Calcium-enhanced aggregation of serum amyloid P component and its inhibition by the ligands heparin and heparan sulphate. An electron microscopic and immunoelectrophoretic study.

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt

Serum amyloid P component (SAP) is a pentraxin found in the circulation and in all forms of amyloid deposits. Its physiological and pathophysiological functions are largely unknown. Electron microscopy showed purified human SAP to consist of double pentameric discs compatible with the results of size chromatography. The formation of double pentamers did not require calcium ions. The outer diameter of the discs arranged face-to-face was 11.6 nm and the inner diameter 3.2 nm. The thickness of single and double pentamers was 4.1 and 8.7 nm, respectively. Quadruple pentamers were occasionally seen. The self-aggregation of human SAP molecules was investigated in the presence and absence of calcium ions at different concentrations. In calcium-free solutions few and mostly small SAP aggregates were seen. After addition of calcium at increasing concentration the aggregates grew in size and crystalline-like structures were formed already at 2 mM calcium. At 25 mM calcium, large aggregates with a crystalline array occasionally exhibiting cylinders predominated. Binding of the ligands heparin and heparan sulphate to SAP completely abolished the calcium-enhanced aggregation, but the distribution of the SAP molecules was affected, resulting in strands or groups of adjacent molecules. The electrophoretic mobility of SAP was moreover significantly altered after its calcium-dependent reaction with these ligands. We conclude that purified SAP has a tendency to double pentamer formation and self-aggregation also in the absence of calcium ions. However, aggregation is greatly enhanced even at low concentrations (2 mM) of calcium. SAP's tendency to self-aggregation is abolished after its binding to heparin or heparin sulphate. Furthermore, our TEM studies indicate that purified human SAP freed of its natural ligands has the double pentameric form, whereas the electrophoretic investigations suggest that SAP's interaction with low-molecular-weight natural ligands in serum prevents homodimerization and self-aggregation.
TidsskriftActa Pathologica Microbiologica et Immunologica Scandinavica
Udgave nummer6
Sider (fra-til)420-6
StatusUdgivet - 1994

ID: 34097486