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Curr Opin Rheumatol. 2002 May;14(3):244-9.

Posttranslational protein modifications: new flavors in the menu of autoantigens.

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


Perhaps one of the most elusive areas of study in autoimmunity has been identifying the self-antigens that initially trigger the development of autoimmune responses. Recent work in this area has demonstrated that a number of biochemical modifications that arise in proteins after their translation induce autoimmune responses to otherwise ignored self-proteins. This article will describe those autoimmune diseases in which posttranslational modifications may play a role in initiation of disease, as well as identify how these modifications arise and contribute to the breakdown of immune tolerance. Lastly, we will address how posttranslational modifications in self-antigens affect current diagnostic techniques and the development of immunotherapies for autoimmune diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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