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1.  Rpp25 is a major target of autoantibodies to the Th/To complex as measured by a novel chemiluminescent assay 
Introduction
Autoantibodies to the Th/To antigen have been described in systemic sclerosis (SSc) and several proteins of the macromolecular Th/To complex have been reported to react with anti-Th/To antibodies. However, anti-Th/To has not been clinically utilized due to unavailability of commercial tests. The objective of the present study is to evaluate the newly developed ELISA and chemiluminescent immunoassay (CLIA) to measure autoantibodies to Rpp25 (a component of the Th/To complex) using immunoprecipitation (IP) as the reference method.
Methods
The first cohort consisted of 123 SSc patients including 7 anti-Th/To positive samples confirmed by IP. Additional seven anti-Th/To positive samples from non-SSc patients were also tested. For evaluation of the QUANTA Flash Rpp25 CLIA (research use only), 8 anti-Th/To IP positives, a cohort of 70 unselected SSc patients and sera from various disease controls (n = 357) and random healthy individuals (n = 10) were studied.
Results
Anti-Rpp25 antibodies determined by ELISA were found in 11/14 anti-Th/To IP positive but only in 1/156 (0.6%) negative samples resulting in a positive percent agreement of 78.6% (95% confidence interval [CI] 49.2, 95.3%) and a negative percent agreement of 99.4% (95% CI 96.4, 100.0%). To verify the results using a second method, 53 samples were tested by ELISA and CLIA for anti-Rpp25 reactivity and the results were highly correlated (rho = 0.71, 95% CI 0.56, 0.81; P < 0.0001). To define the cutoff of the CLIA, anti-Th/To IP positive and negative sera were tested using the anti-Rpp25 CLIA. At the cutoff selected by receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis 8/8 (100.0%) of the anti-Th/To positive sera but only 2/367 (0.5%) of the controls were positive for anti-Rpp25 antibodies. The positive and negative percent agreements were 100.0% (95% CI 63.1, 100.0%) and 99.5% (95% CI 98.0, 99.9%), respectively. In the disease cohorts 2/70 (2.9%) of the SSc patients were positive for anti-Rpp25 antibodies compared to 2/367 (0.5%) of the controls (P = 0.032). ROC analysis showed discrimination between SSc patients and controls with an area under the curve value of 0.732 (95% CI 0.655, 0.809).
Conclusion
Rpp25 is a major target of autoantibodies to the Th/To autoantigen complex. Further studies are needed to evaluate the clinical utility of the new assays.
doi:10.1186/ar4210
PMCID: PMC3672760  PMID: 23587095
2.  MicroRNA in TLR signaling and endotoxin tolerance 
Cellular & molecular immunology  2011;8(5):388-403.
Toll-like receptors (TLRs) in innate immune cells are the prime cellular sensors for microbial components. TLR activation leads to the production of proinflammatory mediators and thus TLR signaling must be properly regulated by various mechanisms to maintain homeostasis. TLR4-ligand lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced tolerance or cross-tolerance is one such mechanism, and it plays an important role in innate immunity. Tolerance is established and sustained by the activity of the microRNA miR-146a, which is known to target key elements of the myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88) signaling pathway, including IL-1 receptor-associated kinase (IRAK1), IRAK2 and tumor-necrosis factor (TNF) receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6). In this review, we comprehensively examine the TLR signaling involved in innate immunity, with special focus on LPS-induced tolerance. The function of TLR ligand-induced microRNAs, including miR-146a, miR-155 and miR-132, in regulating inflammatory mediators, and their impact on the immune system and human diseases, are discussed. Modulation of these microRNAs may affect TLR pathway activation and help to develop therapeutics against inflammatory diseases.
doi:10.1038/cmi.2011.26
PMCID: PMC3618661  PMID: 21822296
innate immunity; lipopolysaccharide; LPS tolerance; microRNA; Toll-like receptor
3.  Role of environmental factors in autoantibody production - importance of a detailed analysis in a small cohort 
In the previous issue of Arthritis Research & Therapy, Muro and colleagues reported a detailed epidemiologic analysis in central Japan on one of the new myositis-specific autoantibodies to MDA-5 (melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5), which is associated with clinically amyopathic dermatomyositis accompanying interstitial lung disease. The increasing prevalence of anti-MDA-5, higher prevalence in small rural towns, and geographical clustering in two areas along the Kiso River suggest a role of environmental factors associated with rural communities or the river/water system or both. A detailed analysis of a small cohort may offer clues, which is ignored in multi-center studies, to the pathogenesis of systemic rheumatic diseases and autoantibody production.
doi:10.1186/ar3739
PMCID: PMC3392830  PMID: 22380573
4.  A new immunoprecipitation-real time quantitative PCR assay for anti-Th/To and anti-U3RNP antibody detection in systemic sclerosis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2012;14(3):R128.
