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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Jul 29;333(2):418-26.

Anti-citrullinated collagen type I antibody is a target of autoimmunity in rheumatoid arthritis.

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Laboratory for Rheumatic Diseases, SNP Research Center, The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research, 1-7-22 Suehiro-cho, Tsurumi-ku, Yokohama, Kanagawa 230-0045, Japan.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is one of the most common autoimmune diseases, but its autoimmune mechanisms are not clearly understood. Recently, anti-citrullinated peptide antibodies have been specifically observed in sera of RA patients. Furthermore, we identified RA-susceptible variant in a gene encoding citrullinating enzyme, peptidylarginine deiminase type 4 (PADI4). Therefore, we hypothesized that proteins which are modified in RA synovium by PADI4 act as autoantigens. Subsequently, we obtained human collagen type I (huCI) as one of the autoantigens using a RA synoviocyte cDNA library by immunoscreening. We also investigated that the levels of anti-citrullinated huCI were significantly higher in RA patient sera than in normal control sera with high specificity (99%) and positively correlated with the levels of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies. We concluded that huCI is a novel substrate protein of PADIs and that citrullinated huCI is a candidate autoantigen of RA.

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