In Ig light-chain (LC) amyloidosis (AL), the unique antibody LC protein that is secreted by monoclonal plasma cells in each patient misfolds and/or aggregates, a process leading to organ degeneration. As a step toward developing treatments for AL patients with substantial cardiac involvement who have difficulty tolerating existing chemotherapy regimens, we introduce small-molecule kinetic stabilizers of the native dimeric structure of full-length LCs, which can slow or stop the amyloidogenicity cascade at its origin. A protease-coupled fluorescence polarization-based high-throughput screen was employed to identify small molecules that kinetically stabilize LCs. NMR and X-ray crystallographic data demonstrate that at least one structural family of hits bind at the LC-LC dimerization interface within full-length LCs, utilizing variable-domain residues that are highly conserved in most AL patients. Stopping the amyloidogenesis cascade at the beginning is a proven strategy to ameliorate postmitotic tissue degeneration.
Keywords: dimerization; high-throughput screen; kinetic stabilizer; proteotoxicity; structural biology.