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

Antibodies against a peptide sequence located in the linker region of the HMG-1/2 box domains in sera from patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.

OBJECTIVE: To extend our work on the mapping of B cell epitopes on nucleosomal high mobility group (HMG) proteins in the sera of patients with juvenile rheumatoid arthritis (JRA). METHODS: Seventy-seven pauciarticular-onset JRA serum samples from antinuclear antibody (ANA)-positive patients and 42 polyarticular-onset JRA patient sera found to react with HMG-2 by immunoblotting were used in this study. To identify B cell epitopes on HMG-2, recombinant HMG-2 protein fragments were used in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and in competition ELISA experiments with a set of overlapping synthetic peptides. Fine epitope mapping was achieved by oligopeptide synthesis, followed by immunoblotting. RESULTS: Pauciarticular, but not polyarticular, JRA patient sera were found to recognize a lysine-rich major epitope (KKGKKKDP), which is located in the linker region of the HMG box domains of the HMG-2 nonhistone chromosomal protein. No significant immunoreactions were observed in sera from ANA-negative JRA patients and in sera from children with nonrheumatic diseases, indicating that this epitope seems to be specific for pauciarticular-onset JRA. CONCLUSION: In addition to our previous finding that JRA sera will react with a defined epitope on HMG-17, pauciarticular JRA patient sera were also found to recognize a defined epitope on the HMG-2 protein, thus suggesting the importance of this epitope in the etiology of JRA.[1]


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