Author(s): Lopez PH, Lardone RD, Irazoqui FJ, Maccioni M, Nores GA
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Abstract Elevated titers of serum antibodies against GM1-ganglioside are associated with a variety of autoimmune neuropathies. The origin of these autoantibodies is still unknown, although there is evidence that they are produced by CD5+ B-lymphocytes and that antigen mimicry is involved. Anti-GM, IgM-antibodies in the normal human immunological repertoire are low affinity antibodies that cross-react with other glycoconjugates carrying Gal beta1-3GalNAc and probably do not have GM1-mediated biological activity. Other anti-GM1 IgM-antibodies with higher affinity and/or different fine specificity are present in patients with motor syndromes. Based on our studies of structural requirement for binding, we hypothesize that disease-associated anti-GM1 antibodies originate at random by mutations affecting the binding site of naturally-occurring ones. The hypothesis is conceptually similar to the established phenomenon of "genetic drift" in species evolutionary biology and is therefore termed "binding site drift".
This article was published in Neurochem Res
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology