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Am. J. Biomed. Sci. 2013, 5(1), 69-79; doi: 10.5099/aj130100069
Received:7 September 2012; | Revised:20 December 2012; | Accepted: 30 December 2012


Peroxynitrite-modified H3 Histone is Highly Immunogenic and Binds Circulating SLE Autoantibodies Better than Native DNA


M. Asad Khan1, Kiran Dixit1, Zarina Arif2, Moinuddin1, Jalaluddin M. Ashraf1 and

Khursheed Alam1, *

1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India

2Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Diabetes and Endocrinology, Faculty of Medicine, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India

*Corresponding author:

Professor Khursheed Alam, Ph.D.

Department of Biochemistry

Faculty of Medicine

Aligarh Muslim University

Aligarh 202 002, India

Fax: +91-571-2720030

Email: kalam786@rediffmail.com



Peroxynitrite is a bifaceted reactive species. It can oxidize and nitrate proteins/nucleic acids/lipids and is involved in inflammation, apoptosis, cytotoxicity and autoimmune disorders of unknown etiology, including SLE. In this study, H3 histone exposed to peroxynitrite caused loss of tertiary structure, nitration of tyrosine residues and dityrosine formation. Experimentally produced antibodies against peroxynitrite-modified H3 histone showed specificity for the immunogen. However, cross-reactions with other nitrated proteins were also observed. We further investigated the binding of SLE autoantibodies with native DNA, native H3 histone and peroxynitrite-modified H3 histone to explore the possible role of modified-H3 histone in the initiation and/or progression of SLE in a sub-group of patients. The results showed preferential binding of SLE anti-nDNA autoantibodies to peroxynitrite-modified H3 histone. The visual detection of immune complex formation with native and peroxynitrite-modified H3 histone reiterated preferential binding of SLE autoantibodies with modified H3 histone. It may be concluded that anti-histone autoantibodies seen in a sub-group of SLE patients might be due to the immunogenicity of peroxynitrite-modified H3 histone.

Keywords: Peroxynitrite, nitrotyrosine, SLE, H3 histone.

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