An autoantibody to liver cytosol was previously described in childhood autoimmune chronic active hepatitis type 2. The antigen, liver cytosol antigen type 1, was for the first time partially purified using gel filtration and ion exchange chromatography, and it was characterized using immunodiffusion, immunoblot and sodium dodecyl sulfate—polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analysis of the immunoprecipitate. Immunoblot detected a unique antigenic peptide at 62 kD from human cytosol and at 58 kD from rat cytosol. The same peptides were also detected when immuno-precipitates of liver cytosol antigen type 1 and autoantibodies to liver cytosol antigen were submitted to sodium dodecyl sulfate—polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. A polymeric structure, probably a tetramer, is suggested for native liver cytosol antigen type 1 because in gel filtration chromatography liver cytosol antigen type 1 was eluted as a protein of a molecular weight between 240 and 290 kD when human liver cytosol was fractionated and between 220 and 270 kD from rat liver cytosol. Liver cytosol antigen type 1 is probably poor in carbohydrates because it was not stained by periodic acid—Schiff stain. The autoantibodies to liver cytosol were frequently found in association with antiliver kidney microsomal autoantibodies type 1, which are directed against the cytochrome P-450 of the IID6 subfamily. Antiliver kidney microsomal autoantibodies type 1 but not antiliver cytosol autoantibodies were found in association with antibodies to hepatitis C virus. Autoantibodies to liver cytosol antigen type 1 seem to be a more specific marker for autoimmune hepatitis type 2 than antiliver kidney microsomal antibodies type 1 autoantibodies. (HEPATOLOGY 1992;16:892–898.)
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