Anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies are the hallmark of the disease systemic lupus erythematosus and are believed to contribute to pathogenesis. While a large number of anti-DNA antibodies from mice with lupus-like syndromes have been characterized and their variable region genes sequenced, few human anti-DNA antibodies have been reported. We describe here the variable region gene sequences of eight antibodies produced by Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-transformed B ceils that bear the 3I idiotype, an idiotype expressed on anti-DNA antibodies and present in high titer in patients with systemic lupus. The comparison of these antibodies to the light chains of 3I+ myeloma proteins and serum antibodies reveals that EBV transformation yields B cells producing antibodies representative of the expressed antibody repertoire. The analysis of nucleotide and amino acid sequences of these antibodies suggests the first complementarity determining region of the light chain may be important in DNA binding and that paradigms previously generated to account for DNA binding require modification. The understanding of the molecular genetics of the anti-DNA response requires a more complete description of the immunoglobulin germ line repertoire, but data reported here suggest that somatic diversification is a characteristic of the anti-DNA response.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy