In this study we present a patient with the sublamina densa type of linear IgA bullous dermatosis (LABD), with IgA autoantibodies reactive with the 290-kDa type VII collagen (the epidermolysis bullosa acquisita (EBA) antigen) and with immunoblotting of normal human dermal extracts. The clinical and histological features of the present case were compatible with those of LABD but quite different from those of EBA. Although EBA sera reacted with the bacterial fusion protein of the N-terminal globular (NC1) domain of type VII collagen, this patient's serum did not show reactivity. Furthermore, ultrastructural localization of target epitopes on the anchoring fibrils in this patient was considerably different from EBA. These results indicate that, whereas EBA antibodies react with the NC1 domain of type VII collagen, the epitope in this case is different from that of EBA (and is most likely on the central triple helical domain). This difference may be responsible for the clinical presentation in this patient being distinct from that of EBA.
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