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J Clin Invest. 1996 Mar 15;97(6):1417-21.

Autoantibodies to DNA-dependent protein kinase. Probes for the catalytic subunit.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Medical College of Georgia School of Medicine, Augusta, 30912-3100, USA.


DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) is an important nuclear enzyme which consists of a catalytic subunit known as DNA-PKcs and a regulatory component identified as the Ku autoantigen. In the present study, we surveyed 312 patients in a search for this specificity. 10 sera immunoprecipitated a large polypeptide which exactly comigrated with DNA-PKcs in SDS-PAGE. Immunoblot analysis demonstrated that this polypeptide was recognizable by a rabbit antiserum specific for DNA-PKcs. Although the patient sera did not bind to biochemically purified DNA-PKcs in immunoblots or ELISA, they were able to deplete DNA-PK catalytic activity from extracts of HeLa cells in a dose-dependent manner. We conclude that these antibodies should be useful probes for studies which aim to define the role of DNA-PK in cells. Since six sera simultaneously contained antibodies to the Ku protein, these studies suggest that relatively intact forms of DNA-PK complex act as autoantigenic particles in selected patients.

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