That structural abnormalities may be responsible for nonamyloid immunoglobulin (Ig) light chain deposition disease (LCDD) is suggested by previous results of Ig biosynthesis studies, but this hypothesis was not documented at the molecular level. We report on the first complete primary sequence deduced from cDNA analysis of a kappa light chain responsible for LCDD associated with an apparently nonsecretory myeloma. Bone marrow myeloma cells contained intracellular kappa chains and no heavy chains by immunofluorescence. Kidney biopsy showed typical nonamyloid PAS-positive kappa chain deposits. SDS-PAGE analysis of material extracted from a kidney biopsy specimen and of Ig produced by the myeloma cells revealed kappa chains of abnormally high apparent molecular mass (30,000). Comparison of the NH2-terminal aminoacid sequence of the kappa chain deposited in the kidney and of the complete sequence of several identical kappa cDNA clones from bone marrow cells showed the identity of the tissue deposited and plasma cell kappa chain. The kappa mRNA had an overall normal structure and corresponded to the V kappa IV gene rearranged to J kappa 1 and followed by a normal constant exon of the Km(3) allotype. The variable sequence differed from the V kappa IV germline gene by nine point mutations, including an Asp----Asn substitution at position +70 resulting in a potential N-glycosylation site. In vitro biosynthesis experiments and treatment with N-glycosidase provided evidence for the intracellular glycosylation of the monoclonal kappa chain. The peculiar sequence and the glycosylation of a kappa chain of the rare V kappa IV subgroup might be responsible for structural abnormalities leading to tissue deposition.
M Cogné, J L Preud'homme, M Bauwens, G Touchard, P Aucouturier