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J Clin Invest. 1988 Jul;82(1):96-101.

Molecular characterization of human Ro/SS-A antigen. Amino terminal sequence of the protein moiety of human Ro/SS-A antigen and immunological activity of a corresponding synthetic peptide.

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Department of Dermatology, University of Texas Health Science Center, Dallas 75235.


The Ro/SS-A antigen was purified from an Epstein-Barr virus-transformed human B lymphoblastoid cell line. The amino terminal amino acid sequence of the 60-kD polypeptide bearing this antigenic epitope was determined to be: (formula; see text) A peptide composed of residue 6-19 was synthesized by the solid-phase method. Immunodiffusion-defined monospecific autoimmune sera to Ro/SS-A reacted with this synthetic peptide in ELISA, whereas autoantibodies with other specificities such as anti-La/SS-B and anti-Sm, as well as normal human sera, were not reactive. In addition, rabbit anti-peptide 6-19 antisera reacted specifically with native human Ro/SS-A antigen in ELISA. Furthermore, this synthetic peptide inhibited the binding of rabbit anti-peptide antiserum to native human Ro/SS-A. An additional synthetic peptide corresponding to residues 7-24 partially inhibited the binding of a patient anti-Ro/SS-A serum to native Ro/SS-A. These results suggest that the amino terminal portion of the molecule represents a major epitope of Ro/SS-A. The determination of the amino acid sequence of Ro/SS-A and the availability of synthetic peptide(s) bearing this antigen should provide additional approaches to further characterize the autoimmune response to this antigen.

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