Lawreen Heller Connors, PhD
Associate Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Dept of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine

PhD, Boston University
MS, Tufts University



My research focuses on understanding the amyloidogenic nature of transthyretin (TTR), normally a soluble protein present in plasma and cerebral spinal fluid. Both wild-type and specific variant forms of TTR can be amyloidogenic, but disease onset is delayed in what appears to be an age-dependent mechanism. Our investigations are aimed at identifying specific age-related factors required to initiate the disease process; these factors likely include structural features that are both intrinsic and extrinsic to TTR. My research attempts to link protein biochemistry to disease pathology by studying the role of amino acid alterations, post-translational modifications (glycosylation, sulfonation, cysteinylation and phosphorylation) and metabolic processing in TTR amyloid fibril formation. We have precisely defined the molecular composition of numerous amyloidogenic TTR proteins derived from patient serum and tissue samples using mass spectrometry, analytical ultracentrifugation, and electron microscopy. In addition, using a proteomic approach, we have identified several tissue components present in patient specimens which may be effectors of amyloidogenesis. With recombinantly-generated proteins, we are studying the molecular stability of various forms of TTR, as well as the heteroassociations of TTR with these deposited molecular constituents using electrophoretic, chromatographic, and histological techniques. A translational component of our studies involves the study of a variety of compounds, including the small molecules diflunisal and a-tocopherol, as potential inhibitors of TTR aggregation and fibril formation. Furthermore, since TTR-associated amyloid diseases often feature cardiomyopathies, we are also studying the direct and indirect effects of amyloidogenic forms of TTR on cultured primary cardiac cells.

Graduate Faculty (Primary Mentor of Grad Students)
Boston University School of Medicine, Division of Graduate Medical Sciences


Associate Professor
Boston University School of Medicine
Biochemistry




Contribution of Immunoglobulin Constant Domain to Amyloid Formation, Part 4
01/01/2011 - 12/31/2017 (PI)
Florida Wildflower Foundation

Congo Red Histologic Analysis for Mouse Tissue - DICERNA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
02/22/2017 - 03/31/2017 (PI)
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Serum biomarker identification of cardiac amyloidosis in elderly African Americans
04/01/2016 - 03/31/2017 (PI)
Boston Medical Center Corporation NIH NIA
5R21AG050206-02

Discovery: A study examining the prevalence of TTR mutations in subjects
09/01/2015 - 08/31/2016 (PI)
Alnylam Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Blood Profiling for Biomarkers in Age-related Senile Systemic Amyloidosis (SSA)
07/01/2014 - 06/30/2016 (PI)
E. Rhodes & Leona B. Carpenter Foundatio

Molecular Mechanism of Senile Cardiac Amyloidosis
09/01/2009 - 08/31/2015 (PI)
NIH/National Institute on Aging
5R01AG031804-05

Incidence of abnormal free light chains and other markers of light chain amyloidosis in veterans exposed to agent orange: a Pilot Study
02/22/2013 - 06/30/2014 (Co-PI)
PI: David C. Seldin, MD, PhD
National Academy of Sciences Department of VA

Molecular Mechanism of Senile Cardiac Amyloidosis
09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012 (PI)
NIH/National Institute on Aging
5R01AG031804-03

Molecular Mechanism of Senile Cardiac Amyloidosis
09/01/2009 - 08/31/2012 (PI)
NIH/National Institute on Aging
5R01AG031804-03

KIACTA and Transthyretin-associated forms of Amyloidosis
01/01/2012 - 06/30/2012 (PI)
Celtic Therapeutics

Showing 10 of 12 results. Show All Results



Yr Title Project-Sub Proj Pubs
2013 Molecular mechanism of senile cardiac amyloidosis 5R01AG031804-05 9
2012 Molecular mechanism of senile cardiac amyloidosis 5R01AG031804-04 9
2011 S-SULFONATION OF SERUM TRANSTHYRETIN IN SSA/PTMS OF TTR IN AMYLOID FIBRILS 5P41RR010888-15-5084 236
2011 Molecular mechanism of senile cardiac amyloidosis 5R01AG031804-03 9
2010 S-SULFONATION OF SERUM TRANSTHYRETIN IN SSA/PTMS OF TTR IN AMYLOID FIBRILS 5P41RR010888-14-6781 236
2010 Molecular mechanism of senile cardiac amyloidosis 5R01AG031804-02 9
2009 Molecular mechanism of senile cardiac amyloidosis 1R01AG031804-01A2 9
2009 S-SULFONATION OF SERUM TRANSTHYRETIN IN SSA/PTMS OF TTR IN AMYLOID FIBRILS 5P41RR010888-13-6127 236
2009 ULTRACENTRIFUGATION OF AMYLOID PROTEIN COMPLEXES WITH FLUORESCENCE DETECTION 5P41RR010888-13-6199 236
2008 S-SULFONATION OF SERUM TRANSTHYRETIN IN SSA/PTMS OF TTR IN AMYLOID FIBRILS 5P41RR010888-12-5182 236
Showing 10 of 16 results. Show All Results
Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.

