Identification by Proteomic Tool of Atypical Anti-Liver/Kidney Microsome Autoantibodies Targets in de Novo Autoimmune Hepatitis after Liver Transplantation


Address for correspondence: Dr. Stéphanie Huguet, Pharm D, Unité d'immunologie, Hôpital Saint-Antoine, 184 rue du Faubourg St Antoine, 75571 Paris Cedex 12, France. Voice: +33-1-49-28-31-27; fax: +33-1-49-28-30-46.


Abstract: De novo autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) occurs after liver transplantation for nonautoimmune disorders. Autoantibodies so-called atypical anti-liver/kidney microsome antibodies (LKMA) with an unusual liver/kidney cytoplasmic staining as judged by indirect immunofluorescence, can be detected in some patients' sera. Few studies investigated their molecular targets, and the aim of this work was to identify the atypical anti-LKMA targets by proteomic tool. This proteomic approach consisted of (a) two-dimensional gel electrophoresis of cytosolic and microsomal proteins obtained by differential centrifugations of rat liver and rat kidney, followed by (b) two-dimensional immunoblotting with sera of patients with de novo AIH (n= 8, including 2 with anti-LKMA antibodies) and then (c) identifications of interest spots performed by ion trap mass spectrometry. By this way several proteins at 25 kDa were unambiguously identified: isoforms of carbonic anhydrase III, members of different glutathione S-transferase (GST) families, and subunit β1 of proteasome. This is the first report of proteasome and carbonic anhydrase III as autoantigens in de novo AIH. These results could lead to a better diagnosis of this disease using identified autoantigens in diagnostic tests, and strengthen proteomic approach as a new way of autoantigens investigation.