Introduction
Classic anti-nucleolar antibodies anti-Th/To and U3 ribonucleoprotein (-U3RNP) can help in the diagnosis, prediction of organ involvement and prognosis in systemic sclerosis (SSc); however, no validated commercial assay is available. We aimed at establishing a novel quantitative real time PCR (qPCR) method to detect these antibodies.
Methods
Standard immunoprecipitation (IP) was performed using K562 cell extract and RNA components were extracted. cDNA was reverse transcribed from RNA components and Th RNA and U3 RNA were detected by qPCR using custom primers. Cycle threshold (Ct) values were compared in a titration experiment to determine the assay efficacy. The new assay was evaluated by testing 22 anti-Th/To and 12 anti-U3RNP positive samples in addition to 88 controls, and the results were compared with IP as a gold standard.
Results
By testing serial 1:8 dilutions of cell lysate as the substrate in the IP step, RNA extracted after IP, and its derived cDNA, linear dose response curves were noted for both anti-Th/To and -U3RNP. With every dilution, Ct values changed approximately three as expected, reflecting the eight-fold difference of cDNA. The Ct difference between positive and negative samples was 8 to 13, which was similar throughout the dilutions. In the specificity analysis, the Ct values of positive samples were clearly different from the negative groups and the results by qPCR had a near perfect correlation with IP.
Conclusions
Our new method readily detects these two clinically important antibodies in SSc. Making tests for anti-Th/To and -U3RNP antibodies widely available to clinicians should be helpful in the diagnosis and follow-up of SSc patients.
doi:10.1186/ar3858
PMCID: PMC3446509  PMID: 22643159
5.  MicroRNAs in systemic rheumatic diseases 
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous, non-coding, single-stranded RNAs about 21 nucleotides in length. miRNAs have been shown to regulate gene expression and thus influence a wide range of physiological and pathological processes. Moreover, they are detected in a variety of sources, including tissues, serum, and other body fluids, such as saliva. The role of miRNAs is evident in various malignant and nonmalignant diseases, and there is accumulating evidence also for an important role of miRNAs in systemic rheumatic diseases. Abnormal expression of miRNAs has been reported in autoimmune diseases, mainly in systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. miRNAs can be aberrantly expressed even in the different stages of disease progression, allowing miRNAs to be important biomarkers, to help understand the pathogenesis of the disease, and to monitor disease activity and effects of treatment. Different groups have demonstrated a link between miRNA expression and disease activity, as in the case of renal flares in lupus patients. Moreover, miRNAs are emerging as potential targets for new therapeutic strategies of autoimmune disorders. Taken together, recent data demonstrate that miRNAs can influence mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis, relapse, and specific organ involvement of autoimmune diseases. The ultimate goal is the identification of a miRNA target or targets that could be manipulated through specific therapies, aiming at activation or inhibition of specific miRNAs responsible for the development of disease.
doi:10.1186/ar3377
PMCID: PMC3239341  PMID: 21787439
6.  CIP2A expression and localization in oral carcinoma and dysplasia 
Cancer Biology & Therapy  2010;10(7):694-699.
Aims
Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) is the most prevalent malignancy of the oral cavity resulting in severe morbidity and mortality. To date only few proteins have been suggested as potential biomarkers or targets for this type of cancer. Cancerous inhibitor of PP 2A (CIP2A) is a protein expressed in epithelial tissues that stabilizes the oncogene c-Myc and causes cell transformation. This study was designed to investigate the expression of CIP2A in OSCC cell lines and tissues representing human normal, dysplasia and OSCC.
Results
CIP2A was significantly increased in the human carcinoma cell lines compared to the primary gingival cell line. CIP2A was overexpressed in the human oral dysplasia and OSCC tissues compared to normal oral tissues. CIP2A was also preferentially localized in the dysplastic and OSCC epithelial areas compared to EGFR that was expressed mainly in areas of relatively normal epithelium and in dysplastic tissues above the basal layers.
Methods
Using quantitative real time PCR, mRNA quantification for CIP2A was performed in a primary gingival cell line and OSCCs CAL 27 and SCC-25. Paraffin embedded human specimen classified as normal, dysplastic or OSCC were immunohistochemically stained for CIP2A expression. EGFR and CIP2A were also stained by immunofluorescence for colocalization. Samples of human normal oral tissue and OSCC were studied by PCR for mRNA expression of CIP2A.
Conclusions
CIP2A may play a significant role in oral malignant transformation and therefore, it may be a potential target for chemotherapy of OSCC.
doi:10.4161/cbt.10.7.12895
PMCID: PMC3230513  PMID: 21068540
oral cancer; EGFR; CIP2A; dysplasia; C MYC
7.  Atypical clinical presentation of a subset of patients with anti-RNA polymerase III - non-scleroderma cases associated with dominant RNA polymerase I reactivity and nucleolar staining 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2011;13(4):R119.
