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      The Prognostic Significance in Goodpasture’s Disease of Specificity, Titre and Affinity of Anti-Glomerular-Basement-Membrane Antibodies

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          Background: The nephrotoxic potential of anti-glomerular-basement-membrane (GBM) antibodies has been demonstrated in numerous animal experiments. However, it is not known to what extent the properties of circulating anti-GBM antibodies in human disease reflect the severity of the disease and predict the outcome. Methods: Clinical data were collected for 79 Swedish patients for whom a positive result had previously been obtained with anti-GBM ELISA. In stored sera from the patients, we measured antibody concentration, specificity and affinity together with antineutrophil cytoplasmic antibodies and α<sub>1</sub>-antitrypsin phenotype. Results: Six months after diagnosis, 27 (34%) were dead, 32 (41%) were on dialysis treatment and only 20 (25%) were alive with a functioning native kidney. The best predictor for renal survival was renal function at diagnosis. In patients who were not dialysis dependent at diagnosis however, renal survival was associated with a lower concentration of anti-GBM antibodies, a lower proportion of antibodies specific for the immunodominant epitope and the histological severity of the renal lesion. The only factor that correlated with patient survival was age. Conclusions: Immunochemical properties of autoantibodies do not affect patient survival in anti-GBM disease but seem to be a factor in renal survival in patients detected before renal damage is too advanced.

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          Hydrophobic amino acid residues are critical for the immunodominant epitope of the Goodpasture autoantigen. A molecular basis for the cryptic nature of the epitope.

          Goodpasture (GP) autoimmune disease is caused by autoantibodies to type IV collagen that bind to the glomerular basement membrane, causing rapidly progressing glomerulonephritis. The immunodominant GP(A) autoepitope is encompassed by residues 17-31 (the E(A) region) within the noncollagenous (NC1) domain of the alpha 3(IV) chain. The GP epitope is cryptic in the NC1 hexamer complex that occurs in the type IV collagen network found in tissues and inaccessible to autoantibodies unless the hexamer dissociates. In contrast, the epitope for the Mab3 monoclonal antibody is also located within the E(A) region, but is fully accessible in the hexamer complex. In this study, the identity of residues that compose the GP(A) autoepitope was determined, and the molecular basis of its cryptic nature was explored. This was achieved using site-directed mutagenesis to exchange the alpha3(IV) residues in the E(A) region with the corresponding residues of the homologous but non-immunoreactive alpha1(IV) NC1 domain and then comparing the reactivity of the mutated chimeras with GP(A) and Mab3 antibodies. It was shown that three hydrophobic residues (Ala(18), Ile(19), and Val(27)) and Pro(28) are critical for the GP(A) autoepitope, whereas two hydrophilic residues (Ser(21) and Ser(31)) along with Pro(28) are critical for the Mab3 epitope. These results suggest that the cryptic nature of the GP(A) autoepitope is the result of quaternary interactions of the alpha 3, alpha 4, and alpha 5 NC1 domains of the hexamer complex that bury the one or more hydrophobic residues. These findings provide critical information for understanding the etiology and pathogenesis of the disease as well as for designing drugs that would mimic the epitope and thus block the binding of GP autoantibodies to autoantigen.
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            The Goodpasture Autoantigen

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              The Goodpasture Autoantigen


                Author and article information

                Nephron Clin Pract
                Nephron Clinical Practice
                S. Karger AG
                July 2003
                17 November 2004
                : 94
                : 3
                : c59-c68
                aDepartment of Nephrology, Lund University, and bWieslab AB, Lund, Sweden
                72022 Nephron Clin Pract 2003;94:c59–c68
                © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Figures: 2, Tables: 2, References: 37, Pages: 1
                Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/72022
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