We have developed two different novel immunoprecipitation assays in which radioisotopes are not used, and have examined antigens for four cases of paraneoplastic pemphigus (PNP) including three new patients. The PNP sera showed a clear reactivity with transitional epithelia of rat urinary bladder by immunofluorescence, and reacted with a characteristic doublet of the 210 and 190 kD proteins by immunoblotting of normal human epidermal extract, confirming the diagnosis of PNP. In addition, by immunoprecipitation using silver-stain to detect immunoprecipitated proteins, the PNP sera detected the 250, 210 and 190 kD proteins, while control bullous pemphigoid sera detected only the 230 kD bullous pemphigoid antigen. Furthermore, with another immunoprecipitation using cell surface biotinylation, three of the four PNP sera specifically reacted with the 130 kD pemphigus vulgaris antigen (Dsg3), indicating that pemphigus vulgaris antigen may be involved in PNP. This reactivity was further suggested by the immunoblot analysis using recombinant pemphigus vulgaris antigen. In future, these non-radioisotope immunoprecipitation assays should become a useful tool not only to unravel the complex situation for the PNP antigens, but also to study antigens in other autoimmune bullous skin diseases.
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