A Trypanosoma cruzi λgt11 cDNA clone, JL5, expressed a recombinant protein which was found to react predominantly with chronic Chagas' heart disease sera. The cloned 35-residue-long peptide was identified as the carboxyl-terminal portion of a T. cruzi ribosomal P protein. The JL5 13 carboxyl-terminal residues shared a high degree of homology with the systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) ribosomal P protein epitope. Synthetic peptides comprising the 13 (R-13), 10 (R-10), and 7 (R-7) carboxyl-terminal residues of the JL5 protein were used to study, by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, the specificity of the Chagas' disease anti-JL5 and SLE anti-P antibodies. The R-13 peptide defined a linear antigenic determinant of the JL5 recombinant protein. As was proved for JL5, R-13 defined antibody specificities which were significantly increased in chronic Chagas' heart disease patients. Only SLE anti-P positive sera were found to react with JL5 and R-13. Fine epitope mapping showed that Chagas' disease anti-JL5 and SLE anti-P antibodies define similar epitopes within the R-13 peptide. The binding of the SLE sera to JL5 was completely blocked by the R-13 peptide, indicating that the shared specificity between anti-JL5 and anti-P autoantibodies was exclusively limited to the conserved linear epitope(s) within the R-13 peptide. The prevalence of high anti-R-13 antibody titers in Chagas' heart disease patients supports the hypothesis that postulates the existence of autoimmune disorders in Chagas' heart disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Microbiology (medical)