Immunologic Research

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 121–126 | Cite as

Molecular mechanisms involved in the association of HLA-DR4 and rheumatoid arthritis

  • Isabelle Auger
  • Eric Toussirot
  • Jean Roudier


Susceptibility to developing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) maps to a highly conserved amino acid motif located in the third hypervariable region of different HLA-DRB1 chains. This motif, namely QKRAA, QRRAA, or RRRAA, helps the development of RA by an unknown mechanism.

The QKRAA motif predisposes to more severe disease than the QRRAA or RRRAA motifs. The QKRAA motif carries particular properties: it is a strong B- and T-cell epitope, it shapes the T cell repertoire, it is overrepresented in protein databases, and it is a binding motif for bacterial and human 70-kDa heat-shock proteins. In this article, we propose different models to explain how the QKRAA motif might contribute to RA.

Key Words

Rheumatoid arthritis HLA-DR4 Heat-shock proteins 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Isabelle Auger
    • 1
    • 3
  • Eric Toussirot
    • 2
  • Jean Roudier
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Immuno-RhumatologieFacult’e de M’edecineMarseilleFrance
  2. 2.Service de RhumatologieHopital MinjozBesançonFrance
  3. 3.Laboratoire d’Immuno-RhumatologieUniversit’e de la M’editerran’ee Facult’e de M’edecineMarseilleFrance

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