Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America vol:84 issue:8 pages:2421-2425
A U2 small nuclear RNA-associated protein, designated B'', was recently identified as the target antigen for autoimmune sera from certain patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and other rheumatic diseases. Such antibodies enabled us to isolate cDNA clone lambda HB''-1 from a phage lambda gt11 expression library. This clone appeared to code for the B'' protein as established by in vitro translation of hybrid-selected mRNA. The identity of clone lambda HB''-1 was further confirmed by partial peptide mapping and analysis of the reactivity of the recombinant antigen with monospecific and monoclonal antibodies. Analysis of the nucleotide sequence of the 1015-base-pair cDNA insert of clone lambda HB''-1 revealed a large open reading frame of 800 nucleotides containing the coding sequence for a polypeptide of 25,457 daltons. In vitro transcription of the lambda HB''-1 cDNA insert and subsequent translation resulted in a protein product with the molecular size of the B'' protein. These data demonstrate that clone lambda HB''-1 contains the complete coding sequence of this antigen. The deduced polypeptide sequence contains three very hydrophilic regions that might constitute RNA binding sites and/or antigenic determinants. These findings might have implications both for the understanding of the pathogenesis of rheumatic diseases as well as for the elucidation of the biological function of autoimmune antigens.