Cryo-EM structure of cardiac amyloid fibrils from an immunoglobulin light chain AL amyloidosis patient

Paolo Swuec, Francesca Lavatelli, Masayoshi Tasaki, Cristina Paissoni, Paola Rognoni, Martina Maritan, Francesca Brambilla, Paolo Milani, Pierluigi Mauri, Carlo Camilloni, Giovanni Palladini, Giampaolo Merlini, Stefano Ricagno, Martino Bolognesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Systemic light chain amyloidosis (AL) is a life-threatening disease caused by aggregation and deposition of monoclonal immunoglobulin light chains (LC) in target organs. Severity of heart involvement is the most important factor determining prognosis. Here, we report the 4.0 Å resolution cryo-electron microscopy map and molecular model of amyloid fibrils extracted from the heart of an AL amyloidosis patient with severe amyloid cardiomyopathy. The helical fibrils are composed of a single protofilament, showing typical 4.9 Å stacking and cross-β architecture. Two distinct polypeptide stretches (total of 77 residues) from the LC variable domain (V l ) fit the fibril density. Despite V l high sequence variability, residues stabilizing the fibril core are conserved through different cardiotoxic V l , highlighting structural motifs that may be common to misfolding-prone LCs. Our data shed light on the architecture of LC amyloids, correlate amino acid sequences with fibril assembly, providing the grounds for development of innovative medicines.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1269
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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