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The oligomeric state of human SAP (serum amyloid P component) in the absence and presence of known ligands has been investigated using nanoelectrospray ionization MS. At pH 8.0, in the absence of Ca2+, SAP has been shown to consist of pentameric and decameric forms. In the presence of physiological levels of Ca2+, SAP was observed to exist primarily as a pentamer, reflecting its in vivo state. dAMP was shown not only to promote decamerization, but also to lead to decamer stacking involving up to 30 monomers. A mechanism for this finding is proposed. CRP (C-reactive protein), a pentraxin closely related to SAP, exists as a pentamer in the presence or absence of Ca2+. Pentamers of CRP and SAP were shown to form mixed decamers in Ca2+-free buffer; however, in the presence of Ca2+, this interaction was not observed. Furthermore, no exchange of monomeric subunits was observed between the SAP and CRP oligomers, suggesting a remarkable stability of the individual pentameric complexes.

Original publication




Journal article


Biochem J

Publication Date





323 - 328


C-Reactive Protein, Calcium, Dimerization, Humans, Ligands, Protein Binding, Serum Amyloid P-Component, Spectrometry, Mass, Electrospray Ionization