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J Exp Med. 1997 Mar 3;185(5):843-54.

Proteins phosphorylated during stress-induced apoptosis are common targets for autoantibody production in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

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  • 1Division of Tumor Immunology, Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


Proteins cleaved by interleukin-1 beta converting enzyme family proteases during apoptosis are common targets for autoantibody production in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). We have tested the possibility that proteins phosphorylated in cells undergoing apoptosis are also targets for autoantibody production in patients with autoimmune disease. Sera from 9/12 patients containing antinuclear antibodies (10/12 meeting diagnostic criteria for SLE or a lupus overlap syndrome), precipitated new phosphoproteins from lysates derived from Jurkat T cells treated with apoptotic stimuli (i.e., Fas-ligation, gamma irradiation, ultraviolet irradiation), but not with an activation (i.e., CD3-ligation) stimulus. Sera derived from individual patients precipitated different combinations of seven distinct serine-phosphorylated proteins. None of these phosphoproteins were included in precipitates prepared using sera from patients with diseases that are not associated with autoantibody production or using serum from rheumatoid arthritis patients. Protein phosphorylation precedes, or is coincident with, the induction of DNA fragmentation, and is not observed when apoptosis is inhibited by overexpression of bcl-2. Serum from four patients precipitated a serine/threonine kinase from apoptotic cell lysates that phosphorylates proteins of 23-, 34-, and 46-kD in in vitro kinase assays. Our results suggest that proteins phosphorylated during apoptosis may be preferred targets for autoantibody production in patients with SLE.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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