Sera from patients with primary biliary cirrhosis recognize various cellular components, such as mitochondria, centromere, nuclear envelope, and multiple nuclear dot antigens. There also appears to be a novel antibody reacting with a particular protein in these sera. The presence of this antibody was investigated by double immunodiffusion using rat liver cytoplasmic antigens, by immunoprecipitation of [35S]-methionine labelled HeLa cell extracts, and by immunoblot using disrupted HeLa cell extracts. Test sera were obtained from 491 patients with various liver diseases. Nine of the 491 sera were found to react with a 95-kDa protein as determined by immunoprecipitation of [35S]-methionine labelled HeLa cell extracts and by double immunodiffusion using a rat liver microsomal preparation. However, these same nine sera showed no reaction in the immunoblot assay. On the basis of its molecular mass and its presence in the cytoplasmic fraction, this antigen was named p95 C. This anti-p95 C antibody was detected in six of 50 (12%) sera from patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, and in three of 31 (9.7%) sera from patients with autoimmune hepatitis, but not in any of the remaining 410 sera obtained from patients with other hepatic diseases. It is concluded that anti-p95 C antibody reacts primarily with the native form of the 95-kDa protein, and represents another possible analyte for diagnosing autoimmune liver diseases.
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