Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Biol Chem. 1999 Aug 6;274(32):22321-7.

Isoaspartyl post-translational modification triggers autoimmune responses to self-proteins.

Author information

  • 1Section of Rheumatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA.


The normal functioning immune system is programmed to attack foreign pathogens and other foreign proteins while maintaining tolerance to self-proteins. The mechanisms by which tolerance is broken in the initiation of autoimmunity are not completely understood. In the present study, mice immunized with the murine cytochrome c peptide 90-104 showed no response by the B or T cell compartments. However, immunization with the isoaspartyl form of this peptide, where the linkage of Asp(93) to Leu(94) occurs through the beta-carboxyl group, resulted in strong B and T cell autoimmune responses. Antibodies elicited by immunization with the isoaspartyl form of self-peptide were cross-reactive in binding to both isoforms of cytochrome c peptide and to native cytochrome c self-protein. In a similar manner, immunization of mice with the isoaspartyl form of a peptide autoantigen of human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) resulted in strong B and T cell responses while mice maintained tolerance to the normal aspartyl form of self-antigen. Isoaspartyl linkages within proteins are enhanced in aging and stressed cells and arise under physiological conditions. These post-translationally modified peptides may serve as an early immunologic stimulus in autoimmune disease.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk