Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract Previous studies from this and other laboratories have shown that abnormal glycosylation of several acute-phase proteins can be detected in various pathological conditions including autoimmune diseases. In the present study, we have investigated if abnormal glycosylation is limited to acute-phase proteins. We used the concanavalin A (Con A) blots in conjunction with the peptide mapping techniques to analyze serum samples and cerebrospinal fluids (CSF) obtained from patients with autoimmune diseases: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD), scleroderma (SCL), Sjögren's syndrome (SS), and polymyositis (PM); diseases of probable autoimmune origin: hepatopathies (HP); diseases of suspected autoimmune origin: schizophrenia and Alzheimer's disease (AZ); and conditions not related to autoimmunity: pregnancy (PG) and elevation of the carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), in comparison to normal donors (NHS). We have micropurified two human proteins;α 2-macroglobulin, a non-acute-phase protein, andΒ-chain of haptoglobin, a known acute-phase protein, from serum samples of individual patients with SLE, RA, MCTD, SCL and SS, and from PG and NHS for analysis. The identity of the purified proteins was confirmed by immunoblots using either monospecific polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies, and by directN-terminal amino acid sequencing. Peptide maps for each of these proteins were generated usingStaphylococcus aureus protease V8, a Glu-C endopeptidase. When the peptide fragments ofα 2-macroglobulin were resolved by SDS-PAGE and visualized using silver staining, no differences were noted between patient samples and controls. However, when they were examined by lectin blots using Con A, the Con A-reactive fragments increased specifically and significantly in samples derived from patients of SLE, SCL, MCTD, and RA. Similarly when the peptide fragments of theΒ-chain of haptoglobin were visualized by silver staining, no differences were noted; however, the Con A reactivity of specific fragments increased in SLE, RA, SCL, and SS patients. Analysis of these results indicated that there has been a selective increase in Con A-reactive fragments in both acute-phase and non-acute-phase proteins in autoimmune conditions. Thus, the study of changes in glycosylation patterns in selected serum proteins may be a valuable diagnostic approach to define the pathophysiology of inflammatory and autoimmune disorders.
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