Author(s): Song YH, Connor E, Li Y, Zorovich B, Balducci P, , Song YH, Connor E, Li Y, Zorovich B, Balducci P,
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Abstract Vitiligo is a common depigmenting skin disease, associated with certain autoimmune endocrinopathies, and autoantibodies to several antigens can be found in melanoma cells. We set out to identify the antigens. We examined 26 patients with vitiligo and associated endocrine disease. Of these, 18 patients (77\%) and 8 immediate family members had autoantibodies specific for a 69 kDa protein in HTB-70 human melanoma cells that was not seen in control cells. The autoantibody-positive patient sera reacted with recombinant human tyrosinase expressed in Escherichia coli seen by western blots, as did antibodies raised in rabbits against hamster tyrosinase, but not to recombinant tyrosinase-related protein. Not one of 31 normal controls or 8 patients with alopecia or systemic lupus erythematosus had tyrosinase autoantibodies but a small proportion (12\%) of 42 patients with autoimmune endocrine disease without a history of vitiligo had them. The results show that tyrosinase, an enzyme important in melanin formation, is a principal autoantigen of autoimmune vitiligo.
This article was published in Lancet
and referenced in Dermatology and Dermatologic Diseases