Methods in Immunolocalization of Autoantigens

  • Martin Blüthner
Part of the Springer Lab Manual book series (SLM)


The immune system recognizes and eliminates foreign antigens by a complex network of systems. To effectively fulfill this task the immune system has to discriminate between foreign and self antigens. The mechanisms by which this discrimination is accomplished shall not be discussed here (there are numerous excellent textbooks on immunology available). However, in autoimmune disorders this discrimination fails to a certain extent due to mechanisms currently only vaguely understood. Linked with these diseases is the occurrence of circulating autoantibodies. These are antibodies directed against self antigens of a defined nature. Autoantibodies may have a direct effect on the etiology of the disease, such as in Grave’s disease. Here, the target antigen of the autoimmune response is the acetylcholine receptor of the motoric endplate; this leads to a severe disturbance in the nervous system. In other cases, the so-called systemic autoimmune disorders, the connection between etiology and target antigen is not obvious. To what extent these auto antibodies are involved in the pathogenesis of the corresponding disease is not exactly known. In the systemic diseases the target antigen commonly resides within the cell, especially within the cell nucleus.
Table 7.1.

Features of some of the most important nuclear autoantigensa


Molecular identity


Indirect cytoimmunofluorescence

Western blot







Ro (SSA)

La (SSB)


Core proteins of snRNP’s


Topoisomerase I

Centromere-associated proteins CENP-A, B, C

Protein component of U3-snoRNP

Nucleolar particle of unknown function

Protein component of hY-RNP

RNA-polymerase III associated factor

Subunits of mitochondrial 2-oxo-acid dehydrogenase complex


SLE overlap




Polymyositis scleroderma overlap

Sjögren’s syndrome

Sjögren’s syndrome


Speckled nuclear staining no staining of nucleoli

Similar to Sm, occasionally more granular

Fine speckled nuclear staining, frequent staining of the nucleolus

Centromere staining

Clumpy, nucleolar staining

Homogeneous, nucleolar staining

Fine, granular nuclear staining

Fine, granular nuclear staining

Large, granular cytoplasmic staining frequently accompanied by multiple nuclear speckles (sp100 antigen)

B-protein (26–20 kDa)

70 kDa 30 kDa proteins

100 kDa protein (degradation product of 70 kDa)

CENP-A (19.5 kDa) CENP-B (80 kDa)

36 kDa protein

100 kDa, 75 kDa proteins some smaller proteins

60 kDa, 52 kDa proteins

48 kDa protein

70–74 kDa protein frequently 100 kDa (sp100 antigen)


Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Affinity Purification Nucleolar Protein Laemmli Sample Buffer Plastic Support 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Blüthner
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Molecular GeneticsUniversity of HeidelbergHeidelbergGermany

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