Crossreactive autoantibodies directed against cutaneous and joint antigens are present in psoriatic arthritis

Marzia Dolcino, Claudio Lunardi, Andrea Ottria, Elisa Tinazzi, Giuseppe Patuzzo, Antonio Puccetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Psoriatic arthritis (PsA) is a chronic inflammatory disease of unknown origin, characterized by erosions and new bone formation. Diagnosis of PsA is mainly clinical and there are no biomarkers available. Moreover in PsA autoantibodies have not been described so far. Indeed an autoimmune origin has been suggested but never proven. Aim of the study was to investigate the possible presence of autoantibodies typically associated with PsA. Methods: We used pooled IgG immunoglobulins derived from 30 patients with PsA to screen a random peptide library in order to identify disease relevant autoantigen peptides. Results: Among the selected peptides, one was recognised by nearly all the patients' sera. The identified peptide (PsA peptide: TNRRGRGSPGAL) shows sequence similarities with skin autoantigens, such as fibrillin 3, a constituent of actin microfibrils, desmocollin 3, a constituent of the desmosomes and keratin 78, a component of epithelial cytoskeleton. Interestingly the PsA peptide shares homology with the nebulin-related anchoring protein (N-RAP), a protein localized in the enthesis (point of insertion of a tendon or ligament to the bone), which represents the first affected site during early PsA. Antibodies affinity purified against the PsA peptide recognize fibrillin, desmocollin, keratin and N-RAP. Moreover antibodies directed against the PsA peptide are detectable in 85% of PsA patients. Such antibodies are not present in healthy donors and are present in 13/100 patients with seroposive rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In seronegative RA these antibodies are detectable only in 3/100 patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere115424
JournalPLoS One
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 16 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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