Previous studies have strongly suggested an association between glycosaminoglycans and tissue deposits of amyloid. The present study was aimed at studying this association in purified preparations of hepatic amyloid fibrils obtained from human AA type secondary amyloidosis. Glycosaminoglycans were isolated by gradient ion exchange chromatography of purified amyloid fibrils treated with pronase. Degradation with specific enzymes identified the glycosaminoglycans as chondroitin sulphate, dermatan sulphate, and heparin/heparan sulphate. The total amount of glycosaminoglycans specifically coisolated with the amyloid fibrils was 15 micrograms/mg fibril weight. The presence of glycosaminoglycans in amyloid may play a part in the incorporation of structurally diverse protein precursors into amyloid fibrils of identical ultrastructure.
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