Free light chains in plasma of patients with light chain amyloidosis and non-amyloid light chain deposition disease. High proportion and heterogeneity of disulfide-linked monoclonal free light chains as pathogenic features of amyloid disease

Batia Kaplan, Marina Ramirez-Alvarado, Laura Sikkink, Sicilia Golderman, Angela Dispenzieri, Avi Livneh, Gloria Gallo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Scopus citations


Immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis (AL) and non-amyloid light chain deposition disease (NALCDD) are different forms of protein aggregation disorders accompanied by a monoclonal gammopathy. Monoclonal free light chains (FLCs) are precursors of the pathological light chain tissue deposits that are fibrillar in AL and granular in NALCDD. However, direct biochemical examination of plasma FLC precursors, which would allow comparison and better understanding of these two diseases, is still lacking. In this study, we examined FLCs in plasma of patients with AL and NALCDD by employing separation on Sep-PaK C18 cartridges, micro-preparative electrophoresis, Western blotting and mass spectrometry. Comparative analysis of AL versus NALCDD and control plasma samples showed new evidence of increased level and heterogeneity of circulating disulfide-bound FLC species in AL. In addition to full length monomers comprising the disulfide-linked FLCs, the monoclonal disulfide-bound FLC fragments were typically revealed in AL plasma. We hypothesized that enhanced disulfide binding of FLCs in AL interferes with their normal clearance and metabolism, which in turn might play a role in amyloid formation. The applied methods might be useful to diagnose or predict the pathological form of the disease and shed light on the mechanisms involved in light chain aggregation in tissues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)705-715
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Haematology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 2009



  • Free light chains
  • Immunoglobulin light chain amyloidosis
  • Mass spectrometry
  • Non-amyloid light chain deposition disease
  • Western blotting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology

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