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Antibodies from Patients with Myasthenia Gravis Recognize Determinants Unique to Extrajunctional Acetylcholine Receptors

Crispin B. Weinberg and Zach W. Hall
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 76, No. 1 (Jan., 1979), pp. 504-508
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/69526
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.
Antibodies from Patients with Myasthenia Gravis Recognize Determinants Unique to Extrajunctional Acetylcholine Receptors
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Abstract

We have examined the interaction between sera from patients with myasthenia gravis and acetylcholine receptor (AcChoR) purified from normal and denervated rat skeletal muscles [junctional receptor (JR) and extrajunctional receptor (EJR), respectively]. Eight of ten myasthenic sera had titers against EJR that were significantly higher (1.1-2.4 times) than their titers against JR. The antireceptor titers of these sera ranged from 2 to 102 nM. Although activities of three other sera were too low (<1 nM) to allow accurate titrations, provisional measurements with these sera gave titers against EJR that were at least as high (1.0-1.4 times) as those against JR. Competition experiments with myasthenic sera demonstrated two classes of determinants on rat AcChoR: those that are common to JR and EJR and those that are present or exposed only on EJR. Myasthenic sera did not recognize any determinants unique to JR. Several antisera raised to purified AcChoR from eel or Torpedo electric organs or denervated rat skeletal muscle had equal titers against the two forms of receptor. Treatment of JR and EJR by various enzymatic or chemical procedures designed to alter prosthetic groups on the proteins failed to affect their antigenic reactivity. AcChoR from embryonic rats was indistinguishable immunologically from EJR of adult muscle.

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