IgG reactivity against non-conformational NH2-terminal epitopes of the desmoglein 3 ectodomain relates to clinical activity and phenotype of pemphigus vulgaris

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Abstract

Pemphigus vulgaris (PV) is an autoimmune disease caused by immunoglobulin G (IgG) autoantibodies against the desmosomal adhesion molecules, desmoglein (Dsg)3 and Dsg1. The aim of the study was to relate IgG reactivity of 123 PV sera and 40 control sera against NH2-terminal non-conformational epitopes of Dsg3 and Dsg1 with disease activity and clinical phenotype by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The results show that (i) the overall reactivity and the titres of IgG reactive with the Dsg3 ectodomain, Dsg3(1–566), significantly correlated with the disease activity of the PV patients; (ii) IgG reactivity against the NH2-terminus of Dsg3, Dsg3(1–161), was associated with active PV while there was no direct correlation between the IgG titres and the disease activity; (iii) IgG reactivity against the NH2-terminus of Dsg3, Dsg3(1–161), was associated with mucosal and mucocutaneous PV; (iv) IgG titres against a small stretch of the NH2-terminus of Dsg3, Dsg3(25–88), were associated with active PV; and (v) IgG in the PV sera detected non-conformational epitopes in addition to the previously identified conformation-dependent epitopes of the Dsg3 and Dsg1 ectodomains.

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