Folding related dimerization of human cystatin C

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


With the aim to improve our understanding of the structural basis for protein self-association and aggregation, in particular in relationship to protein refolding and amyloid formation, folding-related processes for human cystatin C have been studied. Using NMR spectroscopy together with chromatographic and electrophoretic methods, a self-association process resulting in dimer formation for protein samples treated with denaturing agents as well as for samples subjected to low pH or high temperature conditions could be studied with amino acid resolution. In all three cases, the dimerization involves properly folded molecules and proceeds via the reactive site of the inhibitor, which leads to complete loss of its biological activity. This dimerization process has potential relevance for amyloid formation by the brain hemorrhage-causing Leu-Gln variant of cystatin C. The results also indicate that cystatin C dimerization and inactivation may occur in acidified compartments in vivo, which could be relevant for the physiological regulation of cysteine proteinase activity.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Pharmacology and Toxicology
  • Medicinal Chemistry
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1314-1321
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Publication categoryResearch