(1/354) MHC class II gene associations with autoantibodies to U1A and SmD1 proteins.

Autoantibodies against U small nuclear ribonucleoproteins (snRNP) are frequently present in the serum of patients with systemic rheumatic diseases, and have been reported to be associated with HLA-DR and -DQ genes. To better define the role of HLA genes in the production of such antibodies, we studied immunogenetic associations with autoantibodies reacting with U1 RNP, U1A and SmD1 proteins, and synthetic peptides containing immunodominant linear epitopes of these proteins. Only two out of the 15 overlapping peptides of U1A (i.e. peptides 35-58 and 257-282) and three of 11 peptides of SmD1 (i.e. peptides 1-20, 44-67 and 97-119) were significantly recognized by patients' sera selected on the basis of their antibody positivity with RNP in immunodiffusion. The distribution of DRB1, DQB1 and DPB1 alleles among the anti-RNP antibody-positive patients (n = 28) and healthy control subjects was similar. Antibodies against U1A (tested in Western immunoblotting with HeLa cell extracts) were positively associated to DRB1*06 allele; antibodies reacting with SmD1 peptide 44-67 were negatively associated to DRB1*02 and DQB1*0602 alleles. No association was found between DPB1 alleles and antibodies reacting with U1A and SmD1 antigens. This first study reporting an association between autoantibodies reacting with U1A and SmD1 proteins (and peptides of these proteins), and immunogenetic markers suggest that the production of antibody subsets directed against different components (or regions of these proteins) bound to the same snRNP particle is associated with distinct MHC class II alleles.  (+info)

(2/354) In vivo nuclease hypersensitivity studies reveal multiple sites of parental origin-dependent differential chromatin conformation in the 150 kb SNRPN transcription unit.

Human chromosome region 15q11-q13 contains a cluster of oppositely imprinted genes. Loss of the paternal or the maternal alleles by deletion of the region or by uniparental disomy 15 results in Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) or Angelman syndrome (AS), respectively. Hence, the two phenotypically distinct neurodevelopmental disorders are caused by the lack of products of imprinted genes. Subsets of PWS and AS patients exhibit 'imprinting mutations', such as small microdeletions within the 5' region of the small nuclear ribonucleoprotein polypeptide N ( SNRPN ) transcription unit which affect the transcriptional activity and methylation status of distant imprinted genes throughout 15q11-q13 in cis. To elucidate the mechanism of these long-range effects, we have analyzed the chromatin structure of the 150 kb SNRPN transcription unit for DNase I- and Msp I-hypersensitive sites. By using an in vivo approach on lymphoblastoid cell lines from PWS and AS individuals, we discovered that the SNRPN exon 1 is flanked by prominent hypersensitive sites on the paternal allele, but is completely inaccessible to nucleases on the maternal allele. In contrast, we identified several regions of increased nuclease hypersensitivity on the maternal allele, one of which coincides with the AS minimal microdeletion region and another lies in intron 1 immediately downstream of the paternal-specific hypersensitive sites. At several sites, parental origin-specific nuclease hypersensitivity was found to be correlated with hypermethylation on the allele contributed by the other parent. The differential parental origin-dependent chromatin conformations might govern access of regulatory protein complexes and/or RNAs which could mediate interaction of the region with other genes.  (+info)

(3/354) Disparate T cell requirements of two subsets of lupus-specific autoantibodies in pristane-treated mice.

Intraperitoneal injection of pristane induces a lupus-like disease in BALB/c and other non-autoimmune mice characterized by autoantibody production and the development of immune complex disease closely resembling lupus nephritis. Two subsets of autoantibodies are induced by pristane: IgG anti-DNA DNA and -chromatin autoantibodies are strongly IL-6-dependent, whereas IgG anti-nRNP/Sm and -Su antibodies are not. The present studies were carried out to examine the role of T cells in establishing this dichotomy between the production of anti-nRNP/Sm/Su versus anti-DNA/chromatin autoantibodies. Autoantibody production and renal disease were evaluated in athymic (nude) mice treated with pristane. BALB/c nu/nu mice spontaneously developed IgM and IgG anti-single-stranded (ss)DNA and -chromatin, but not anti-nRNP/Sm or -Su, autoantibodies. Pristane treatment increased the levels of IgG anti-chromatin antibodies in nu/nu mice, but did not induce production of anti-nRNP/Sm or -Su antibodies. In contrast, BALB/c nu/+ and +/+ control mice did not spontaneously produce autoantibodies, whereas anti-nRNP/Sm and -Su autoantibodies were induced by pristane in approx. 50% of nu/+ and +/+ mice and anti-DNA/chromatin antibodies at lower frequencies. Nude mice spontaneously developed mild renal lesions that were marginally affected by pristane, but were generally milder than the lesions developing in pristane-treated nu/+ and +/+ mice. The data provide further evidence that two distinct pathways with different cytokine and T cell requirements are involved in autoantibody formation in pristane-induced lupus. This dichotomy may be relevant to understanding differences in the regulation of anti-DNA versus anti-nRNP/Sm autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus, as well as the association of anti-DNA, but not anti-nRNP/Sm, with lupus nephritis.  (+info)

(4/354) The RNA-binding properties of SMN: deletion analysis of the zebrafish orthologue defines domains conserved in evolution.