Introduction
Anti-RNA polymerase III (RNAP III) antibodies are highly specific markers of scleroderma (systemic sclerosis, SSc) and associated with a rapidly progressing subset of SSc. The clinical presentation of anti-RNAP III positive patients, onset of Raynaud's phenomenon (RP) and SSc in unselected patients in a rheumatology clinic were evaluated.
Methods
Autoantibodies in sera from 1,966 unselected patients (including 434 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 119 SSc, 85 polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM)) in a rheumatology clinic were screened by radioimmunoprecipitation. Anti-RNAP III positive sera were also tested by immunofluorescence antinuclear antibodies and anti-RNAP III ELISA. Medical records of anti-RNAP III positive patients were reviewed.
Results
Among 21 anti-RNAP III positive patients, 16 met the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) SSc criteria at the initial visit but 5 did not; diagnoses were vasculitis, early polyarthritis, renal failure with RP, interstitial lung disease, and Sjögren's syndrome. The first two patients developed rapidly progressive diffuse SSc. An additional case presented with diffuse scleroderma without RP and RP developed two years later. Anti-RNAP III antibodies in these 6 cases of atypical clinical presentation were compared with those in 15 cases of typical (SSc with RP) cases. Anti-RNAP III levels by ELISA were lower in the former group (P = 0.04 by Mann-Whitney test) and 3 of 6 were negative versus only 1 of 15 negative in the latter (P < 0.05 by Fisher's exact test). Three cases of non-SSc anti-RNAP III positive patients had predominant reactivity with RNAP I with weak RNAP III reactivity and had a strong nucleolar staining. Three anti-RNAP III patients, who did not have RP at the initial visit, developed RP months later. Scleroderma developed prior to RP in 5 out of 16 (31%) in the anti-RNAP III group, but this was rare in patients with other autoantibodies. The interval between the onset of RP to scleroderma was short in anti-RNAP III positive patients.
Conclusions
Anti-RNAP III antibodies are highly specific for SSc; however, a subset of anti-RNAP III positive patients do not present as typical SSc. The interval between RP and scleroderma in this group is short, and 31% of patients developed scleroderma prior to RP in this group. Anti-RNAP III positive patients may not present as typical SSc and detecting anti-RNAP III may have predictive value.
doi:10.1186/ar3422
PMCID: PMC3239357  PMID: 21781293
8.  Frequent coexistence of anti-topoisomerase I and anti-U1RNP autoantibodies in African American patients associated with mild skin involvement: a retrospective clinical study 
Introduction
The presence of anti-topoisomerase I (topo I) antibodies is a classic scleroderma (SSc) marker presumably associated with a unique clinical subset. Here the clinical association of anti-topo I was reevaluated in unselected patients seen in a rheumatology clinic setting.
Methods
Sera from the initial visit in a cohort of unselected rheumatology clinic patients (n = 1,966, including 434 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), 119 SSc, 85 polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM)) were screened by radioimmunoprecipitation. Anti-topo I-positive sera were also tested with immunofluorescence and RNA immunoprecipitation.
Results
Twenty-five (15 Caucasian, eight African American, two Latin) anti-topo I positive patients were identified, and all except one met the ACR SSc criteria. Coexistence of other SSc autoantibodies was not observed, except for anti-U1RNP in six cases. When anti-topo I alone versus anti-topo I + U1RNP groups were compared, African American (21% vs. 67%), overlap with SLE (0 vs. 50%; P = 0.009) or PM/DM (0 vs. 33%; P = 0.05) or elevated creatine phosphokinase (CPK) (P = 0.07) were more common in the latter group. In comparison of anti-topo I-positive Caucasians versus African Americans, the latter more frequently had anti-U1RNP (13% vs. 50%), mild/no skin changes (14% vs. 63%; P = 0.03) and overlap with SLE (0 vs. 38%; P = 0.03) and PM/DM (0 vs. 25%; P = 0.05).
Conclusions
Anti-topo I detected by immunoprecipitation in unselected rheumatology patients is highly specific for SSc. Anti-topo I coexisting with anti-U1RNP in African American patients is associated with a subset of SLE overlapping with SSc and PM/DM but without apparent sclerodermatous changes.
doi:10.1186/ar3334
PMCID: PMC3218882  PMID: 21569292
9.  Co-clustering of Golgi complex and other cytoplasmic organelles to crescentic region of half-moon nuclei during apoptosis 
Cell biology international  2008;33(2):148-157.
