Somatic mutations of the L12a gene in V-kappa(1) light chain deposition disease: potential effects on aberrant protein conformation and deposition

Am J Pathol. 1999 Dec;155(6):2009-17. doi: 10.1016/s0002-9440(10)65520-4.


Light chain deposition disease (LCDD) and light chain amyloidosis (AL) are disorders of monoclonal immunoglobulin deposition in which normally soluble serum precursors form insoluble deposits in tissues. A common feature in both is the clonal proliferation of B-cells that produce pathogenic light chains. However, the deposits in LCDD differ from those in AL in that they are ultrastructurally granular rather than fibrillar and do not bind Congo red or colocalize with amyloid P component or apolipoprotein E. The reason(s) for their differences are unknown but are likely multifactorial and related to their protein conformation and their interaction with other molecules and tissue factors in the microenvironment. Knowledge of the primary structure of the light chains in LCDD is very limited. In the present study two new kappa(1) light chains from patients with LCDD are described and compared to seven other reported kappa-LCDD proteins. The N-terminal amino acid sequences of light chain GLA extracted from the renal biopsy and light chain CHO from myocardial tissue were each identical to the respective light chains isolated from the urines and to the V-region amino acid sequences translated from the cloned cDNAs obtained from bone marrow cells. The germline V-region sequences, determined from the genomic DNA in both and in MCM, a previously reported kappa(1) LCDD light chain, were identical and related to the L12a germline gene. The expressed light chains in all three exhibit amino acid substitutions that arise from somatic mutation and result in increased hydrophobicity with the potential for protein destabilization and disordered conformation.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Base Sequence
  • Blotting, Western
  • Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains / chemistry
  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains / metabolism*
  • Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains / chemistry
  • Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains / metabolism
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Isoelectric Point
  • Kidney Diseases / metabolism*
  • Kidney Diseases / pathology
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Mutation
  • Paraproteinemias / metabolism*
  • Paraproteinemias / pathology
  • Paraproteinemias / urine
  • Protein Conformation
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


  • Immunoglobulin Light Chains
  • Immunoglobulin kappa-Chains