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J Invest Dermatol. 2003 Oct;121(4):765-70.

Autoantibodies in vitiligo patients recognize multiple domains of the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor.

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  • 1Division of Clinical Sciences (North), University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.


Previously, we reported the identification of autoantibodies against the melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 in patients with vitiligo. In this study, the B cell epitopes on melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 that are recognized by these autoantibodies have been identified. Deletion derivatives of melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 complementary DNA were constructed and then translated in vitro with the concomitant incorporation of [35S]-methionine into the protein products. The [35S]-labeled melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 derivatives were subsequently used in radio-binding assays to investigate the reactivity of sera from nine vitiligo patients that were known to contain antibodies to the receptor. Analysis of the results obtained in the radio-binding assays suggested the existence of multiple antibody binding sites on melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1, including regions between amino acids 1 to 138 and 139 to 298. Several patients exhibited autoantibodies to more than one melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 epitope indicating a heterogeneous humoral response to the receptor. Computer prediction of the potential B cell epitopes on melanin-concentrating hormone receptor 1 revealed that the epitope domains identified overlapped, at least in part, with regions predicted to be highly antigenic.

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