A conserved idiotype and antibodies to retroviral proteins in systemic lupus erythematosus

N. Talal, R. F. Garry, P. H. Schur, S. Alexander, M. J. Dauphinee, I. H. Livas, A. Ballester, M. Takei, H. Dang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

145 Scopus citations


22 of 61 systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients produced antibodies to the p24 gag protein of HIV-1 demonstrated by Western blotting. 20 of these 22 patients (91%) also express the 4B4 idiotype (Id 4B4) previously identified on a human anti-Sm monoclonal antibody called 4B4. This represents an enrichment for this Id (seen in only 52% of SLE patients generally). Eight of these 22 SLE patients also have anti-Sm antibody activity. Sm partially inhibits the antibody binding of p24 gag suggesting immunologic cross-reactivity between the retroviral antigen p24 gag and the autoantigen Sm. Anti-Id 4B4 also inhibits p24 gag antibody binding by as much as 40%. Finally the monoclonal antibody 4B4 showed cross-reactivity to Sm and p24 gag. The following points emerge from our studies: (a) SLE patients make antibodies to p24 gag of HIV-1, (b) there is a relationship between immunity to p24 gag and a conserved idiotype, and (c) anti-Sm antibodies can cross-react with p24 gag.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1866-1871
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1990


  • autoantibodies
  • gag proteins
  • rheumatic diseases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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