Identification of a human-specific epitope in a conserved region of the La/SS-B autoantigen

Yi Ma Weng, Jane McNeilage, Fiona Topfer, James McCluskey, Tom Gordon

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26 Citations (Scopus)


Human anti-La/SS-B autoantibodies are known to react with highly conserved epitopes suggested to be functional or active sites on the La/SS-B polypeptide. This study was designed to determine whether the autoantibodies also react with poorly conserved regions of La/SS-B as predicted by an antigen-driven autoimmune response. Binding of human autoantibodies to purified human, mouse, and bovine recombinant fragments representing immunodominant regions of the La/SS-B polypeptide was compared using Western blotting and ELISA. A cross-reactive epitope was located in the highly conserved NH2-terminal region of La/SS-B. Significantly, human-specific epitopes were identified in both the conserved RNA-recognition motif and a poorly conserved COOH-terminal fragment, providing direct evidence for an autoantigen-driven response. The lack of autoantibody cross-reactivity with a conserved domain of mouse and bovine La/SS-B implies that a small number of residues in human autoepitopes may be critical for autoimmunogenicity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1104-1108
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1993
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoantibody
  • Autoantigen
  • Epitope
  • Immunodominant
  • Recombinant


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