HUMAN CYSTATIN C; DIMERIC FORM WITH 3D DOMAIN SWAPPING
[CYTC_HUMAN] Defects in CST3 are the cause of amyloidosis type 6 (AMYL6) [MIM:105150]; also known as hereditary cerebral hemorrhage with amyloidosis (HCHWA), cerebral amyloid angiopathy (CAA) or cerebroarterial amyloidosis Icelandic type. AMYL6 is a hereditary generalized amyloidosis due to cystatin C amyloid deposition. Cystatin C amyloid accumulates in the walls of arteries, arterioles, and sometimes capillaries and veins of the brain, and in various organs including lymphoid tissue, spleen, salivary glands, and seminal vesicles. Amyloid deposition in the cerebral vessels results in cerebral amyloid angiopathy, cerebral hemorrhage and premature stroke. Cystatin C levels in the cerebrospinal fluid are abnormally low.  Genetic variations in CST3 are associated with age-related macular degeneration type 11 (ARMD11) [MIM:611953]. ARMD is a multifactorial eye disease and the most common cause of irreversible vision loss in the developed world. In most patients, the disease is manifest as ophthalmoscopically visible yellowish accumulations of protein and lipid that lie beneath the retinal pigment epithelium and within an elastin-containing structure known as Bruch membrane.
[CYTC_HUMAN] As an inhibitor of cysteine proteinases, this protein is thought to serve an important physiological role as a local regulator of this enzyme activity.
Publication Abstract from PubMed
The crystal structure of human cystatin C, a protein with amyloidogenic properties and a potent inhibitor of cysteine proteases, reveals how the protein refolds to produce very tight two-fold symmetric dimers while retaining the secondary structure of the monomeric form. The dimerization occurs through three-dimensional domain swapping, a mechanism for forming oligomeric proteins. The reconstituted monomer-like domains are similar to chicken cystatin except for one inhibitory loop that unfolds to form the 'open interface' of the dimer. The structure explains the tendency of human cystatin C to dimerize and suggests a mechanism for its aggregation in the brain arteries of elderly people with amyloid angiopathy. A more severe 'conformational disease' is associated with the L68Q mutant of human cystatin C, which causes massive amyloidosis, cerebral hemorrhage and death in young adults. The structure of the three-dimensional domain-swapped dimers shows how the L68Q mutation destabilizes the monomers and makes the partially unfolded intermediate less unstable. Higher aggregates may arise through the three-dimensional domain-swapping mechanism occurring in an open-ended fashion in which partially unfolded molecules are linked into infinite chains.
Human cystatin C, an amyloidogenic protein, dimerizes through three-dimensional domain swapping.,Janowski R, Kozak M, Jankowska E, Grzonka Z, Grubb A, Abrahamson M, Jaskolski M Nat Struct Biol. 2001 Apr;8(4):316-20. PMID:11276250
From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.