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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1993 Jul 15; 90(14): 6781–6785.

Rare scleroderma autoantibodies to the U11 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein and to the trimethylguanosine cap of U small nuclear RNAs.


We have identified a scleroderma serum (Ru) with a previously undescribed specificity to protein components of the U11 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particle (snRNP), a low-abundance member of the Sm class of U RNPs. The U11 RNP can be specifically immunoprecipitated from sonicated HeLa cells with Ru serum. In nuclear extracts, a fraction of the U11 particle is found complexed to the U12 RNP, an even lower abundance Sm snRNP. In glycerol gradient fractions, Ru serum identifies a 65-kDa protein that cosediments with the U11-U12 complex and is shifted upon targeted degradation of the U12 RNA. The 65-kDa protein therefore appears to be a component of the U11-U12 snRNP complex, whereas another Ru-reactive (140 kDa) protein may be associated with the free U11 RNP. The Ru serum also contains autoantibodies directed against the trimethylguanosine cap of U RNAs. This rare specificity has been described previously in only three other scleroderma patients.

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