Characterization of the Anti-BP180 Autoantibody Reactivity Profile and Epitope Mapping in Bullous Pemphigoid Patients

Giovanni Di Zenzo, Fabiana Grosso, Michela Terracina, Feliciana Mariotti, Ornella De Pità, Katsushi Owaribe, Alessandro Mastrogiacomo, Francesco Sera, Luca Borradori, Giovanna Zambruno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bullous pemphigoid is a subepidermal bullous disease of skin and mucosae associated with autoantibodies to BP180. To characterize the humoral response to BP180, we generated a random BP180 epitope library displayed on λ bacteriophage. After validation of the library by epitope mapping of three BP180-specific monoclonal antibodies, 15 novel or known BP180 epitopes were identified using 10 bullous pemphigoid serum samples. Fifty-seven bullous pemphigoid and 81 control sera were then assayed against the selected epitopes. Thirty-one out of 57 (54%) bullous pemphigoid sera reacted with at least an additional antigenic site other than the NC16A, within the extracellular (37%) and intracellular (28%) domains of BP180. In addition, the reactivity with extracellular epitopes of BP180 contained within the residue stretches 508-541 and 1331-1404 appeared to be related to the presence of both skin and mucosal involvement. Finally, a preliminary analysis of the epitope pattern in the disease course indicated that bullous pemphigoid patients exhibit a specific reactivity pattern, and that binding to intracellular epitopes of BP180, in addition to NC16A, may be detectable at an early clinical stage. Our findings provide novel insights into the pathophysiology of bullous pemphigoid and show the potential of the utilized approach as a tool for a rapid diagnosis of bullous pemphigoid patients and their management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-110
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2004


  • Autoimmunity
  • BP180
  • Epitope spreading
  • Hemidesmosome
  • Phage display

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Dermatology


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