  1. Klimtchuk ES, Prokaeva TB, Spencer BH, Gursky O, Connors LH. In vitro co-expression of human amyloidogenic immunoglobulin light and heavy chain proteins: a relevant cell-based model of AL amyloidosis. Amyloid. 2017 Jun; 24(2):115-122.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28632419.
  2. Arvanitis M, Simon S, Chan G, Fine D, Beardsley P, LaValley M, Jacobson D, Koch C, Berk JL, Connors LH, Ruberg FL. Retinol binding protein 4 (RBP4) concentration identifies V122I transthyretin cardiac amyloidosis. Amyloid. 2017 Mar; 24(sup1):120-121.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28434357; DOI: 10.1080/13506129.2017.1295371;.
  3. Arvanitis M, Koch CM, Chan GG, Torres-Arancivia C, LaValley MP, Jacobson DR, Berk JL, Connors LH, Ruberg FL. Identification of Transthyretin Cardiac Amyloidosis Using Serum Retinol-Binding Protein 4 and a Clinical Prediction Model. JAMA Cardiol. 2017 Mar 01; 2(3):305-313.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28196196; DOI: 10.1001/jamacardio.2016.5864;.
  4. Chan GG, Koch CM, Connors LH. Blood Proteomic Profiling in Inherited (ATTRm) and Acquired (ATTRwt) Forms of Transthyretin-Associated Cardiac Amyloidosis. J Proteome Res. 2017 Apr 07; 16(4):1659-1668.View Related Profiles. PMID: 28196416; DOI: 10.1021/acs.jproteome.6b00998;.
  5. Prokaeva T, Spencer B, Sun F, O'Hara RM, Seldin DC, Connors LH, Sanchorawala V. Immunoglobulin heavy light chain test quantifies clonal disease in patients with AL amyloidosis and normal serum free light chain ratio. Amyloid. 2016 Dec; 23(4):214-220.View Related Profiles. PMID: 27677679.
  6. Connors LH, Sam F, Skinner M, Salinaro F, Sun F, Ruberg FL, Berk JL, Seldin DC. Heart Failure Resulting From Age-Related Cardiac Amyloid Disease Associated With Wild-Type Transthyretin: A Prospective, Observational Cohort Study. Circulation. 2016 Jan 19; 133(3):282-90.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26660282; PMCID: PMC4718760; DOI: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.115.018852;.
  7. Sarosiek S, Seldin DC, Connors LH, Spencer B, Murakami A, O'Hara C, Sanchorawala V. Vertebral compression fractures as the initial presentation of AL amyloidosis: case series and review of literature. Amyloid. 2015; 22(3):156-62.View Related Profiles. PMID: 26104853; DOI: 10.3109/13506129.2015.1036983;.
  8. Guan J, Mishra S, Qiu Y, Shi J, Trudeau K, Las G, Liesa M, Shirihai OS, Connors LH, Seldin DC, Falk RH, MacRae CA, Liao R. Lysosomal dysfunction and impaired autophagy underlie the pathogenesis of amyloidogenic light chain-mediated cardiotoxicity. EMBO Mol Med. 2015 May; 7(5):688.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25940533; PMCID: PMC4492824; DOI: 10.15252/emmm.201505318;.
  9. Greene MJ, Klimtchuk ES, Seldin DC, Berk JL, Connors LH. Cooperative stabilization of transthyretin by clusterin and diflunisal. Biochemistry. 2015 Jan 20; 54(2):268-78.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25478940; PMCID: PMC4303310; DOI: 10.1021/bi5011249;.
  10. Sikora JL, Logue MW, Chan GG, Spencer BH, Prokaeva TB, Baldwin CT, Seldin DC, Connors LH. Genetic variation of the transthyretin gene in wild-type transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTRwt). Hum Genet. 2015 Jan; 134(1):111-21.View Related Profiles. PMID: 25367359; PMCID: PMC4282974; DOI: 10.1007/s00439-014-1499-0;.
Showing 10 of 73 results. Show More

This graph shows the total number of publications by year, by first, middle/unknown, or last author.

Bar chart showing 73 publications over 25 distinct years, with a maximum of 6 publications in 2007 and 2011

YearPublications
19831
19841
19854
19861
19871
19981
19994
20003
20013
20022
20032
20042
20054
20061
20076
20084
20094
20104
20116
20122
20135
20144
20153
20161
20174
In addition to these self-described keywords below, a list of MeSH based concepts is available here.

amyloidosis
cardiomyopathy
diflunisal
transthyretin
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72 E. Concord St Silvio Conte (K)
Boston MA 02118
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