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1.  Autoantibodies directed to novel components of the PM/Scl complex, the human exosome 
Arthritis Research  2001;4(2):134-138.
The autoantigenic polymyositis/scleroderma (PM/Scl) complex was recently shown to be the human homologue of the yeast exosome, which is an RNA-processing complex. Our aim was to assess whether, in addition to targeting the known autoantigens PM/Scl-100 and PM/Scl-75, autoantibodies also target recently identified components of the PM/Scl complex. The prevalence of autoantibodies directed to six novel human exosome components (hRrp4p, hRrp40p, hRrp41p, hRrp42p, hRrp46p, hCsl4p) was determined in sera from patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (n = 48), scleroderma (n = 11), or the PM/Scl overlap syndrome (n = 10). The sera were analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and western blotting using the affinity-purified recombinant proteins. Our results show that each human exosome component is recognized by autoantibodies. The hRrp4p and hRrp42p components were most frequently targeted. The presence of autoantibodies directed to the novel components of the human exosome was correlated with the presence of the anti-PM/Scl-100 autoantibody in the sera of patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathy (IIM), as was previously found for the anti-PM/Scl-75 autoantibody. Other clear associations between autoantibody activities were not found. These results further support the conception that the autoimmune response may initially be directed to PM/Scl-100, whereas intermolecular epitope spreading may have caused the autoantibody response directed to the associated components.
PMCID: PMC83843  PMID: 11879549
anti-PM/Scl; autoantibody; autoantigen; exosome complex
2.  Autoantibody systems in rheumatoid arthritis: specificity, sensitivity and diagnostic value 
Arthritis Research  2001;4(2):87-93.
The diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is primarily based on clinical symptoms, so it is often difficult to diagnose RA in very early stages of the disease. A disease-specific autoantibody that could be used as a serological marker would therefore be very useful. Most autoimmune diseases are characterized by a polyclonal B-cell response targeting multiple autoantigens. These immune responses are often not specific for a single disease. In this review, the most important autoantibody/autoantigen systems associated with RA are described and their utility as a diagnostic and prognostic tool, including their specificity, sensitivity and practical application, is discussed. We conclude that, at present, the antibody response directed to citrullinated antigens has the most valuable diagnostic and prognostic potential for RA.
PMCID: PMC128920  PMID: 11879544
autoantibodies; autoimmunity; citrulline; rheumatoid arthritis
3.  Autoimmune response to U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (U1 snRNP) associated with cytomegalovirus infection 
Arthritis Research  2001;3(4):253-258.
The induction of autoantibodies to U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein (U1 snRNP) complexes is not well understood. We present evidence that healthy individuals with cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection have an increased frequency and quantity of antibodies to ribonucleoprotein, directed primarily against the U1-70k protein. A significant association between the presence of antibodies to CMV and antibodies to the total RNP targeted by the immune response to the spliceosome (to both the Sm and RNP; Sm/RNP) was found for patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) but not those with mixed connective-tissue disease. CMV thus may play a role in inducing autoimmune responses in a subset of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.
PMCID: PMC34115  PMID: 11438044
autoantibodies; cytomegalovirus; spliceosome; systemic lupus erythematosus
4.  The human exosome: an autoantigenic complex of exoribonucleases in myositis and scleroderma 
Arthritis Research  2000;3(2):102-106.
The anti-PM/Scl autoantibodies are known to characterize a subset of autoimmune patients with myositis, scleroderma (Scl), and the PM/Scl overlap syndrome. The major autoantigens that are recognized by anti-PM/Scl autoantibodies are designated PM/Scl-100 and PM/Scl-75. These autoantigens have been reported to associate into a large complex consisting of 11 to 16 proteins and to play a role in ribosome synthesis. Recently, it was discovered that the PM/Scl complex is the human counterpart of the yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) exosome, which is an RNA-processing complex consisting of 11 3' → 5' exoribonucleases. To date, 10 human exosome components have been identified, although only some of these were studied in more detail. In this review, we discuss some recent advances in the characterization of the PM/Scl complex.
PMCID: PMC128886  PMID: 11178117
autoantibodies; autoantigens; exoribonucleases; exosome; PM/Scl complex
5.  Citrullination: a small change for a protein with great consequences for rheumatoid arthritis 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(4):249-251.
A new autoantibody activity, which is almost 100% specific for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), has been found. The essential part of the B-cell epitope is a modified form of arginine (ie citrulline). The conversion of protein-contained arginine to citrulline is an enzymatic process that is carried out by peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD), an enzyme that appears to be hormonally controlled. Because of its remarkable specificity, citrullination and related processes might open new possibilities for studying the aetiology of RA.
PMCID: PMC130012  PMID: 11094435
autoantibody; autoantigen; citrullination; deimination; rheumatoid arthritis

Results 1-5 (5)