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

Immunoprecipitation of steroidogenic enzyme autoantigens with autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type I ( APS I) sera; further evidence for independent humoral immunity to P450c17 and P450c21.

Three steroidogenic P450 cytochromes, steroid 17alpha-hydroxylase (P450c17), steroid 21-hydroxylase (P450c21) and side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc), have been described as autoantigens in APS I. In this study we report an immunoprecipitation assay for the detection of autoantibodies to these three enzymes using in vitro 35S-labelled antigens. Overall, 33 out of 46 (72%) patients with APS I had autoantibodies to at least one of the three proteins and each protein was recognized by patient sera with equal frequency. A higher rate of autoantibody positivity was observed in APS I patients with Addison's disease compared with patients without Addison's disease (85% versus 39%). All 11 patients with ovarian failure had anti-P450c17 or anti-P450scc antibodies. The immunoprecipitation results with P450c17, P450c21 and P450scc correlated well with the results obtained by immunoblotting assays. In addition, the steroidogenic enzymes 11beta-hydroxylase (P450c11beta), aromatase (P450arom), 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3betaHSD) and adrenodoxin were studied by immunoprecipitation assay, but no reaction was found either with 46 APS I or with 26 healthy control sera. To study the suggested immunological cross-reactivity between P450c17 and P450c21 enzymes, nine APS I patient sera were preabsorbed with bacterially expressed P450c17 or P450c21 and subsequently used in immunoprecipitation assay. The absorption experiments clearly indicated that the preincubation inhibited only the reactivity of corresponding antigen, suggesting independent autoantibody response to the two enzymes. Our results suggest that the immune response to some but not to all steroidogenic enzymes is a specific feature of APS I that may be pathogenically significant.[1]


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