus, while five of the six AA samples contained both SAA1 and 2, the predominant form in all cases was SAA1. In three of the six cases, the protein defensin was isolated along with the AA protein from the fibrils. This may suggest neutrophil involvement in SAA processing to AA fibrils.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-86
Number of pages6
JournalBBA - Molecular Basis of Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 25 1995


  • Amyloid A
  • Defensin
  • Secondary amyloidosis
  • Serum amyloid A

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Biophysics

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