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Small Nuclear RNA-Associated Proteins are Immunologically Related as Revealed by Mapping of Autoimmune Reactive B-Cell Epitopes

Winand J. Habets, Peter T. G. Sillekens, Margot H. Hoet, George McAllister, Michael R. Lerner and Walther J. Van Venrooij
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 86, No. 12 (Jun. 15, 1989), pp. 4674-4678
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/33754
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Small Nuclear RNA-Associated Proteins are Immunologically Related as Revealed by Mapping of Autoimmune Reactive B-Cell Epitopes
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Abstract

Autoantibodies from a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus, which recognize U1 and U2 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs), were used to map B-cell autoepitopes on the U1 snRNP-specific A protein. This protein contains two regions that are highly similar to regions in the U2 snRNP-specific B′ ′ protein. A site termed epitope 2 maps in one such region and was found to react with antibodies cross-reactive between A and B′ ′. A second site, epitope 1, is situated in a proline-rich region that shows no homology with B′ ′. This epitope can bind three different autoantibodies with distinct specificities. Epitope 1-affinity-purified antibodies from different patients react with either (i) the A protein exclusively; (ii) proteins A, B′/B, a synthetic peptide for part of the N polypeptide, and an unidentified protein with a molecular mass of 50 kDa; or (iii) proteins A, B′/B, C, and the N-derived peptide. Comparison of the primary structures of proteins B′/B, N, and C reveals multiple epitope 1-like sequences in all of them. The possibility that these repeating regions act as immunogens in patients with autoimmune diseases is discussed.

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