Muscle-specific tyrosine kinase (MuSK) antibodies are detected in a proportion of myasthenia gravis (MG) patients who are negative for acetylcholine receptor (AChR) antibodies and have prominent bulbar weakness and crises. In the MuSK ectodomains, the immunoglobulin-like 1 and 2 domains (Ig1/2) mediate the agrin-Lrp4-MuSK signaling and the cysteine-rich domain (CRD) mediates the Wnt-MuSK-Dishevelled signaling; both contribute to AChR clustering. Immunoblotting against recombinant proteins showed MuSK Ig1/2 antibodies in 33 anti-AChR-negative MG patients; 10 patients of them (30%) were additionally positive for MuSK CRD antibodies. The result suggests that MuSK antibodies have heterogeneity in their binding to functional domains of MuSK.
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.