Early apoptosis is defined by stereotypic morphological changes, especially evident in the nucleus, where chromatin condenses and compacts, and assumes a globular, half-moon or crescent-shaped morphology. Accumulating evidence suggests that cytoplasmic organelles such as mitochondria and the Golgi complex are major sites of integration of pro-apoptotic signaling. In this study, cytoplasmic organelles including Golgi complex, mitochondria, endosomes, lysosomes, and peroxisomes were shown to condense at the same unique region adjacent to the crescentic nucleus during a relatively early stage of apoptosis induced by staurosporine or other agents. The co-clustering phenomenon may be caused by shrinkage of cytoplasm during apoptosis although cytoskeletal markers actin and tubulin were not condensed and appeared excluded. These data suggest the co-clustering of cytoplasmic organelles plays an interesting role during the progression of the apoptotic process. It is possible that modification of pro-apoptotic proteins may arise as a result of the interplay of these cytoplasmic organelles.
doi:10.1016/j.cellbi.2008.10.016
PMCID: PMC2667205  PMID: 19000931
Apoptosis; Golgi complex; Staurosporine
10.  Reduced IgG anti-small nuclear ribonucleoprotein autoantibody production in systemic lupus erythematosus patients with positive IgM anti-cytomegalovirus antibodies 
Introduction
Systemic lupus erythematosus is characterized by production of autoantibodies to RNA or DNA–protein complexes such as small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNPs). A role of Epstein–Barr virus in the pathogenesis has been suggested. Similar to Epstein–Barr virus, cytomegalovirus (CMV) infects the majority of individuals at a young age and establishes latency with a potential for reactivation. Homology of CMV glycoprotein B (UL55) with the U1snRNP-70 kDa protein (U1–70 k) has been described; however, the role of CMV infection in production of anti-snRNPs is controversial. We investigated the association of CMV serology and autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus.
Methods
Sixty-one Mexican patients with systemic lupus erythematosus were tested for CMV and Epstein–Barr virus serology (viral capsid antigen, IgG, IgM) and autoantibodies by immunoprecipitation and ELISA (IgG and IgM class, U1RNP/Sm, U1–70 k, P peptide, rheumatoid factor, dsDNA, β2-glycoprotein I).
Results
IgG anti-CMV and IgM anti-CMV were positive in 95% (58/61) and 33% (20/61), respectively, and two cases were negative for both. Clinical manifestation and autoantibodies in the IgM anti-CMV(+) group (n = 20) versus the IgM anti-CMV(-)IgG (+) (n = 39) group were compared. Most (19/20) of the IgM anti-CMV(+) cases were IgG anti-CMV(+), consistent with reactivation or reinfection. IgM anti-CMV was unrelated to rheumatoid factor or IgM class autoantibodies and none was positive for IgM anti-Epstein–Barr virus–viral capsid antigen, indicating that this is not simply due to false positive results caused by rheumatoid factor or nonspecific binding by certain IgM. The IgM anti-CMV(+) group has significantly lower levels of IgG anti-U1RNP/Sm and IgG anti-U1–70 k (P = 0.0004 and P = 0.0046, respectively). This finding was also confirmed by immunoprecipitation. Among the IgM anti-CMV(-) subset, anti-Su was associated with anti-U1RNP and anti-Ro (P < 0.05). High levels of IgG anti-CMV were associated with production of lupus-related autoantibodies to RNA or DNA–protein complex (P = 0.0077).
Conclusions
Our findings suggest a potential role of CMV in regulation of autoantibodies to snRNPs and may provide a unique insight to understand the pathogenesis.
doi:10.1186/ar2621
PMCID: PMC2688261  PMID: 19232124
11.  Upregulated miR-146a expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells from rheumatoid arthritis patients 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2008;10(4):R101.
Introduction
MicroRNAs are small noncoding RNA molecules that negatively regulate gene expression via degradation or translational repression of their targeted mRNAs. It is known that aberrant microRNA expression can play important roles in cancer, but the role of microRNAs in autoimmune diseases is only beginning to emerge. In this study, the expression of selected microRNAs is examined in rheumatoid arthritis.
Methods
Total RNA was isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained from patients with rheumatoid arthritis, and healthy and disease control individuals, and the expression of miR-146a, miR-155, miR-132, miR-16, and microRNA let-7a was analyzed using quantitative real-time PCR.
Results
Rheumatoid arthritis peripheral blood mononuclear cells exhibited between 1.8-fold and 2.6-fold increases in miR-146a, miR-155, miR-132, and miR-16 expression, whereas let-7a expression was not significantly different compared with healthy control individuals. In addition, two targets of miR-146a, namely tumor necrosis factor receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6) and IL-1 receptor-associated kinase 1 (IRAK-1), were similarly expressed between rheumatoid arthritis patients and control individuals, despite increased expression of miR-146a in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Repression of TRAF6 and/or IRAK-1 in THP-1 cells resulted in up to an 86% reduction in tumor necrosis factor-α production, implicating that normal miR-146a function is critical for the regulation of tumor necrosis factor-α production.
