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Mod Rheumatol. 2006;16(4):229-34.

Significant elevation of IgG anti-WRN (RecQ3 RNA/DNA helicase) antibody in systemic sclerosis.

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Division of Anti-Ageing and Longevity Sciences, Department of Clinical Engineering, Faculty of BioMedical Engineering, Toin University of Yokohama, 1614 Kurogane-cho, Aoba-ku, Yokohama, 225-8502, Japan.


Werner syndrome, caused by the homologous mutation of RecQ3 RNA/DNA helicase (WRN), is often misdiagnosed as systemic sclerosis (SSc) because of apparent similar skin changes and its relatively high frequency in Japan. The present study was undertaken to determine whether anti-WRN antibodies assayed by specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay occur in 41 SSc patients (30 diffuse and 11 limited types) and, if so, to determine any clinical association, such as skin sclerosis. Serum level of IgG anti-WRN antibody in SSc was significantly higher than that from 30 age- and sex-matched normal volunteers (P < 0.001). The serum level of IgG anti-WRN antibody in diffuse type SSc was significantly higher than the limited type (P < 0.05). A significant correlation was observed between serum levels of IgG anti-topoisomerase I antibody and IgG anti-WRN antibody in the same samples from SSc (P < 0.05). Moreover, in 119 normal healthy individuals aged from 0 to 99 years, a statistically significant correlation (P < 0.001) existed between serum level of IgG anti-WRN antibody and advancing age. A significantly higher level of IgG autoantibody specific for WRN detected in diffuse than in limited type SSc and normal may contribute to the pathogenesis of skin sclerosis in SSc.

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