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Keywords:

  • autoantibodies;
  • autoantigen;
  • nuclear membrane;
  • nuclear pore complex

SUMMARY

We studied the autoantigen targets of 75 human sera that had antibodies to the nuclear envelope (NE) as identified by indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) on HEp-2 cells. Several different IIF staining patterns could be identified when antibodies to different components of the nuclear membrane (NM) and nuclear pore complexes (NuPC) were identified: a smooth membrane pattern characteristic of antibodies to nuclear lamins, a punctate pattern typical of antibodies to the nuclear pore complex and more complex patterns that included antibodies to nuclear and cytoplasmic organelles. Western immunoblotting of isolated nuclear and NE proteins and immunoprecipitation of radiolabelled recombinant proteins prepared by using the full-length cDNAs of the Translocated promoter region (Tpr), gp210 and p62 were used to identify specific autoantibody targets. Fifty-two of the 75 (70%) sera bound to Tpr, 25 (33%) bound to lamins A, B or C, 15 (20%) reacted with gp210 and none reacted with p62. Sixteen (21%) did not react with any of the NE components tested in our assays. The clinical features of 37 patients with anti-NE showed that there were 34 females and three males with an age range of 16–88 years (mean 59 years). The most frequent clinical diagnosis (9/37 = 24%) was autoimmune liver disease (ALD; two with primary biliary cirrhosis), followed by seven (19%) with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), four (11%) with a motor and/or sensory neuropathy, three (8%) with anti-phospholipid syndrome (APS), two with systemic sclerosis (SSc), two with Sjögren's syndrome (SjS), and others with a variety of diagnoses. This report indicates that Tpr, a component of the NuPC, is a common target of human autoantibodies that react with the NE.