Human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV)-related endogenous sequence, HRES-1, encodes a 28-kDa protein: A possible autoantigen for HTLV-I gag-reactive autoantibodies

K. Banki, J. Maceda, E. Hurley, E. Ablonczy, D. H. Mattson, L. Szegedy, C. Hung, A. Perl

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The presence of a human T-cell lymphotropic virus (HTLV)-related endogenous sequence, HRES-1, in the human genome has been documented. The HRES-1 genomic locus is transcriptionally active and contains open reading frames. Antibodies 232 and 233, specific for synthetic peptides pep14-24 and pep117-127, corresponding to two nonoverlapping HTLV-related regions in the longer open reading frame of HRES-1, recognize an identical 28-kDa protein in H9 human T cells. Thus, HRES-1 is a human endogenous retroviral sequence capable of protein expression. HRES-1/p28 is localized to the cytoplasm and nuclear bodies. While HTLV-I-specific antibodies react with HRES-1 peptides, antibody 233 cross-reacts with HTLV-I gag p24 protein. Three consecutive highly charged amino acid residues, Arg-Arg-Glu, present in both HRES-1 pep117-127 and HTLV-1 gag p24 are likely to be the core of cross-reactive epitopes. The prevalence of antibodies to HRES-1 peptides pep14-24 and pep117-127 was determined in 65 normal blood donors and 146 patients with immunological disorders. Sera of patients with multiple sclerosis (19 out of 65, 29%), progressive systemic sclerosis (4 out of 17, 23%), systemic lupus erythematosus (4 out of 19, 21%), and Sjogren syndrome (2 out of 19, 10%) contained significantly higher HRES-1 peptide binding activity than sera of normal donors. Sera of patients with AIDS showed no specific binding to HRES-1 peptides. Nine of 30 HRES-1-seropositive patients showed immunoreactivity to HTLV-I gag p24. The data indicate that HRES-1/p28 may serve as an autoantigen eliciting autoantibodies cross-reactive with HTLV-I gag antigens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1939-1943
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 1992


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