Autoantibodies against DFS70 (Dense Fine Speckles 70) are found in 30% of Japanese atopic dermatitis patients, and less frequently in patients with other diseases. We have recently reported that they are also seen in 11% of hospital workers, but in only ∼2% of patients with systemic rheumatic disease. In this study, in order to investigate the possible pathological role of anti-DFS70 antibodies, fine epitope mapping was carried out using 93 anti-DFS70 autoantibody-positive sera. Immunoblotting using overlapping peptides failed to reveal major linear epitopes. Western blotting using various truncated proteins showed a strikingly uniform epitope distribution on a suspected tertiary structure expressed by DFS70349-435. Some sera showed reactivity only in an immunoprecipitation assay using an in vitro translated DFS70. Circular dichroism analysis revealed that DFS349-435 contains an approximately 40% alpha-helical conformation, while an overlapping, non-antigenic peptide is composed of random coiled structures. The skewed single major epitope enabled us to establish a highly quantitative ELISA for the epitope region. Antibody titers showed no significant differences between the diseased group and healthy individuals. We propose that anti-DFS70 antibody may be a natural autoantibody, which might modify or reflect the inflammatory process of various disorders.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes