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Clin Biochem. 1992 Jun;25(3):209-12.

Molecular basis for the association between HLA DR4 and rheumatoid arthritis. From the shared epitope hypothesis to a peptidic model of rheumatoid arthritis.

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University of California San Diego, Department of Medicine, Institute of Aging, La Jolla 92037.


Susceptibility to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) maps to residues QKRAA/QRRAA in the third hypervariable region of the HLA DR beta 1 chain. Peptides from the same area of MHC class II molecules are able to modulate the T-cell repertoire by deleting self-reactive T-cells. The Epstein Barr virus glycoprotein gp110 and the dna J heat-shock protein from E. coli mimic the third hypervariable region of HLA-Dw4DR beta 1. Thus, the same area of HLA DR beta 1 carries susceptibility to RA, modulates the T-cell repertoire and is mimicked by human pathogens. RA may originate from a particular shape imposed on the T-cell repertoire by the QKRAA/QRRAA sequence in the third hypervariable region of HLA DR beta 1.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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