A protein, ASCA, is isolated from amyloid fibrils extracted from heart tissue of five different patients with senile cardiac amyloidosis (SCA). The proteins of all five patients showed immunological identity when reacted with an antiserum raised against one of the proteins. In contrast, no reaction was obtained with antisera against a variety of other amyloid proteins. The antiserum against the subunit protein of senile cardiac amyloid did not react with any other amyloid preparations tested, nor with extracts of normal heart tissue. Thus, the subunit protein appeared to be unique to senile heart amyloid. The protein could form fibrils in vitro, had a mol wt of about 6,000 daltons and the amino acid compositions investigated in two cases showed extensive similarities but were clearly different from that of protein AA of secondary amyloid fibrils.
Amyloid fibrils were studied from two different tissues of medullary carcinoma of the thyroid (MCT). The fibrils mainly consisted of a low molecular weight protein, AMCT, which was immunologically distinct and did not react with various antisera against known amyloid fibril proteins. A specific antiserum raised against the MCT amyloid proteins gave a reaction of identity with the degraded MCT amyloid fibrils from two patients, as well as with the isolated AMCT protein, but showed no reaction with other known amyloid proteins. The AMCT protein had a blocked N terminus, but the sequence analysis of a cyanogen bromide fragment revealed identity with human calcitonin in the 11 positions studied. Although the amino acid composition was similar, there were also distinct differences, and the mol wt of 5,700 daltons was considerably larger than that of calcitonin. For these reasons the AMCT protein may represent a prohormone of calcitonin.