Send to

Choose Destination
Arthritis Res Ther. 2006;8(6):R175.

Identification of novel citrullinated autoantigens of synovium in rheumatoid arthritis using a proteomic approach.

Author information

Department of Bioregulation & Proteomics, Institute of Medical Science, St, Marianna University School of Medicine, Sugao 2-16-1, Miyamae, Kawasaki, Kanagawa 216-8512, Japan.


Recently, autoantibodies to some citrullinated autoantigens have been reported to be specific for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). However, an entire profile of and autoimmunity of the citrullinated proteins have been poorly understood. To understand the profile, we examined citrullinated autoantigens by a proteomic approach and further investigated the significance of citrullination in antigenicity of one of the autoantigens. Specifically, we detected citrullinated autoantigens in synovial tissue of a patient with RA by two-dimensional electrophoresis and Western blotting by using pooled sera from five patients with RA and anti-citrulline antibodies. After identifying the detected autoantigens by mass spectrometry, we investigated the contribution of citrullination to autoantigenicity by using a recombinant protein with or without citrullination on one of the identified novel citrullinated autoantigens. As a result, we found 51 citrullinated protein spots. Thirty (58.8%) of these spots were autoantigenic. We identified 13 out of the 30 detected citrullinated autoantigenic proteins. They contained three fibrinogen derivatives and several novel citrullinated autoantigens (for example, asporin and F-actin capping protein alpha-1 subunit [CapZalpha-1]). We further analyzed the contribution of citrullination to autoantigenicity in one of the detected citrullinated autoantigens, CapZalpha-1. As a result, frequencies of autoantibodies to non-citrullinated CapZalpha-1 were 36.7% in the RA group tested, 10.7% in the osteoarthritis (OA) group, and 6.5% in healthy donors. On the other hand, those to citrullinated CapZalpha-1 were 53.3% in the RA group, 7.1% in the OA group, and 6.5% in the healthy donors. This shows that autoantigenicity of citrullinated or non-citrullinated CapZalpha-1 is relevant to RA. The antibody titers to the citrullinated CapZalpha-1 were significantly higher than those to the non-citrullinated CapZalpha-1 in 36.7% of patients; however, the other patients showed almost equal antibody titers to both citrullinated and non-citrullinated CapZalpha-1. Therefore, the autoantibodies would target citrulline-related and/or citrulline-unrelated epitope(s) of CapZalpha-1. In conclusion, we report a profile of citrullinated autoantigens for the first time. Even though citrullination is closely related to autoantigenicity, citrullination would not always produce autoantigenicity in RA. Citrullinated and non-citrullinated autoantigens/autoepitopes would have different pathological roles in RA.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for BioMed Central Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center