An immunodominant La/SSB autoantibody proteome derives from public clonotypes

Lauren Thurgood, Georgia Arentz, Rhianna Lindop, Michael Jackson, Andrew Whyte, Alexander Colella, Timothy Chataway, Thomas Gordon

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    19 Citations (Scopus)


    The La/SSB autoantigen is a major target of long-term humoral autoimmunity in primary Sjögren's Syndrome (SS) and systemic lupus erythematosus. A majority of patients with linked anti-Ro60/Ro52/La responses target an NH2-terminal epitope designated LaA that is expressed on Ro/La ribonucleoprotein complexes and the surface membrane of apoptotic cells. In this study, we used high-resolution Orbitrap mass spectrometry to determine the clonality, isotype and V-region sequences of LaA-specific autoantibodies in seven patients with primary SS. Anti-LaA immunoglobulin (Ig)Gs purified from polyclonal sera by epitope-specific affinity chromatography were analysed by combined database and de-novo mass spectrometric sequencing. Autoantibody responses comprised two heavily mutated IgG1 kappa-restricted monoclonal species that were shared (public) across unrelated patients; one clonotype was specified by an IGHV3-30 heavy chain paired with IGKV3-15 light chain and the second by an IGHV3-43/IGKV3-20 pairing. Shared amino acid replacement mutations were also seen within heavy and light chain complementarity-determining regions, consistent with a common breach of B cell tolerance followed by antigen-driven clonal selection. The discovery of public clonotypic autoantibodies directed against an immunodominant epitope on La, taken together with recent findings for the linked Ro52 and Ro60 autoantigens, supports a model of systemic autoimmunity in which humoral responses against protein-RNA complexes are mediated by public sets of autoreactive B cell clonotypes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)237-244
    Number of pages8
    JournalClinical and Experimental Immunology
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013


    • La/SSB
    • Mass spectrometry
    • Primary Sjögrens syndrome
    • Public clonotypes


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