2018 Volume 41 Issue 4 Pages 628-636
Transthyretin (TTR) is a tetrameric beta-sheet-rich protein that is important in the plasma transport of thyroxine and retinol. Mutations in the TTR gene cause TTR tetramer protein to dissociate to monomer, which is the rate-limiting step in familial amyloid polyneuropathy. Amyloidogenicity of individual TTR variants depends on the types of mutation that induce significant changes in biophysical, biochemical and/or biological properties. G101S TTR variant was previously identified in a Japanese male without amyloidotic symptom, and was considered as a non-amyloidogenic TTR variant. However, little is known about G101S TTR. Here, we found slight but possibly important biophysical differences between wild-type (WT) and G101S TTR. G101S TTR had slower rate of tetramer dissociation and lower propensity for amyloid fibril formation, especially at mild low pH (4.2 and 4.5), and was likely to have strong hydrophobic interaction among TTR monomers, suggesting relatively higher stability of G101S TTR compared with WT TTR. Cycloheximide (CHX)-based assay in HEK293 cells revealed that intracellular G101S TTR expression level was lower, but extracellular expression was higher than WT TTR, implying enhanced secretion efficiency of G101S TTR protein compared with WT TTR. Moreover, we found that STT3B-dependent posttranslational N-glycosylation at N98 residue occurred in G101S TTR but not in other TTR variants, possibly due to amino acid alterations that increase N-glycosylation preference or accelerate rigid structure formation susceptible to N-glycosylation. Taken together, our study characterizes G101S TTR as a stable and N-glycosylable TTR, which may be linked to its non-amyloidogenic characteristic.