Antibodies to specific EBNA-1 domains and HLA DRB1*1501 interact as risk factors for multiple sclerosis

J Neuroimmunol. 2009 Oct 30;215(1-2):102-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2009.08.004. Epub 2009 Sep 5.


Epitope reactivity of multiple sclerosis (MS) plasma antibodies against the Epstein-Barr virus protein EBNA-1 and its association with HLA DRB1*1501 status was investigated in a case-referent study. Based on EBNA-1 fragment reactivity and the effect of peptide blocking, four 29-36 amino acid long EBNA-1 fragments were selected for detailed studies. MS cases had increased antibody reactivity against several EBNA-1 domains, of which antibodies against EBNA-1 (amino acid 385-420) in HLA DRB1*1501 positive individuals were associated with a 24-fold risk increase for MS. The data need confirmation in a larger sample but suggest a role for this epitope in the autoimmune pathogenesis of MS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Antibodies, Viral / metabolism*
  • Base Sequence
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cohort Studies
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens / immunology*
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens / metabolism*
  • Female
  • HLA-DR Antigens / immunology*
  • HLA-DR Antigens / metabolism*
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Multiple Sclerosis / immunology*
  • Multiple Sclerosis / metabolism*
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Peptide Fragments / metabolism
  • Protein Binding / immunology
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary
  • Risk Factors


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigens
  • HLA-DR Antigens
  • HLA-DRB1 Chains
  • HLA-DRB1*15:01 antigen
  • Peptide Fragments
  • EBV-encoded nuclear antigen 1