Journal of autoimmunity

Macrogolgin--a new 376 kD Golgi complex outer membrane protein as target of antibodies in patients with rheumatic diseases and HIV infections.

PMID 8198703


Antibodies against the Golgi complex (GC) were found by indirect immunofluorescence microscopy in the serum of two patients with sclerodermia and Sjögren syndrome. Serum from one patient was used to screen clones from an oligo (dT) primed HeLa cDNA expression library. Four overlapping cross hybridizing clones (G1, G12, G13, G14) were found. One additional 5' clone (G15) was retrieved from a random primed lambda gt11 human thyroid cDNA library by nucleic acid hybridization, exploiting sequence information of clone G12. Additional clones for both the 5' and 3' ends were generated by RF-PCR from HeLa cell mRNA. Alignment of the overlapping clones resulted in a consensus cDNA of 10,300 bp encoding a protein of 376 kD. A corresponding mRNA of about 10 kb was found in Northern blots of RNA from various cultured cells. The most distinct features of the protein were the extraordinarily high fraction of alpha-helical domains containing heptad repeats with the probability of forming coiled-coils and the structure similarities with the myosin family and the yeast intracellular transport protein USO1. Five overlapping cDNA fragments covering the entire open reading frame were used to synthesize recombinant proteins for affinity purification of the antibodies in the two patients' sera. By use of these affinity purified antibodies, staining of the GC of various cultured cell lines was reproduced. The antibody target was dissociated within 15 min after brefeldin A exposure of cultured cells, a phenomenon, which was fully reversible within 30 min after withdrawal of the drug. Sucrose step gradient separation of GC enriched microsomal fractions from rat liver showed a natural antigen of about 380 kD co-fractionating with the GC marker galactosyltransferase. KCl extraction, Triton X-114 partition, as well as trypsin digestion of microsomal fractions revealed that the hydrophilic protein has to be located on the cytoplasmatic surface of GC vesicles. Using the five blotted recombinant protein fragments, anti-GC antibodies were found in 18 of 164 (11%) HIV positive patients but in none of the 64 healthy controls. HIV patients as well as the two original patients showed a diverse antibody spectrum recognizing different epitopes of the recombinant proteins. The protein characterized herein, for which we propose the provisional name macrogolgin, constitutes the largest protein known so far associated with the GC.