Identification of α-Fodrin as a Candidate Autoantigen in Primary Sjögren's Syndrome

Science  25 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5312, pp. 604-607
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5312.604

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It is unclear whether organ-specific autoantigens are critical for the development of primary Sjögren’s syndrome (SS). A 120-kilodalton organ-specific autoantigen was purified from salivary gland tissues of an NFS/sld mouse model of human SS. The amino-terminal residues were identical to those of the human cytoskeletal protein α-fodrin. The purified antigen induced proliferative T cell responses and production of interleukin-2 and interferon-γ in vitro. Neonatal immunization with the 120-kilodalton antigen prevented the disease in mice. Sera from patients with SS reacted positively with purified antigen and recombinant human α-fodrin protein, whereas those from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis did not. Thus, the immune response to 120-kilodalton α-fodrin could be important in the initial development of primary SS.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this study.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: hayashi{at}

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