Autoantibodies are present in the blood of all healthy individuals. However, when directed at high levels against protein targets in specific tissues, autoantibodies can be a major cause of autoimmune diseases. They are also important biomarkers for diagnosis of these conditions.
Identifying protein targets of autoantibodies can be the first step to understanding the underlying disease mechanisms in autoimmunity as well as a key to disease stratification. Because of their uniquely broad content of human proteins, HuProt arrays provide a strategy for uncovering the identity of as yet unknown autoantigens, or for the initial characterisation of conditions with a suspected autoimmune aetiology. Recently, neurological conditions in particular have come under the spotlight for autoantibody involvement.
Autoantibodies have also gained prominence as early diagnostic biomarkers in cancer, where they may emerge as an effect of the disease. They can lead to the discovery of neoantigens expressed in tumour cells and potential biomarkers. Monitoring autoantibody responses during patient therapy with immune modulators such as anti-PD1 can also indicate any tendency to autoimmune side-effects.
HuProt arrays provide the option to discover and identify signature autoantibodies through interaction with their 20,000 arrayed protein antigens.
See here for literature references how HuProt arrays have been used in autoantibody profiling.
Typically, diluted serum is incubated on the HuProt array (left), followed by secondary detection with a fluorophore-labelled anti-human Ig reagent (middle). Data processing of the fluorescent signals enables ranking of the recognised proteins (right).