The rheumatoid factor reactivity of a human IgG monoclonal autoantibody is encoded by a variant VκII L chain gene

R. H. Weisbart, A. L. Wong, D. Noritake, A. Kacena, G. Chan, C. Ruland, E. Chin, I. S.Y. Chen, J. D. Rosenblatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


To determine the genetic and molecular basis for rheumatoid factor (RF) autoantibody reactivity in patients with destructive, erosive arthritis, we established a human lymphoblastoid cell line (hRF-1) from a patient with polyarthritis that produced an IgG RF mAb, mAb hRF-1. Studies of isolated H and L chains showed that the specificity of RF reactivity is conferred by mAb hRF-1 L chains. The L chain gene was cloned from a cDNA library prepared from hRF-1 cells. The nucleotide sequence was similar to known VκII L chains except for a two nucleotide change corresponding to a change of two amino acids in an invariable region of FR3. A germ-line gene with one of the nucleotide changes was identified by polymerase chain reaction in multiple cell lines, including K562 that does not rearrange Ig genes, but the other nucleotide change appeared to be due to mutation. Either or both of these amino acid changes may contribute to the RF reactivity, because an antibody with the same VκII L chain except for these two amino acid changes in FR3 did not have RF reactivity. The RF reactivity of isolated L chains from mAb hRF-1 was confirmed by transfecting COS cells with an expression vector encoding the hRF-1 κ-chain and showing that the secreted k-chains had RF reactivity. Expression of this variant VκII L chain gene may form the basis for RF autoantibody reactivity in some patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2795-2801
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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