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Arthritis Rheum. 2008 Jul;58(7):1958-67. doi: 10.1002/art.23596.

Association of autoimmunity to peptidyl arginine deiminase type 4 with genotype and disease severity in rheumatoid arthritis.

Author information

1
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland 21224, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Protein citrullination is an important posttranslational modification recognized by rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-specific autoantibodies. One of the citrullinating enzymes, peptidyl arginine deiminase type 4 (PAD-4), is genetically associated with development of RA in some populations, although the mechanism(s) mediating this effect are not yet clear. There have been descriptions of anti-PAD-4 autoantibodies in different rheumatic diseases. This study was undertaken to investigate whether anti-PAD-4 antibodies are specific to RA, are associated with disease phenotype or severity, and whether PAD-4 polymorphisms influence the anti-PAD-4 autoantibody response.

METHODS:

Sera from patients with established RA, patients with other rheumatic diseases, and healthy adults were assayed for anti-PAD-4 autoantibodies by immunoprecipitation of in vitro-translated PAD-4. The epitope(s) recognized by PAD-4 autoantibodies were mapped using various PAD-4 truncations. PAD-4 genotyping was performed on RA patients with the TaqMan assay. Joint erosions were scored from hand and foot radiographs using the Sharp/van der Heijde method.

RESULTS:

PAD-4 autoantibodies were found in 36-42% of RA patients, and were very infrequent in controls. Recognition by anti-PAD-4 autoantibodies required the 119 N-terminal amino acids, which encompass the 3 nonsynonymous polymorphisms associated with disease susceptibility. Strikingly, the anti-PAD-4 immune response was associated with the RA susceptibility haplotype of PADI4. Anti-PAD-4 antibodies were associated with more severe joint destruction in RA.

CONCLUSION:

Our findings indicate that anti-PAD-4 antibodies are specific markers of RA, independently associated with more severe disease, suggesting that an anti-PAD-4 immune response may be involved in pathways of joint damage in this disease. Polymorphisms in the PADI4 gene influence the immune response to the PAD-4 protein, potentially contributing to disease propagation.

PMID:
18576335
PMCID:
PMC2692635
DOI:
10.1002/art.23596
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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