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Open Access Research article

Autoantibodies to low-density-lipoprotein-receptor-related protein 2 (LRP2) in systemic autoimmune diseases

Seido Ooka1, Toshihiro Matsui12, Kusuki Nishioka1 and Tomohiro Kato1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Bioregulation, Institute of Medical Science, St Marianna University School of Medicine, Kawasaki, Kanagawa, Japan

2 Clinical Research Center for Allergy and Rheumatology, National Sagamihara Hospital, Kanagawa, Japan

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Arthritis Res Ther 2003, 5:R174-R180  doi:10.1186/ar754

Published: 4 April 2003

Abstract

We previously reported that autoantibodies (autoAbs) to the main epitope on CD69 reacted to its homologous amino acid sequence in low-density-lipoprotein-receptor-related protein 2 (LPR2), a multiligand receptor for protein reabsorption. In this study, we have investigated the prevalence, autoepitope distribution, and clinical significance of the autoAbs to LRP2 in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases. Using six recombinant proteins (F2–F7) for LRP2 and one for CD69, we detected autoAbs to LRP2 in sera of patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), systemic lupus erythematosus, Behçet's disease, systemic sclerosis, and osteoarthritis and then mapped autoepitopes by Western blotting. The autoAbs to LRP2 were detected in 87% of the patients with rheumatoid arthritis, 40% of those with systemic lupus erythematosus, 35% of those with systemic sclerosis, 15% of those with osteoarthritis, and 3% of those with Behçet's disease. Multiple epitopes on LRP2 were recognized by most of the anti-LRP2+ serum samples. All of the tested anti-CD69 autoAb+ samples reacted to LRP2-F3 containing the homologous sequence to the main epitope of CD69; however, only 38% of the anti-LRP2-F3+ samples reacted to CD69. Clinically, the existence of the autoAbs to LRP2-F4, -F5, and -F6 correlated with the presence of proteinuria in RA. This study revealed that LRP2 is a major autoantigen in RA. The autoAbs to LRP2 are probably produced by the antigen-driven mechanism and the autoimmunity to LRP2 may spread to include CD69. The anti-LRP2 autoAbs may play pathological roles by inhibiting the reabsorbing function of LRP2.

Keywords:
autoantibody; CD69; LRP2; proteinuria