Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Intracellular accumulation of the amyloidogenic L68Q variant of human cystatin C in NIH/3T3 cells.
  1. M Bjarnadottir,
  2. B S Wulff,
  3. M Sameni,
  4. B F Sloane,
  5. D Keppler,
  6. A Grubb,
  7. M Abrahamson
  1. Department of Clinical Chemistry, University of Lund, University Hospital, Sweden.


    AIM: To study the cellular transport of L68Q cystatin C, the cystatin variant causing amyloidosis and brain haemorrhage in patients suffering from hereditary cystatin C amyloid angiopathy (HCCAA). METHODS: Expression vectors for wild-type and L68Q cystatin C were constructed and used to transfect mouse NIH/3T3 cells. Stable cell clones were isolated after cotransfection with pSV2neo. Clones expressing human wild-type and L68Q cystatin C were compared with respect to secreted cystatin C by enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and for intracellular cystatin C by western blotting and immunofluorescence cytochemistry. Colocalisation studies in cells were performed by double staining with antibodies against human cystatin C and marker proteins for lysosomes, the Golgi apparatus, or the endoplasmic reticulum, and evaluated by confocal microscopy. RESULTS: Concentrations of human cystatin C secreted from transfected NIH/3T3 cells were similar to those secreted from human cells in culture. In general, clones expressing the gene encoding L68Q cystatin C secreted slightly lower amounts of the protein than clones expressing wild-type human cystatin C. Both immunofluorescence cytochemistry and western blotting experiments showed an increased accumulation of cystatin C in cells expressing the gene encoding L68Q cystatin C compared with cells expressing the gene for the wild-type protein. The intracellularly accumulating L68Q cystatin C was insoluble and located mainly in the endoplasmic reticulum. CONCLUSIONS: The cellular transport of human cystatin C is impeded by the pathogenic amino acid substitution Leu68-->Gln. The resulting intracellular accumulation and increased localised concentration of L68Q cystatin C might be an important event in the molecular pathophysiology of amyloid formation and brain haemorrhage in patients with HCCAA.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.