PMID: 10818498May 20, 2000Paper

A newly formed amyloidogenic fragment due to a stop codon mutation causes familial British dementia

Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Jorge GhisoBlas Frangione

Abstract

Familial British dementia (FBD) is an early-onset autosomal dominant disorder characterized by progressive cognitive impairment, spasticity, and cerebellar ataxia. Hippocampal neurofibrillar degeneration and widespread parenchymal and vascular amyloid deposits are the main neuropathological lesions. Amyloid fibrils are composed of a novel 34 amino acid subunit (ABri) with no sequence identity to any known amyloid molecule. The peptide derives from a larger precursor protein codified by a single gene BRI on chromosome 13. Affected family members have a single base substitution at the stop codon of the BRI gene that generates a longer open-reading frame resulting in a larger precursor protein. The release of the 34 C-terminal amino acids from the mutated precursor originates the ABri amyloid subunit. Our discovery of a new amyloid associated with the development of dementia supports the concept that amyloid peptides may be of primary importance in the initiation of neurodegeneration.

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