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Oligoclonal IgG antibodies in multiple sclerosis target patient-specific peptides

Michael Graner, Tiffany Pointon, Sean Manton, Miyoko Green, Kathryn Dennison, Mollie Davis, Gino Braiotta, Julia Craft, Taylor Edwards, Bailey Polonsky, Anthony Fringuello, Timothy Vollmer, Sciprofile linkXiaoli Yu
Published: 21 February 2020
PLOS ONE , Volume 15; doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0228883

Abstract: IgG oligoclonal bands (OCBs) are present in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of more than 95% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS), and are considered to be the immunological hallmark of disease. However, the target specificities of the IgG in MS OCBs have remained undiscovered. Nevertheless, evidence that OCBs are associated with increased levels of disease activity and disability support their probable pathological role in MS. We investigated the antigen specificity of individual MS CSF IgG from 20 OCB-positive patients and identified 40 unique peptides by panning phage-displayed random peptide libraries. Utilizing our unique techniques of phage-mediated real-time Immuno-PCR and phage-probed isoelectric focusing immunoblots, we demonstrated that these peptides were targeted by intrathecal oligoclonal IgG antibodies of IgG1 and IgG3 subclasses. In addition, we showed that these peptides represent epitopes sharing sequence homologies with proteins of viral origin, and proteins involved in cell stress, apoptosis, and inflammatory processes. Although homologous peptides were found within individual patients, no shared peptide sequences were found among any of the 42 MS and 13 inflammatory CSF control specimens. The distinct sets of oligoclonal IgG-reactive peptides identified by individual MS CSF suggest that the elevated intrathecal antibodies may target patient-specific antigens.
Keywords: Transcription factors / Antibodies / Database searching / bacteriophages / Multiple sclerosis / cerebrospinal fluid / phage display / Peptide Libraries

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