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Clin Exp Immunol. 1985 Nov;62(2):371-9.

Primary biliary cirrhosis: further biochemical and immunological characterization of mitochondrial antigens.


The nature of mitochondrial PBC-related antigens has been investigated with radioimmunoassay (RIA) and immunoblotting methods. The major antigen(s) was located by RIA in beef heart mitochondria, submitochondrial particles, chloroform-extracted F1-ATPase and Complex III. Cross-competition RIA experiments showed that the same antigen is present in all the above samples but at different concentrations. The antigen is not present in purified F1-ATPase, cytochrome oxidase, the oligomycin sensitivity conferring protein (OSCP), Factor6, or the Transhydrogenase. Immunoblot analysis of the above mitochondrial proteins revealed two PBC-related antigens (apparent molecular weights of 70 KD and 60 KD) whose distribution in the various proteins and protein complexes correlated well with the antigens determined by RIA. Immunoblot analysis of mitochondrial antigens was carried out using sera from normal subjects and from patients with PBC and with different autoimmune diseases (AID). Only PBC sera reacted with the 70 KD and 60 KD antigens. The PBC antigen detected by RIA in submitochondrial particles and the chloroform-F1-ATPase could be blocked by Mersalyl, suggesting its relationship to the mitochondrial 'M2' antigen. Furthermore, the antigenicity of the 70 KD peptide was shown by immunoblotting to be dependent upon mercaptoethanol. Thus, not only is the antigenicity of the 70 KD component dependent on a sulphur group, but the sulphur must be in the reduced form.

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