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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Human organ-specific autoimmune disease. Molecular cloning and expression of an autoantibody gene repertoire for a major autoantigen reveals an antigenic immunodominant region and restricted immunoglobulin gene usage in the target organ.

The most common organ-specific autoimmune disease in humans involves the thyroid. Autoantibodies against thyroid peroxidase ( TPO) are present in the sera of virtually all patients with active disease. We report the molecular cloning of the genes for 30 high-affinity, IgG-class human autoantibodies to TPO from thyroid-infiltrating B cells. Analysis of the putative germline genes used for the TPO human autoantibodies suggests the use of only five different H and L chain combinations involving four H chains and three L chains. In addition, the same combination of H and L chains was found in multiple patients. The F(ab) proteins expressed by these genes define two major, closely associated domains (A and B) in an immunodominant region on TPO. These A and B domains contain the binding sites of approximately 80% of IgG-class TPO autoantibodies in the sera of patients with autoimmune thyroid disease. The present information permits analysis, not previously possible, of the relationship between autoantibody H and L chain genes and the antigenic domains on an autoantigen. Our data, obtained using target organ-derived autoantibodies, indicate that there is restriction in H and L chain usage in relation to the interaction with specific antigenic domains in human, organ-specific autoimmune disease.[1]


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