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Microbiol Immunol. 2006;50(2):117-26.

Proteomic surveillance of autoantigens in relapsing polychondritis.

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Institute of Medical Science, St. Marianna University School of Medicine, Kanagawa, Japan.


Relapsing polychondritis (RP) is a systemic inflammatory disease, in which autoimmunity to cartilage-related components is thought to be involved in its pathogenesis. However, the autoimmune profile in RP has not been studied fully. We therefore investigated autoantibodies/autoantigens in RP comprehensively, by 2-dimensional electrophoresis (2DE), subsequent western blotting (WB) and mass spectrometry, using cell-extracted proteins as the antigen source. As a result, we detected 15 autoantigens on 2DE-WB, and further identified five of them. On average, one RP serum recognized approximately 8 out of the 15 autoantigens. Frequencies of the autoantibodies to the 5 identified antigens of tubulin alpha ubiquitous/6, vimentin, alpha enolase, calreticulin, and colligin-1/-2 were 91%, 46%, 36%, 82%, and 36%, respectively. ELISA using recombinant proteins for them revealed that frequencies of the autoantibodies to tubulin alpha ubiquitous, vimentin, alpha enolase, calreticulin, and colligin-1 were 36%, 64%, 46%, 27%, and 18%, respectively. Our data demonstrated that the autoimmune reaction was not restricted to cartilagerelated components, rather a variety of autoimmune responses occurred in patients with RP, which may be involved in the pathophysiology of RP. In addition, the proteomic approach using cell-extracted proteins would be a powerful way to investigate autoantigens.

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