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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 44

of 'Anti-U1 RNP antibodies in mixed connective tissue disease'

Characterization of recombinant human autoantibody fragments directed toward the autoantigenic U1-70K protein.
Degen WG, Pieffers M, Welin-Henriksson E, van den Hoogen FH, van Venrooij WJ, Raats JM
Eur J Immunol. 2000;30(10):3029.
The U1-70K protein is specifically bound to stemloop I of the U1 small nuclear RNA contained in the U1 small nuclear ribonucleoprotein complex (U1 snRNP), which is involved in the splicing of pre-mRNA. All components of the U1 snRNP complex, including the U1-70K protein, are important autoantigens in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD). Here we describe for the first time the selection and characterization of recombinant human anti-U1-70K single chain autoantibody fragments (anti-hU1-70K scFv) from autoimmune patient-derived phage display antibody libraries. All scFv specifically recognize parts of the hU1-70K protein and its apoptotic 40-kDa cleavage product. In Western blotting assays a number of scFv preferentially recognize the 40-kDa apoptotic cleavage fragment of the U1-70K protein, suggesting a possible involvement of this apoptotic cleavage product in the autoimmune response of patients. The germline gene usage of these recombinant autoantibodies was also determined. Using several U1-70K deletion and point mutants of both human (h) and Drosophila melanogaster (Dm) origin, it was established that the U1-70K epitope that is recognized by the anti-hU1-70K scFv is located within the RNA binding domain.
Department of Biochemistry, University of Nijmegen, The Netherlands.