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Clin Chim Acta. 2012 Jan 18;413(1-2):105-8. doi: 10.1016/j.cca.2011.09.001. Epub 2011 Sep 22.

Betaine homocysteine methyl transferase 1, a novel auto-antigen associated with anti-Golgi immune reactivity.

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Laboratory Medicine, Immunology, University Hospitals Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


Anti-Golgi antibodies are rare autoantibodies that have been described in systemic autoimmune diseases. Not all Golgi auto-antigens are known. The objective of this study was to identify a novel auto-antigen associated with anti-Golgi immune reactivity. Sera from a patient with Golgi immune reactivity and from a control individual were used for Western blotting after 2-dimensional gel separation of a rat Golgi-enriched extract. Betaine homocysteine S-methyltransferase 1 (BHMT1) was identified as an auto-antigen by MALDI-TOF/TOF mass spectrometry. Using human recombinant BHMT1, a strong positive blotting signal was obtained with serum from the patient but not from a control. Pre-absorption of the serum sample with reactivity to BHMT1 with recombinant human BHMT1 resulted in decreased reactivity on Western blotting and in disappearance of the Golgi-like pattern on indirect immunofluorescence. Using immunocytochemistry, we confirmed the subcellular localization of BHMT1 to the Golgi apparatus. Antibodies to BHMT1 were found in four of 80 samples with a Golgi-pattern on indirect immunofluorescence. The antibodies were not associated with a specific clinical condition. We identified BHMT1 as a novel auto-antigen associated with anti-Golgi immune reactivity.

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