Objectives: Glycosylation of IgG was suggested to be important in the etiology of rheumatoid diseases. Most studies addressed the amount of galactose, but recently we showed that fucose is highly increased in the juvenile chronic arthritis. The objective of this study was to determine fucosylation of IgG heavy chains in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Design and methods: IgG was purified from sera of 29 RA patients and 17 matching controls using ammonium sulfate precipitation and ion exchange. Heavy chains were separated by denaturing polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and their fucosylation analysed using fucose-specific UEA I lectin.
Results: Fucose was found to be approximately 40% increased in RA patients with very high statistical significance (p = 0.00095).
Conclusions: Fucose on IgG heavy chains is significantly increased in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.