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Eur J Rheumatol. 2018 Sep;5(3):173-178. doi: 10.5152/eurjrheum.2018.17194. Epub 2018 Aug 7.

Catalytic antibodies in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus.

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Department of Clinical & Experimental Immunology, National Institute of Immunohaematology, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Parel, Mumbai, India.
Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale Unité 1138, Paris, France.
Centre de Recherche des Cordeliers, Equipe - Immunopathologie et Immunointervention Thérapeutique, Paris, France.
Sorbonne Université, UMR S 1138, Paris, France.
Université Paris Descartes, Sorbonne Paris Cité, UMR S 1138, Paris, France.
Department of Medicine, King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India.



Antibodies with catalytic (hydrolytic) properties to DNA or RNA have been reported in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, it is well known that ethnicity plays an important role in the presentation of SLE and severity of the disease; hence, these data may not truly represent a general feature of all SLE patients. Therefore, we have analyzed the hydrolyzing activity of immunoglobulin G (IgG) of SLE patients from the Indian population with an aim to decode whether the catalytic antibody response represents part of an active disease process.


IgGs were isolated from the sera of 72 consecutive patients diagnosed with SLE. As a control, IgGs from healthy donors were used. The catalytic activity of IgG was measured by PFR-MCA and affinity-linked oligonucleotide nuclease assay.


IgGs from patients with SLE from the Indian subcontinent displayed significantly higher hydrolysis rates of both the surrogate substrate, PFR-MCA, and the DNA than IgG from healthy individuals. Intergroup comparisons of the IgG-PFR-MCA interactions with clinical manifestations of the disease demonstrated a significantly increased level of hydrolysis among the patients with renal involvement who tested positive for anti-dsDNA antibodies. The PFR-MCA hydrolysis also appears to be associated with the active disease (p=0.0988, vs. inactive group).


The prevalence of catalytic antibodies represents a general feature of SLE patients, irrespective of their origin.

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