Conclusions
Recent studies have shown that synovial tissue and synovial fibroblasts from patients with rheumatoid arthritis exhibit increased expression of certain microRNAs. Our data thus demonstrate that microRNA expression in rheumatoid arthritis peripheral blood mononuclear cells mimics that of synovial tissue/fibroblasts. The increased microRNA expression in rheumatoid arthritis patients is potentially useful as a marker for disease diagnosis, progression, or treatment efficacy, but this will require confirmation using a large and well defined cohort. Our data also suggest a possible mechanism contributing to rheumatoid arthritis pathogenesis, whereby miR-146a expression is increased but unable to properly function, leading to prolonged tumor necrosis factor-α production in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
doi:10.1186/ar2493
PMCID: PMC2575615  PMID: 18759964
12.  Autoantibodies against the replication protein A complex in systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases 
Replication protein A (RPA), a heterotrimer with subunits of molecular masses 70, 32, and 14 kDa, is a single-stranded-DNA-binding factor involved in DNA replication, repair, and recombination. There have been only three reported cases of anti-RPA in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and Sjögren syndrome (SjS). This study sought to clarify the clinical significance of autoantibodies against RPA. Sera from 1,119 patients enrolled during the period 2000 to 2005 were screened by immunoprecipitation (IP) of 35S-labeled K562 cell extract. Antigen-capture ELISA with anti-RPA32 mAb, immunofluorescent antinuclear antibodies (ANA) and western blot analysis with purified RPA were also performed. Our results show that nine sera immunoprecipitated the RPA70–RPA32–RPA14 complex and all were strongly positive by ELISA (titers 1:62,500 to 1:312,500). No additional sera were positive by ELISA and subsequently confirmed by IP or western blotting. All sera showed fine speckled/homogeneous nuclear staining. Anti-RPA was found in 1.4% (4/276) of SLE and 2.5% (1/40) of SjS sera, but not in rheumatoid arthritis (0/35), systemic sclerosis (0/47), or polymyositis/dermatomyositis (0/43). Eight of nine patients were female and there was no racial predilection. Other positive patients had interstitial lung disease, autoimmune thyroiditis/hepatitis C virus/pernicious anemia, or an unknown diagnosis. Autoantibody specificities found in up to 40% of SLE and other diseases, such as anti-nRNP, anti-Sm, anti-Ro, and anti-La, were unusual in anti-RPA-positive sera. Only one of nine had anti-Ro, and zero of nine had anti-nRNP, anti-Sm, anti-La, or anti-ribosomal P antibodies. In summary, high titers of anti-RPA antibodies were found in nine patients (1.4% of SLE and other diseases). Other autoantibodies found in SLE were rare in this subset, suggesting that patients with anti-RPA may form a unique clinical and immunological subset.
doi:10.1186/ar2000
PMCID: PMC1779422  PMID: 16846524
13.  Autoimmune targeting of key components of RNA interference 
RNA interference (RNAi) is an evolutionarily conserved mechanism that is involved in the post-transcriptional silencing of genes. This process elicits the degradation or translational inhibition of mRNAs based on the complementarity with short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) or microRNAs (miRNAs). Recently, differential expression of specific miRNAs and disruption of the miRNA synthetic pathway have been implicated in cancer; however, their role in autoimmune disease remains largely unknown. Here, we report that anti-Su autoantibodies from human patients with rheumatic diseases and in a mouse model of autoimmunity recognize the human Argonaute (Ago) protein, hAgo2, the catalytic core enzyme in the RNAi pathway. More specifically, 91% (20/22) of the human anti-Su sera were shown to immunoprecipitate the full-length recombinant hAgo2 protein. Indirect immunofluorescence studies in HEp-2 cells demonstrated that anti-Su autoantibodies target cytoplasmic foci identified as GW bodies (GWBs) or mammalian P bodies, structures recently linked to RNAi function. Furthermore, anti-Su sera were also capable of immunoprecipitating additional key components of the RNAi pathway, including hAgo1, -3, -4, and Dicer. Together, these results demonstrate an autoimmune response to components of the RNAi pathway which could potentially implicate the involvement of an innate anti-viral response in the pathogenesis of autoantibody production.
doi:10.1186/ar1959
PMCID: PMC1779426  PMID: 16684366
14.  Identification of kinectin as a novel Behçet's disease autoantigen 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2005;7(5):R1133-R1139.
There has been some evidence that Behçet's disease (BD) has a significant autoimmune component but the molecular identity of putative autoantigens has not been well characterized. In the initial analysis of the autoantibody profile in 39 Chinese BD patients, autoantibodies to cellular proteins were uncovered in 23% as determined by immunoblotting. We have now identified one of the major autoantibody specificities using expression cloning. Serum from a BD patient was used as a probe to immunoscreen a λZAP expression cDNA library. Candidate autoantigen cDNAs were characterized by direct nucleotide sequencing and their expressed products were examined for reactivity to the entire panel of BD sera using immunoprecipitation. Reactivity was also examined with normal control sera and disease control sera from patients with lupus and Sjögren's syndrome. Six independent candidate clones were isolated from the cDNA library screen and were identified as overlapping partial human kinectin cDNAs. The finding that kinectin was an autoantigen was verified in 9 out of 39 (23%) BD patient sera by immunoprecipitation of the in vitro translation products. Sera from controls showed no reactivity. The significance of kinectin as a participant in autoimmune pathogenesis in BD and the potential use of autoantibody to kinectin in serodiagnostics are discussed.
doi:10.1186/ar1798
PMCID: PMC1257442  PMID: 16207330
15.  Giantin is the major Golgi autoantigen in human anti-Golgi complex sera 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2003;6(2):R95-R102.
