Monoclonal Ig light chains (LC) can be responsible for pathologic conditions in humans, as in systemic amyloid light amyloidosis. Protean clinical manifestations characterize this disorder with the most varied combination of symptoms generated by different degrees of diverse organ involvement. Kidney and heart are most frequently interested, with major heart involvement as the most relevant prognostic factor. The identification of the underlying mechanism involved in organ targeting is of major relevance for the pathobiology of this disorder. To this aim, we characterized the repertoire of variable region germline genes of λ LC preferentially targeting the heart and compared it with the repertoire of LC that do not in a case-control study. We found that the repertoires were highly restricted, showing preferential use of the same few germline genes but with a different frequency pattern. A single gene, IGVL1-44, was found associated with a 5-fold increase in the odds of dominant heart involvement (after adjusting for confounders in a multivariable logistic model). These results support an involvement of LC genetics in the determination of organ targeting. Study of the characteristics of IGVL1-44-LC with, and of the minority without, heart involvement might lead to identification of LC/tissue interactions.
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