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Blood. 2012 Oct 18;120(16):3360-70. doi: 10.1182/blood-2011-09-378851. Epub 2012 Aug 29.

Autoantibodies specific to a peptide of β2-glycoprotein I cross-react with TLR4, inducing a proinflammatory phenotype in endothelial cells and monocytes.

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Department of Cell Biology and Neurosciences, Istituto Superiore di Sanità, Rome, Italy.

Erratum in

  • Blood. 2014 Jul 24;124(4):662.


β(2)-glycoprotein I (β(2)GPI) is the major antigenic target for antiphospholipid Abs. Anti-β(2)GPI Abs are a heterogeneous population of Igs targeting all domains of the molecule. Abs specific to β(2)GPI domain I are strongly associated with thrombosis and obstetric complications. In the present study, we sought to understand the possible pathogenic mechanism for this subset of anti-β(2)GPI Abs, investigating their potential cross-reactivity with other self-proteins involved in inflammatory or coagulant events. We compared the amino acid sequence of the β(2)GPI domain I with human proteins in a protein databank and identified a peptide sharing 88% identity with an epitope of human TLR4. A high percentage of patients with antiphospholipid syndrome (41%) and systemic lupus erythematosus (50%) presented serum IgG specific to this peptide. Anti-β(2)GPI peptide Abs binding the TLR4 were able to induce NF-κB activation in HEK293 cells that were stably transfected with the TLR4 gene. Anti-β(2)GPI peptide Abs induced activation of TLR4 and triggered interleukin-1 receptor-associated kinase phosphorylation and NF-κB translocation, promoting VCAM expression on endothelial cells and TNF-α release by monocytes. In conclusion, our observations suggest a novel pathogenic mechanism in the TLR4 stimulation by anti-β(2)GPI peptide Abs that links adaptive immune responses with innate immunity in antiphospholipid syndrome and systemic lupus erythematosus.

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