Amyloid fibrils of kappa origin from a patient with primary amyloidosis are dissociated in various denaturants and fractionated into their subunit components on Sepharose 6B. Solubilization of the fibrils in 4 M guanidine·HC1 followed by reduction and alkylation produced 22 000 and 17 000 dalton fractions. Without prior reduction and alkylation, these fractions exist as a high molecular weight protein which can be separated on Sepharose 6B. A high molecular weight protein can be directly dissociated from the amyloid fibril with 1% sodium dodecyl sulfate or 1 M NaCl. Reduction and alkylation of this material produces the two lower molecular weight fractions, i.e., 22 000 and 17 000. These have in the first 20 residues identical N-terminal amino acid sequences; they share immunologic identity and have similar tryptic peptide map profiles. Amino acid analysis of the 22 000 dalton fraction is identical with the intact immunoglobulin light chain isolated from the patient's serum. These data suggest that the insoluble amyloid fibril is the result of aggregation by disulfide linkages between the 22 000 and 17 000 dalton fractions.
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