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

The transcriptional activator Sp1, a novel autoantigen.

OBJECTIVE: To identify one nuclear autoantigenic protein within a complex of DNA binding proteins that bind to GC-rich sequences in Epstein-Barr virus and cellular DNA, and to describe the clinical characteristics of patients whose sera contained autoantibodies to this novel autoantigen. METHODS: Antibodies to autoantigen Sp1 were initially measured by an electrophoretic mobility shift assay to detect DNA binding proteins. Nuclear extracts and purified Sp1 protein were used in these assays. Recognition of the autoantigen by autoimmune sera was confirmed by immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting. RESULTS: The autoantigen was identified as Sp1. Anti-Sp1 was detected in sera from 8 (3%) of 230 patients. These sera contained antinuclear antibodies, but lacked antibodies to double-stranded DNA or to several extractable nuclear antigens. The patients whose sera contained antibodies to Sp1 were white women with fatigue, arthritis, Raynaud's phenomenon, malar rash, and photosensitivity. CONCLUSION: Sp1 is the first described example of an RNA polymerase II transcription activator as an autoantigen. The presence of Sp1 autoantibodies is associated with undifferentiated connective tissue disease.[1]


  1. The transcriptional activator Sp1, a novel autoantigen. Spain, T.A., Sun, R., Gradzka, M., Lin, S.F., Craft, J., Miller, G. Arthritis Rheum. (1997) [Pubmed]
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