Cast nephropathy is a severe complication of multiple myeloma. Binding of filtered monoclonal light chains (LC) with Tamm-Horsfall glycoprotein (THP) triggers heterotypic aggregation of these two proteins to form casts in the distal nephron of the kidney. To localize the LC binding site on THP, human THP was deglycosylated and underwent limited trypsin digestion in the presence or absence of a nephrotoxic LC known to bind THP. A 29.6-kD band was protected from trypsin digestion by the addition of LC. NH2-terminal amino acid sequence and amino acid analyses revealed this band was located between the 6th and 287th amino acid residues of THP. Six peptides located within this 29.6-kD fragment were synthesized and used as potential inhibitors of binding or aggregation of five different nephrotoxic LCs with THP. Peptide AHWSGHCCL (from amino acid 225 to 233) completely inhibited binding and aggregation of these proteins. Optimal inhibition required a cystine residue in this peptide. Truncation experiments demonstrated the entire sequence was necessary for ideal inhibition and the histidine residue explained the effects of pH on binding. These studies provided a basis for further study of LC-THP interaction and a potential approach toward the prevention of cast nephropathy.
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