Anti-Golgi complex antibodies (AGAs) are primarily associated with systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjögren's syndrome. Here we report on the immunoreactivity of AGAs against five Golgi autoantigens (giantin, golgin-245, golgin-160, golgin-95/GM130, and golgin-97) and provide data from epitope mapping on the most common Golgi autoantigen, namely giantin. A total of 80 human sera containing AGAs, as defined by indirect immunofluorescence on HEp-2 cells, were analyzed by ELISA using recombinant autoantigens and immunoprecipitation. The proportion of AGA sera that reacted with the five Golgi autoantigens was correlated with the molecular mass of the Golgi antigens. Autoantibodies to giantin, the largest Golgi autoantigen, were the predominant AGAs, being found in 50% of the AGA sera. Epitope mapping of giantin was performed using six recombinant fragments spanning the entire protein. Antigiantin-positive sera with low titer autoantibodies recognized epitopes in the carboxyl-terminal fragments that are proximal to the Golgi membrane, whereas higher titer sera exhibited strong reactivity to amino-terminal and central domains that are likely to extend from the Golgi membrane into the cytoplasm. Our working hypothesis is that aberrantly expressed Golgi complex autoantigens may be released into the immune system when cells undergo lysis. By virtue of a carboxyl-terminal transmembrane domain, giantin is likely to be more stably associated with the cytoplasmic face of the Golgi complex than are other golgins, which are peripheral proteins. The stable association of giantin with the putative released Golgi complex may contribute to its preferential autoantigenicity.
doi:10.1186/ar1035
PMCID: PMC400427  PMID: 15059272
anti-Golgi complex antibody; autoantibody; autoimmunity; cell death; epitope mapping
16.  Fragmentation of Golgi complex and Golgi autoantigens during apoptosis and necrosis 
Arthritis Research  2002;4(4):R3.
Anti-Golgi complex autoantibodies are found primarily in patients with Sjögren's syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus, although they are not restricted to these diseases. Several Golgi autoantigens have been identified that represent a small family of proteins. Common features of all Golgi autoantigens appear to be their distinct structural organization of multiple α-helical coiled-coil rods in the central domains flanked by non-coiled-coil N-termini and C-termini, and their localization to the cytoplasmic face of Golgi cisternae. Many autoantigens in systemic autoimmune diseases have distinct cleavage products in apoptosis or necrosis and this has raised the possibility that cell death may play a role in the generation of potentially immunostimulatory forms of autoantigens. In the present study, we examined changes in the Golgi complex and associated autoantigens during apoptosis and necrosis. Immunofluorescence analysis showed that the Golgi complex was altered and developed distinctive characteristics during apoptosis and necrosis. In addition, immunoblotting analysis showed the generation of antigenic fragments of each Golgi autoantigen, suggesting that they may play a role in sustaining autoantibody production. Further studies are needed to determine whether the differences observed in the Golgi complex during apoptosis or necrosis may account for the production of anti-Golgi complex autoantibodies.
doi:10.1186/ar422
PMCID: PMC125295  PMID: 12106502
anti-Golgi complex antibody; autoantibody; autoimmunity; cell death
17.  Phylogenetic variation and polymorphism at the Toll-like receptor 4 locus (TLR4) 
Genome Biology  2000;1(1):research002.1-research002.10.
Background:
Differences in responses to bacterial surface lipopolysaccharides (LPSs) are apparent between and within mammalian species. It has been shown in mice that resistance to LPS is caused by defects in the Toll-like receptor 4 gene (Tlr4), the product of which is thought to bind LPS and mediate LPS signal transduction in immune system cells.
Results:
We have sequenced the Toll-like receptor 4 gene of humans (TLR4; 19.0 kilobases, kb) and mice (Tlr4; 91.7 kb), as well as the coding region and splice junctions of Tlr4 from 35 mouse (Mus musculus) strains, from the chimpanzee and from the baboon. No other discernible genes or regions of interspecies conservation lies close to Tlr4 and, in both humans and mice, flanking sequences and introns are rich in repeats of retroviral origin. Interstrain analyses reveal that Tlr4 is a polymorphic protein and that the extracellular domain is far more variable than the cytoplasmic domain, both among strains and among species. The cytoplasmic domain of the Tlr4 protein is highly variable at the carboxy-terminal end.
Conclusions:
We suggest that selective evolutionary pressure exerted by microbes expressing structurally distinguishable LPS molecules has produced the high level of variability in the Tlr4 extracellular domain. The highly variable carboxy-terminal region of the cytoplasmic domain is likely to determine the magnitude of the response to LPS within a species.
