Author(s): Margutti P, Matarrese P, Conti F, Colasanti T, Delunardo F,
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Abstract Although detection of autoantibodies in the peripheral blood from patients with immune-mediated endothelial dysfunctions has so far failed to provide tools of diagnostic or pathogenetic value, putative bioindicators include anti-endothelial cell antibodies, a heterogeneous family of antibodies that react with autoantigens expressed by endothelial cells. In this study, to identify endothelial autoantigens involved in the autoimmune processes causing endothelial damage, we screened a human microvascular endothelial cell cDNA library with sera from patients with Behçet's disease. We identified antibodies to the C-terminus of Ral binding protein1 (RLIP76), a protein that catalyzes the ATP-dependent transport of glutathione (GSH) conjugates including GSH-4-hydroxy-t-2,3-nonenal, in the serum of a significant percentage of patients with various diseases characterized by immune-mediated endothelial dysfunction, including Behçet disease, systemic sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus and carotid atherosclerosis. These autoantibodies increased intracellular levels of 4-hydroxy-t-2,3-nonenal, decreased levels of GSH and activated C-Jun NH2 Kinase signaling (JNK), thus inducing oxidative stress-mediated endothelial cell apoptosis. The dietary antioxidant alpha-tocopherol counteracted endothelial cell demise. These findings suggest that autoantibodies to RLIP76 play a pathogenetic role in immune-mediated vascular diseases and represent a valuable peripheral blood bioindicator of atherosclerosis and immune-mediated vascular diseases.
This article was published in Blood
and referenced in Journal of Data Mining in Genomics & Proteomics