Janet R Kumita

Learn More
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is predominantly sporadic, but associated with heritable genetic mutations in 5-10% of cases, including those in Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase (SOD1). We previously showed that misfolding of SOD1 can be transmitted to endogenous human wild-type SOD1 (HuWtSOD1) in an intracellular compartment. Using NSC-34 motor neuron-like(More)
Oligomeric assemblies formed from a variety of disease-associated peptides and proteins have been strongly associated with toxicity in many neurodegenerative conditions, such as Alzheimer's disease. The precise nature of the toxic agents, however, remains still to be established. We show that prefibrillar aggregates of E22G (arctic) variant of the(More)
Misfolding and aggregation of proteins are characteristics of a range of increasingly prevalent neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases. In Parkinson's disease and several closely related syndromes, the protein alpha-synuclein (AS) aggregates and forms amyloid-like deposits in specific regions of the brain. Fluorescence(More)
We have investigated the relationship between the stability and secreted yield of a series of mutational variants of human lysozyme (HuL) in Pichia pastoris. We show that genes directly involved in the unfolded protein response (UPR), ER-associated degradation (ERAD) and ER-phagy are transcriptionally up-regulated more quickly and to higher levels in(More)
Misfolding and aggregation of amyloidogenic polypeptides lie at the root of many neurodegenerative diseases. Whilst protein aggregation can be readily studied in vitro by established biophysical techniques, direct observation of the nature and kinetics of aggregation processes taking place in vivo is much more challenging. We describe here, however, a(More)
alpha(2)-Macroglobulin (alpha(2)M) and haptoglobin (Hp) are both abundant secreted glycoproteins that are best known for their protease trapping and hemoglobin binding activities, respectively. Like the small heat shock proteins, both these glycoproteins have in common the ability to protect a range of proteins from stress-induced amorphous aggregation and(More)
Clusterin is an extracellular chaperone present in all disease-associated extracellular amyloid deposits, but its roles in amyloid formation and protein deposition in vivo are poorly understood. The current study initially aimed to characterize the effects of clusterin on amyloid formation in vitro by a panel of eight protein substrates. Two of the(More)
Charged polyelectrolytes such as glycosaminoglycans and nucleic acids have frequently been found associated with the proteinaceous deposits in the tissues of patients with amyloid diseases. We have investigated the nature and generality of this phenomenon by studying the ability of different polyanions, including DNA, ATP, heparin, and heparan sulfate, to(More)
We report the secreted expression by Pichia pastoris of two human lysozyme variants F57I and W64R, associated with systemic amyloid disease, and describe their characterization by biophysical methods. Both variants have a substantially decreased thermostability compared with wild-type human lysozyme, a finding that suggests an explanation for their(More)
Studies of lysozyme have played a major role over several decades in defining the general principles underlying protein structure, folding, and stability. Following the discovery some 10 years ago that two mutational variants of lysozyme are associated with systemic amyloidosis, these studies have been extended to investigate the mechanism of amyloid fibril(More)