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Reactivity of sera from patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) with a 60 kDa component of nuclear pore complexes (NPCs), purified by affinity chromatography on wheat-germ agglutinin (WGA)-Sepharose, was previously detected. Recently, clinical significance of the anti-NPC antibodies in PBC became evident. In the light of recent reports, indicating the correlation of the anti-NPC antibodies with severity and progression of the disease, the characterization of the reactive antigens is becoming essential in the clinical management of patients with PBC. Since accurate autoantibody detection represents one of the fundamental requirements for a reliable testing, we have generated a human recombinant p62 protein and validated an immunoprecipitation assay for the detection of anti-p62. We also demonstrated that the generated human recombinant p62 nucleoporin was modified by N-acetylglucosamine residues. More than 50% of tested PBC sera precipitated (35)S-radioactively labeled p62 recombinant nucleoporin and 40% recognized this recombinant antigen by immunoblotting. We compared the reactivity of PBC sera with rat and human nucleoporin. The incidence of anti-p62 nucleoporin positive PBC sera increased by 15% when human recombinant antigen was used. The titer of autoantibodies in p62-positive PBC samples strongly varied. Preadsorption of the PBC sera with p62 recombinant protein completely abolished their reactivity with the antigen. In conclusion, this study unequivocally proves that autoantibodies reacting with the 60 kDa component of NPCs target p62 nucleoporin and, more importantly, provide a better antigen source for future evaluations of the clinical role of anti-p62 in PBC.


Józefa Wesierska-Gadek, Anna Klima, Carmen Ranftler, Oxana Komina, John Hanover, Pietro Invernizzi, Edward Penner. Characterization of the antibodies to p62 nucleoporin in primary biliary cirrhosis using human recombinant antigen. Journal of cellular biochemistry. 2008 May 1;104(1):27-37

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PMID: 17960595

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