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J Autoimmun. 2002 Dec;19(4):251-7.

Autoantibodies to the transcriptional factor SOX13 in primary biliary cirrhosis compared with other diseases.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Monash University, Wellington Road, Clayton, Victoria 3800, Australia.


The molecule SOX13 was initially identified as an autoantigen (ICA12) in Type 1 diabetes. SOX13 is a member of the SOX family of transcriptional regulatory proteins that contain a high mobility group (HMG) motif with structural similarity to HMG proteins 1 and 2. Antibodies to HMG 1 and 2 occur in autoimmune diseases of the liver and in ulcerative colitis. We measured the occurrence and levels of anti-SOX13 by radioimmunoprecipitation in primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and other diseases, and compared frequencies with anti-HMG measured by ELISA. Anti-SOX13 was detected in 18% of patients with PBC, 13% with autoimmune hepatitis, 18% with Type 1 diabetes, at lower frequencies in other conditions including the multisystem autoimmune diseases, systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis, and in 1% of normal sera. Anti-HMG1 and anti-HMG2 occurred at frequencies of 30% and 35% respectively in PBC. Serum levels of anti-SOX13 and anti-HMG correlated significantly for PBC although not for Type 1 diabetes. Anti-SOX13 in PBC may occur merely as an immune response to products of damage to parenchymal tissue, or may be illustrative of a general proclivity of transcriptional regulatory proteins to elicit autoimmune responses.

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