HLA Class II Alleles in Systemic Sclerosis Patients with Anti-RNA Polymerase I/III Antibody: Associations with Subunit Reactivities

Masataka Kuwana, Janardan P. Pandey, Richard M. Silver, Yutaka Kawakami, Junichi Kaburaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Objective. To examine HLA class II gene associations with anti-RNA polymerase (RNAP) I/III antibody responses in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc). Methods. HLA-DRB1, DRB3, DRB4, and DQB1 alleles were determined using polymerase chain reaction-based methods in 257 SSc patients (129 Japanese and 128 Caucasians) and 271 race-matched regional controls (138 Japanese and 133 Caucasians). Anti-RNAP I/III antibodies were identified by immunoprecipitation assay, and reactivities to individual RNAP subunits were determined by immunoblots using affinity-purified RNAP I, II, and III. Results. Serum anti-RNAP I/III antibody was detected in 10 (8%) Japanese and 24 (19%) Caucasian patients with SSc. The presence of anti-RNAP I/III antibodies was associated with DRB1*0405, DRB4*01, and DQB1*0401 in Japanese, and with DRB3*02 in Caucasians, but these associations were weak and inconsistent between these 2 ethnic groups. When anti-RNAP I/III-positive SSc patients were divided into 2 groups based on the presence or absence of reactivities to individual RNAP subunit proteins, significant associations of anti-IIa/IIo reactivity with DRB3*02, anti-Ia reactivity with DRB1*04, anti-43-kDa subunit reactivity with DRB4*01, and anti-34-kDa subunit reactivity with DRB1*15 were detected. These HLA associations with subunit reactivities were generally shared by Japanese and Caucasian patients with SSc. Conclusion. Our results suggest that in patients with SSc, anti-RNAP I/III antibodies are composed of subsets defined by combinations of reactivities to individual RNAP subunits having specific HLA class II correlations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2392-2397
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Rheumatology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Nov 1


  • Autoantibody
  • Human leukocyte antigen
  • Immunogenetics
  • RNA polymerase
  • Systemic sclerosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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