Virchows Archiv B

, 54:131 | Cite as

Human autoantibodies: probes for nucleolus structure and function

  • Georg Reimer
  • Ivan Raška
  • Eng M. Tan
  • Ulrich Scheer


Four distinct nucleolar proteins or RNA-protein complexes have recently been identified as targets of human autoimmune antibodies. These autoantigens areRNA polymer-ase I, PM-Scl (a particle possibly related to preribosomes), 7-2 RNP andfibrillarin (a U3-RNP associated protein). The four different nucleolar autoantigens could be assigned to distinct nucleolar subcompartments by light and electron microscopic immunocytochemistry. RNA polymerase I was located in the fibrillar centers, PM-Scl antigen and 7-2 RNP in the granular component and fibrillarin in the dense fibrillar component. Experimental evidence suggests that these naturally occurring antibodies could be helpful tools in further studying nucleolus structure and functions as well as molecular mechanisms involved in ribosome biogenesis.

From a clinical viewpoint, we believe that it is important to identify the nature of reactive autoantigens in systemic autoimmune diseases in order to answer questions concerning the mechanisms which render conserved ubiquitous cellular proteins immunogenic. Revealing such mechanisms in return could give clues with regard to the etiology of certain systemic rheumatic diseases. Ribosome biogenesis, a highly dynamic process with its many well-defined intermediate biological steps related to specific nuclear structures could be amenable for such studies.


Scleroderma Ribosome Biogenesis Nucleolar Protein Granular Component Dense Fibrillar Component 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georg Reimer
    • 1
  • Ivan Raška
    • 2
  • Eng M. Tan
    • 3
  • Ulrich Scheer
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of DermatologyUniversity of Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenFederal Republic of Germany
  2. 2.Institute of Experimental MedicineCzechoslovak Academy of SciencesPragueCSSR
  3. 3.W.M. Keck Foundation Autoimmune Disease CenterScripps Clinic and Research FoundationLa JollaUSA
  4. 4.Institute of Zoology IUniversity of WürzburgWürzburgFederal Republic of Germany

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