Mapping the binding sites of anti-BP180 immunoglobulin E autoantibodies in bullous pemphigoid

J Invest Dermatol. 2005 Sep;125(3):467-72. doi: 10.1111/j.0022-202X.2005.23853.x.


Bullous pemphigoid (BP) is a subepidermal blistering disease characterized by autoantibodies against the hemidesmosomal protein BP180 (BPAg2, type XVII collagen). NC16A, a non-collagenous stretch of the BP180 ectodomain, is the primary target of pathogenic immunoglobulin (Ig)G autoantibodies and IgE class autoantibodies. This study further characterized the IgE-reactive regions of BP180. Of the ten sera from untreated BP patients, eight contained IgE reactive with the entire BP180 ectodomain. The IgE in four of these eight sera reacted with NC16A, whereas in the remaining four sera IgE immunoreactivity was restricted to sites downstream of NC16A. In contrast, IgG reactivity to NC16A was detected in nine of the ten BP sera, and in the remaining serum, IgG, as well as IgE, reacted exclusively with non-NC16A sites on the BP180 ectodomain. Fine mapping of the antigenic sites within NC16A revealed very similar reactivity patterns for IgE and IgG, with NC16A subregion-2 being the major site recognized by both isotypes. Eight of the untreated BP patients were tested for histamine release from their basophils in response to NC16A. Antigen-specific histamine release was observed only in those patients with detectable circulating IgE directed against NC16A (three of eight). Future studies will investigate the pathogenic relevance of anti-BP180 IgE.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Antibody Specificity
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoantigens / chemistry*
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Basophils / drug effects
  • Binding Sites, Antibody
  • Epitope Mapping
  • Histamine / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / chemistry*
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / immunology
  • Immunodominant Epitopes / pharmacology
  • Immunoglobulin E / immunology*
  • Non-Fibrillar Collagens
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous / blood
  • Pemphigoid, Bullous / immunology*
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • Immunodominant Epitopes
  • Non-Fibrillar Collagens
  • collagen type XVII
  • Immunoglobulin E
  • Histamine