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Detection of Antibodies Against Synthetic Peptides Mimicking Ureases Fragments in Sera of Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic disease with an autoimmunological background. RA is mostly characterized by systemic inflammation and injuries of synovial joints. There is a hypothesis that bacterial infections may be connected with development of the disease. It has been suggested that molecular mimicry between bacterial and human antigens may be one of possible mechanisms of RA development. One of potential antigens involved in this mechanism is urease - enzyme with high structural conservatism, occurring in pathogenic and commensal bacteria. We found that the level of antibodies against peptide mimicking urease “flap” region is significantly higher in sera from patients with rheumatoid arthritis in comparison with volunteer blood donor sera. We also observed that antibodies present in RA sera may bind not only specific peptide antigens but also peptides with a slightly different structure.

Keywords: Bacterial urease; molecular mimicry; rheumatoid arthritis

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2012

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  • Protein & Peptide Letters publishes short papers in all important aspects of protein and peptide research, including structural studies, recombinant expression, function, synthesis, enzymology, immunology, molecular modeling, drug design etc. Manuscripts must have a significant element of novelty, timeliness and urgency that merit rapid publication. Reports of crystallisation, and preliminary structure determinations of biologically important proteins are acceptable. Purely theoretical papers are also acceptable provided they provide new insight into the principles of protein/peptide structure and function.

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