In systemic autoimmunity, the human B cell response to the La (SS-B) autoantigen is polyclonal and directed to both conserved and human-specific epitopes. This study has further characterized the B cell epitope(s) present within the conserved central region of the La protein, LaC (amino acids 111-242) containing the RNA recognition motif (RRM, aa 111-187). Ten overlapping and non-overlapping protein fragments spanning LaC were expressed in bacteria as NH2-terminal fusions with glutathione-S-transferase. The fusion proteins were tested by ELISA for reactivity with a panel of human anti-La sera in order to define the nature of the epitopes. Ninety-two percent of patient sera containing anti-La antibodies reacted with the region of La containing the RRM. Fine mapping of this reactivity using deletion mutants indicated that the deletion of 19 amino acids from either the NH2-terminal or COOH-terminal region of the RRM was associated with loss of antibody reactivity, suggesting that the immunodominant epitope expressed in this region is discontinuous. Autoantibodies affinity-purified from the La RRM fragment to remove other specificities immunoprecipitated newly synthesized native La (SS-B)/Ro (SS-A) complexes, providing additional evidence that autoantibodies were recognizing a conformational epitope. The findings indicate that the human autoantibody response to La involves recognition of a conformational determinant involving the conserved RRM region without necessarily interfering with the RNA-dependent association of the La/Ro ribonucleoprotein.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Clinical and Experimental Immunology|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 1995|
- anti-La (SS-B)
- Epitope mapping
- RNA recognition motif