Reliability of antinuclear matrix protein 2 antibody assays in idiopathic inflammatory myopathies is dependent on target protein properties

J Dermatol. 2022 Apr;49(4):441-447. doi: 10.1111/1346-8138.16295. Epub 2021 Dec 29.


A line blotting assay (LB) is currently used to detect myositis-specific autoantibodies (MSAs) in patients with idiopathic inflammatory myopathies (IIMs), because of its simplicity; however, the sensitivity and specificity of this assay is low. The aim of this study is to evaluate the accuracy of the commercial LB in detection of antinuclear matrix protein 2 (NXP2) antibody. Seventy-seven serum samples from patients with IIMs, in which anti-NXP2 antibodies were detected through immunoprecipitation and western blotting (IP-WB) using K562 cell lysate, were enrolled. All samples were assessed by LB and IP-WB using recombinant human NXP2 whole protein (rNXP2) produced by insect cells, and the positive rates of each assay were compared. Thirty-two samples (41.6%) showed false-negativity by LB, which includes 11 samples with negative results by IP-WB using rNXP2. Relative intensities of IP-WB using cell lysate were significantly higher in the samples with positive results by both LB and IP-WB using rNXP2, compared to samples with positive by IP-WB using rNXP2 but negative by LB. Three of 11 samples with negative results by both LB and IP-WB using rNXP2 revealed high antibody titers. Further, differences in post-transcriptional SUMOylation were observed between recombinant and natural NXP2 proteins. In conclusion, the LB showed low sensitivity for detection of anti-NXP2 antibody, an effect exacerbated at low titers of anti-NXP2 antibodies. Moreover, there appears to be differences in the reactivities of antibodies to recombinant and natural NXP2 proteins with different post-transcriptional modifications.

Keywords: autoantibody; idiopathic inflammatory myopathies; nuclear matrix protein 2; recombinant protein.

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Antinuclear*
  • Autoantibodies
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Myositis* / diagnosis
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Autoantibodies