Antibodies and AL Amyloidosis
Besides their physiological function in the immune response by specifically binding antigens and tagging them for immune cells, antibodies are powerful therapeutic agents and represent major blockbusters in the pharmacological industry. We address important questions in the context of molecular immunology such as the assembly of antibodies or the evolution of specific traits. In this context, the folding and assembly of the surrogate light chain playing a role in the early B-cell development is of special interest. Another hot topic is the oligomerization and secretion of the IgM and IgA antibodies as well as the accessible conformational space of their variable, antigen binding sequence parts.
However, antibody fragments can also be the cause of diseases. Antibody light chain amyloidosis is the most common systemic amyloidosis with a still unsolved molecular mechanism of how the antibody chains form fibrils. Here, we try to unravel the underlying structural and biophysical properties that drive amyloidogenicity with a view to find new ways for early diagnose and to treat patients.