Journal of autoimmunity

Anti-LC1 autoantibodies in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

PMID 14987745


Various autoantibodies have been reported in patients chronically infected by hepatitis C virus. 2% to 10% of theses patients have anti-liver-kidney microsome type 1 (anti-LKM1) autoantibodies. In type 2 autoimmune hepatitis, anti-LKM1 autoantibodies are frequently associated with anti-liver-cytosol type 1 (anti-LC1) autoantibodies. To determine the prevalence of anti-LC1 autoantibodies in a hepatitis C-positive population and characterize their reactivity. 146 patients suffering from liver diseases, of which 99 were chronically infected by hepatitis C virus, were tested by Western blotting and immunoprecipitation to detect and characterize anti-LC1 autoantibodies. 12% of this hepatitis C population had anti-LC1 autoantibodies. LC1 positivity by Western blotting was 30% of LC1+ sera. Epitopes were found throughout the protein but linear epitopes were situated in the 395-541 amino acid region of formiminotransferase cyclodeaminase. Three putative conformational epitopes were identified by phage display. Anti-LC1 autoantibodies are as prevalent as anti-LKM1 autoantibodies in patients infected with hepatitis C virus and their production is not dependent of anti-LKM1 autoantibodies formation. Autoantibody reactivity against the anti-LC1 antigen is different in hepatitis C than in type 2 autoimmune hepatitis. Anti-LC1 autoantibodies can now be regarded as a serological marker of autoimmunity in chronic hepatitis C infection.