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a common autosomal recessive disorder that results in the degeneration of spinal motor neurons. SMA is caused by alterations of the survival motor neuron ( SMN ) gene which encodes a novel protein of hitherto unclear function. The SMN protein associates with ribonucleoprotein particles involved in RNA processing and exhibits an RNA-binding capacity. We have isolated the zebrafish Danio rerio and nematode Caenorhabditis elegans orthologues and have found that the RNA-binding capacity is conserved across species. Purified recombinant SMN proteins from both species showed selectivity to poly(G) homopolymer RNA in vitro, similar to that of the human protein. Studying deletions of the zebrafish SMN protein, we defined an RNA-binding element in exon 2a, which is highly conserved across species, and revealed that its binding activity is modulated by protein domains encoded by exon 2b and exon 3. Finally, the deleted recombinant zebrafish protein mimicking an SMA frameshift mutation showed a dramatic change in vitro in the formation of the RNA-protein complexes. These observations indicate that the RNA-binding capacity of SMN is an evolutionarily conserved function and further support the view that defects in RNA metabolism most likely account for the pathogenesis of SMA.  (+info)

(5/354) T cell receptor beta-chain third complementarity-determining region gene usage is highly restricted among Sm-B autoantigen-specific human T cell clones derived from patients with connective tissue disease.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the structure of T cell receptors (TCR) used by Sm-B-reactive human T cell clones, to map T cell epitopes on the Sm-B autoantigen, and to determine the HLA restriction element used in the recognition of Sm-B by T cells. METHODS: Sm-B-reactive T cell clones were generated from patients with connective tissue disease by using either a recombinant fusion protein or synthetic peptides. The TCR structure was defined with the use of polymerase chain reaction and DNA sequencing. Synthetic peptides were used to map T cell epitopes on Sm-B. HLA restriction element usage was defined by using monoclonal antibody blocking. RESULTS: Usage of the TCR third complementarity-determining region (CDR3) was highly restricted among Sm-B autoantigen-specific human T cell clones. Only amino acids 48-96 of the Sm-B2 autoantigen were recognized by T cells, and this occurred in the context of HLA-DR. CONCLUSION: TCR CDR3 gene usage is highly conserved by Sm-B autoantigen-specific T cell clones, and this appears to be related to the recognition of a limited number of T cell epitopes on the Sm-B autoantigen presented in the context of HLA-DR.  (+info)

(6/354) Antibodies to yeast Sm motif 1 cross-react with human Sm core polypeptides.

Two regions common to all UsnRNP core polypeptides have been described: Sm motif 1 and Sm motif 2. Rabbits were immunized with a 22 amino-acid peptide containing one segment of Sm motif 1 (YRGTLVSTDNYFNLQLNEAEEF, corresponding to residues 11-32) from yeast F protein. After immunization, the rabbit sera contained antibodies that not only reacted specifically with the peptide from yeast F protein but also cross-reacted with Sm polypeptides from mammals; that is, with purified human U1snRNPs. The results suggest that the peptide used and human Sm polypeptides contain a common feature recognized by the polyclonal antibodies. A large collection of human systemic lupus erythematosus sera was assayed using the yeast peptide as an antigen source. Seventy per cent of systemic lupus erythematosus sera contain an antibody specificity that cross-reacts with the yeast peptide.  (+info)

(7/354) Immunization with a peptide of Sm B/B' results in limited epitope spreading but not autoimmune disease.

An experimental model of systemic lupus erythematosus has recently been described in normal animals. We sought to confirm and extend this model, which involved immunization of normal rabbits and mice with a peptide of Sm B/B', PPPGMRPP. This peptide is an early target of the immune response in anti-Sm-positive patients with lupus. The peptide was used in a multiple Ag peptide format, with multiple copies of PPPGMRPP bound to an inert lysine backbone. New Zealand White rabbits and A/J and C57BL/10ScSn mouse strains were immunized with PPPGMRPP-MAP. Pepscan assays were used to determine the epitope spreading of the anti-PPPGMRPP-MAP response to other octamers of SmB/B' following immunization. We obtained high titer anti-PPPGMRPP-MAP IgG responses in the New Zealand White rabbits and A/J mice. The rabbits immunized with PPPGMRPP-MAP showed varying degrees of epitope spreading, while the A/J mice showed no spreading. We observed no autoantibodies to dsDNA or other anti-nuclear autoantibodies in our animals by ELISA or immunofluorescence, although anti-nuclear autoantibodies were found by Western blotting in some of the rabbits. No evidence of clinical disease was seen in our normal animals. These data underline the difficulties often associated with the reproduction of animal models in different laboratories.  (+info)

(8/354) An imprinted, mammalian bicistronic transcript encodes two independent proteins.

Polycistronic transcripts are common in prokaryotes but rare in eukaryotes. Phylogenetic analysis of the SNRPN (SmN) mRNA in five eutherian mammals reveals a second highly conserved coding sequence, termed SNURF (SNRPN upstream reading frame). The vast majority of nucleotide substitutions in SNURF occur in the wobble codon position, providing strong evolutionary evidence for selection for protein-coding function. Because SNURF-SNRPN maps to human chromosome 15q11-q13 and is paternally expressed, each cistron is a candidate for a role in the imprinted Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) and PWS mouse models. SNURF encodes a highly basic 71-aa protein that is nuclear-localized (as is SmN). Because SNURF is the only protein-coding sequence within the imprinting regulatory region in 15q11-q13, it may have provided the original selection for imprinting in this domain. Whereas some human tissues express a minor SNURF-only transcript, mouse tissues express only the bicistronic Snurf-Snrpn transcript. We show that both SNURF and SNRPN are translated in normal, but not PWS, human, and mouse tissues and cell lines. These findings identify SNURF as a protein that is produced along with SmN from a bicistronic transcript; polycistronic mRNAs therefore are encoded in mammalian genomes where they may form functional operons.  (+info)