Autoantibodies to proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) are specifically, if rarely, present in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patient sera. Even SLE patients lacking PCNA reactivity often show reaction to PCNA-binding protein. Here, immunoreactivity to chromatin assembly factor-1 (CAF-1), an essential molecule for DNA replication and a PCNA-binding protein, was compared for the sera of SLE patients, normal healthy controls (NHCs) and other disease controls, and in autoimmune sera reactive to standard autoantigens, by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), indirect immunofluorescence, and immunoblotting. CAF1 and IRF1 expression in SLE and NHC peripheral mononuclear cells were compared by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Serum interferon-γ-inducing protein-10 and anti-double-stranded (ds)DNA antibody levels were measured by ELISA. Increased CAF-1 autoimmune reactivity was recognized in SLE or serum anti-dsDNA antibody-positive patients. Significantly greater central nervous system (CNS) involvement (aseptic meningitis) and serum anti-dsDNA antibody titers were present more often in anti-CAF-1 antibody-positive than antibody-negative SLE patients. IFN-γ positively regulated CAF-1 expression in vitro and was associated with anti-CAF-1 antibody production in SLE. Thus, a novel anti-CAF-1 autoantibody is frequently found in patients with SLE and is a useful biomarker for diagnosis, especially in cases with CNS involvement. Aberrant IFN-γ regulation appears to play an important role in anti-CAF-1 antibody production in SLE.
Keywords: Autoantibody; autoantigen; chromatin assembly factor-1; systemic lupus erythematosus.
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