PMCID: PMC31919  PMID: 11104518
18.  Reduced levels of CCL2 and CXCL10 in systemic lupus erythematosus patients under treatment with prednisone, mycophenolate mofetil, or hydroxychloroquine, except in a high STAT1 subset 
Introduction
Our recent data showed that signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 (STAT1), adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR), C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), and C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10) were significantly elevated in a systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) cohort compared to healthy donors. High and low STAT1 subsets were identified in SLE patient visits. The present study analyzed the correlation of common treatments used in SLE with the levels of these biomarkers.
Methods
Peripheral blood leukocytes were collected from 65 healthy donors and 103 SLE patients, of whom 60 had samples from two or more visits. Total RNA was isolated and analyzed for the expression of mRNA and microRNA using Taqman real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assays. Relative expression of interferon signature genes, CCL2, and CXCL10 were determined by the ΔΔCT method. Results were correlated with therapy using prednisone, mycophenolate mofetil, and hydroxychloroquine and analyzed by Wilcoxon/Kruskal-Wallis test and Fisher’s exact test.
Results
CCL2 and CXCL10 were significantly higher in untreated patients compared to treated patients, however, in high STAT1 patient visits there is no significant difference between treated and untreated patients’ visits. When comparing linear regression fits of interferon (IFN) score with CCL2 and CXCL10, untreated patients and high STAT1 patients displayed significantly higher slopes compared to treated patients. There was no significant difference between the slopes of high STAT1 and untreated patients indicating that CCL2 and CXCL10 were correlated with type-I IFN in high STAT1 patients similar to that in untreated patients. CCL2 and CXCL10 levels in the high STAT1 subset remained high in treated patient visits compared to those of the low STAT1 subset.
Conclusions
Among the biomarkers analyzed, only CCL2 and CXCL10 showed significantly reduced levels in treated compared to untreated SLE patients. STAT1, CCL2, and CXCL10 are potentially useful indicators of therapeutic action in SLE patients. Further work is needed to determine whether high STAT1 levels convey resistance to therapies commonly used to treat SLE and whether STAT1 inhibitors may have therapeutic implication for these patients.
doi:10.1186/ar4451
PMCID: PMC3978465  PMID: 24460726
19.  Elevated signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 correlates with increased C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 and C-X-C motif chemokine 10 levels in peripheral blood of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus 
Introduction
The present study examines the levels of recently reported biomarkers, adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (ADAR), C-C motif chemokine ligand 2 (CCL2), C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10), signal transducers and activators of transcription 1 (STAT1), and miR-146a in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients over multiple visits.
Methods
Peripheral blood leukocytes were collected from 65 healthy donors and 103 SLE patients, 60 of whom had samples from 2 or more visits. Total RNA was isolated and analyzed for the expression of mRNA and microRNA using Taqman real time PCR assays. Relative expression of I-IFN signature genes, chemokines, and miR-146a were determined by the ΔΔCT method. Results were correlated with clinical data and analyzed by Wilcoxon/Kruskal-Wallis test and Fisher’s exact test.
Results
Levels of ADAR, CCL2, CXCL10, and STAT1 in SLE were significantly elevated compared with the healthy controls (P <0.0001). ADAR, CCL2, and CXCL10 showed significant correlation with IFN score in both healthy donors (P <0.0033) and SLE patients (P <0.0001). In SLE patients, miR-146a level was not significantly different from healthy controls nor correlated to the IFN score. Two STAT1 populations were identified: a low STAT1 and a high STAT1 group. High STAT1 patient visits displayed higher (P ≤0.0020) levels of CCL2 and CXCL10 than the low STAT1 patient visits. STAT1 levels correlated with IFN score in low STAT1 group but not in high STAT1 group. More importantly, high STAT1 levels appeared as an enhancer of CCL2 and CXCL10 as indicated by the significantly stronger correlation of CCL2 and CXCL10 with IFN score in high STAT1 patient visits relative to low STAT1 patient visits.
Conclusion
Our data indicate a novel role for STAT1 in the pathogenesis of SLE as an expression enhancer of CCL2 and CXCL10 in SLE patients with high levels of STAT1. Future study is needed to examine the exact role of STAT1 in the etiology of SLE.
doi:10.1186/ar4448
PMCID: PMC3978614  PMID: 24451065
20.  Anti-MJ/NXP-2 autoantibody specificity in a cohort of adult Italian patients with polymyositis/dermatomyositis 
Introduction
Autoantibodies in patients with polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM) are associated with unique subsets, clinical course and outcome. Anti-MJ antibodies, which recognize the nuclear protein NXP-2/MORC3, are reported in ~25% of juvenile DM. Prevalence and clinical significance of anti-MJ antibodies in adult Italian PM/DM patients were studied.
