Expression of mouse apolipoprotein SAA1.1 in CE/J mice: Isoform-specific effects on amyloidogenesis

Jin Yu, Hong Zhu, Jun Tao Guo, Frederick C. De Beer, Mark S. Kindy

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19 Scopus citations


Amyloid A (AA) amyloid deposition in mice is dependent upon isoform-specific effects of the serum amyloid A (SAA) protein. In type A mice, SAA1.1 and SAA2.1 are the major apolipoprotein-SAA isoforms found on high-density lipoproteins. During inflammation, both isoforms are increased 1000-fold, but only SAA1.1 is selectively deposited into amyloid fibrils. Previous studies showed that the CE/J mouse strain is resistant to amyloid induction. This resistance is not due to a deficiency in SAA synthesis, but is probably related to the unusual SAA isoform present. The CE/J mouse has a single acute-phase SAA protein (SAA2.2), which is a composite of the SAA1.1 and SAA2.1, with an amino terminus similar to the nonamyloidogenic SAA2.1. Recently, genetic experiments suggested that the SAA2.2 isoform might provide protection from amyloid deposition. To determine the amyloidogenic potential of the CE/J mouse, we generated SAA adenoviral vectors to express the various isoforms in vitro and in vivo. Purified recombinant SAA proteins demonstrated that SAA1.1 was fibrillogenic in vitro, whereas SAA2.2 was unable to form fibrils. Incubation of increasing concentrations of the nonamyloidogenic SAA2.2 protein with the amyloidogenic SAA1.1 did not inhibit the fibrillogenic nature of SAA1.1, or alter its ability to form extensive fibrils. Injection of the mouse SAA1.1 or SAA2.2 adenoviral vectors into mice resulted in isoform-specific expression of the SAA proteins. Amyloid induction after viral expression of the SAA1.1 protein resulted in the deposition of amyloid fibrils in the CE/J mouse, whereas SAA2.2 expression had no effect. Similar expression of the SAA2.2 protein in C57BL/6 mice did not alter amyloid deposition. These data demonstrate that the failure of the CE/J mouse to deposit amyloid is due to the structural inability of the SAA2.2 to form amyloid fibrils. This mouse provides a unique system to test the amyloidogenic potential of altered SAA proteins and to determine the important structural features of the protein.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1797-1806
Number of pages10
JournalLaboratory Investigation
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2000

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by the National Institute for Neurological Diseases and Stroke (NS32221) and the National Institute on Aging (AG12981). Additional funding was obtained through the Stroke Program of the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging. JTG was an Academic Year Fellow. Address reprint requests to: Dr. Mark S. Kindy, Department of Biochemistry, 800 Rose Street, Lexington, Kentucky 40536-0084. Fax: 606 257 8990; E-mail:

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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