Life and Medical Sciences
Cell & Developmental Biology
Wiley InterScience Backfile Collection 1832-2000
Chemistry and Pharmacology
Antimicrosomal antibodies are present in the sera of most patients with autoimmune thyroiditis, and Graves' disease. It has, in general, been difficult to separate antimicrosomal activity from that directed against the thyrotropin (TSH) receptor in Graves' IgG preparations. The “microsomal” antigen has been localized to the endoplasmic reticulum and microfollicular aspect of thyrocytes; its structure is however unknown. In an attempt to identify the thyroid microsomal antigen, we studied the interaction of Hashimoto's IgG with high microsomal antibody titre and negative for thyroglobulin with purified thyroid plasma and light microsomal membranes. We allowed Hashimoto's, Graves', and control IgGs to bind to protein blots of thyroid plasma membranes resolved on SDS-PAGE under nonreducing conditions. All seven Hashimoto's IgG at a concentration of 2 mg/ml interacted with an M ∼ 197,000 polypeptide corresponding to the TSH holoreceptor. By contrast to Graves' IgG (which were positive at 1 mg/ml), however, this binding was not blocked by pretreatment of the protein blots with TSH. Normal IgGs showed no binding at concentrations of up to 2 mg/ml.Both Hashimoto's and Graves' IgG interacted with TSH-affinity column-purified receptor preparations.Two of the Hashimoto's IgGs induced adenylate cyclase activation in thyroid plasma membranes, three inhibited TSH-stimulated enzyme activation, and two were without effect. Two classes of autoantibodies, other than TSH receptor directed, were encountered; one class raised to antigens common to all seven patients and another class unique to individual patients, eg, Mr 210,000 and Mr 20,000 polypeptides.We propose that the TSH receptor has multiple epitopes (functional domains), and the one to which antimicrosomal antibody bind is likely to be spatially separated from that with which Graves' IgG and TSH interact. Differences in affinity or number of sites allows for the demonstration of Graves' IgG against a background of antimicrosomal antibody.
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