Carriers of the D18G transthyretin (TTR) mutation display an unusual central nervous system (CNS) phenotype with late onset of disease. D18G TTR is monomeric and highly prone to misfold and aggregate even at physiological conditions. Extremely low levels of mutant protein circulate both in human serum and cerebrospinal fluid, indicating impaired secretion of D18G TTR. Recent data show efficient selective ER-associated degradation (ERAD) of D18G TTR. One essential component of the ER-assisted folding machinery is the molecular chaperone BiP. Co-expression of BiP and D18G TTR, or BiP and wild-type (wt) TTR, or mutants A25T TTR and L55P TTR in Escherichia coli showed that only D18G TTR was significantly captured by BiP. Negligible capture of wt TTR and L55P TTR was seen and a sixfold smaller amount of A25T TTR bound to BiP compared to D18G TTR. These data correlate very well with thermodynamic and kinetic stability of the TTR variants, indicating that folding efficiency is inversely correlated to BiP capture. The complexes between BiP and D18G TTR were stable and could be isolated through affinity chromatography. Analytical ultracentrifugation and size-exclusion chromatography revealed that D18G TTR and BiP formed a mixture of 1:1 complexes and large soluble oligomers. The stoichiometry of captured D18G TTR versus BiP increased with increasing size of the oligomers. This indicates that BiP either worked as a molecular shepherd collecting the aggregation-prone mutant into stable oligomers or that BiP could bind to oligomers formed from misfolded mutant protein. Sequence analysis of bound TTR peptides to BiP revealed a bound sequence corresponding to residues 88-103 of TTR, comprising beta-strand F in the folded TTR monomer constituting part of the hydrogen bonding tetramer interface in native TTR. The F-strand has also been suggested as a possible elongation region of amyloid fibrils, implicating how substoichiomeric amounts of BiP could sequester prefibrillar amyloidogenic oligomers through binding to this part of TTR. BiP binding to D18G TTR was abolished by addition of ATP. The released D18G TTR completely misfolded into amyloid aggregates as shown by ThT fluorescence and Congo red binding.