Methods
Sera from 58 consecutive adult Italian PM/DM patients were analyzed by immunoprecipitation of 35S-labeled K562 cells extract, ELISA (anti-MJ, Jo-1), Western blot and indirect immunofluorescence. Clinical associations were analyzed using information from medical charts.
Results
Anti-MJ antibodies were the most prevalent specificity (17%) found mainly in DM (30%, 8 cases) vs 8% of PM (2 cases, P = 0.02). Comparing 10 anti-MJ (+) vs 48 anti-MJ (-) cases, DM was more common (P = 0.03), and age at onset was younger in anti-MJ (+) (P = 0.0006). In anti-MJ (+), heliotrope rash (P = 0.01) and calcinosis (P = 0.09) were more frequent. None of them had heart or lung involvement, or malignancy. Myopathy in anti-MJ (+) patients responded well to therapy and none of them had elevated CPK at last visit (0% vs 25% in anti-MJ (-)). Only 60% of anti-MJ (+) showed immunofluorescent nuclear dots staining, despite PML localization of NXP-2/MORC3.
Conclusions
Anti-MJ antibodies are the most frequent specificity in our cohort of adult Italian PM/DM. Anti-MJ (+) were associated with young onset DM, calcinosis, no internal organ involvement and good response of myopathy to therapy. Anti-MJ reported in juvenile DM is also found in adult PM/DM, and could be a new useful biomarker.
doi:10.1186/ar3822
PMCID: PMC3446471  PMID: 22546500
21.  Autoantibodies to transcription intermediary factor (TIF)1β associated with dermatomyositis 
Introduction
Myositis specific autoantibodies are associated with unique clinical subsets and are useful biomarkers in polymyositis/dermatomyositis (PM/DM). A 120 kD protein recognized by certain patients with DM was identified and clinical features of patients with this specificity were characterized.
Methods
The 120 kD protein recognized by a prototype serum was purified and identified by mass spectrometry and immunological methods. Autoantibody to this 120 kD protein was screened in sera from 2,356 patients with various diagnoses from four countries, including 254 PM/DM, by immunoprecipitation of 35S-methionine labeled K562 cell extracts. Clinical information of patients with this specificity was collected.
Results
The 120 kD protein, which exactly comigrated with PL-12, was identified as transcription intermediary factor TIF1β (TRIM28) by mass spectrometry and validated by immunoassays. By immunofluorescence, anti-TIF1β positivity showed a fine-speckled nuclear staining pattern. Four cases of anti-TIF1β were identified; all are women, one each in a Japanese, African American, Caucasian, and Mexican individual. Three had a diagnosis of DM and one case was classified as having an undifferentiated connective tissue disease with an elevated CPK but without significant muscle symptoms. This individual also had a history of colon cancer, cervical squamous metaplasia and fibroid tumors of the uterus. Myopathy was mild in all cases and resolved without treatment in one case. The anti-TIF1β specificity was not found in other conditions.
Conclusions
Anti-TIF1β is a new DM autoantibody associated with a mild form of myopathy. Whether it has an association with malignancy, as in the case of anti-TIF1γ, or other unique features will need to be evaluated in future studies.
doi:10.1186/ar3802
PMCID: PMC3446453  PMID: 22513056
22.  High prevalence of autoantibodies to RNA helicase A in Mexican patients with systemic lupus erythematosus 
Introduction
Autoantibodies to RNA helicase A (RHA) were reported as a new serological marker of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) associated with early stage of the disease. Anti-RHA and other autoantibodies in Mexican SLE patients and their correlation with clinical and immunological features were examined.
Methods
Autoantibodies in sera from 62 Mexican SLE patients were tested by immunoprecipitation of 35S-labeled K562 cell extract and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (anti-U1RNP/Sm, ribosomal P, β2GPI, and dsDNA). Anti-RHA was screened based on the immunoprecipitation of the 140-kDa protein, the identity of which was verified by Western blot using rabbit anti-RHA serum. Clinical and immunological characteristics of anti-RHA-positive patients were analyzed.
Results
Anti-RHA was detected in 23% (14/62) of patients, a prevalence higher than that of anti-Sm (13%, 8/62). Prevalence and levels of various autoantibodies were not clearly different between anti-RHA (+) vs. (-) cases, although there was a trend of higher levels of anti-RHA antibodies in patients without anti-U1RNP/Sm (P = 0.07). Both anti-RHA and -Sm were common in cases within one year of diagnosis; however, the prevalence and levels of anti-RHA in patients years after diagnosis did not reduce dramatically, unlike a previous report in American patients. This suggests that the high prevalence of anti-RHA in Mexican patients may be due to relatively stable production of anti-RHA.
Conclusions
Anti-RHA was detected at high prevalence in Mexican SLE patients. Detection of anti-RHA in races in which anti-Sm is not common should be clinically useful. Racial difference in the clinical significance of anti-RHA should be clarified in future studies.
doi:10.1186/ar2905
PMCID: PMC2875632  PMID: 20064217

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