Peptide inhibition of glomerular deposition of an anti-DNA antibody

Bruce Gaynor, Chaim Putterman, Philippe Valadon, Linda Spatz, Matthew D. Scharff, Betty Diamond

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

174 Scopus citations


Antibodies to double-stranded DNA are pathognomonic of systemic lupus erythematosus and deposit in the kidneys of lupus patients to cause glomerulonephritis. Recent data suggest that a significant proportion of anti-DNA antibodies may cross-react with renal antigens and be sequestered in the kidney by virtue of this cross-reactivity. If this is true, antigenic competition for pathogenic antibodies might prevent their deposition in kidneys and the ensuing tissue damage. To generate surrogate antigens that could be used for this purpose, we have used peptide display phage libraries to identify peptides that react with R4A, a pathogenic mouse monoclonal anti- DNA antibody that deposits in glomeruli. We have demonstrated that the peptides bind in or near the double-stranded DNA binding site. Furthermore, the peptides are bound preferentially by the R4A antibody as compared with two closely related antibodies derived from it, one of which deposits in renal tubules and one of which displays no renal pathogenicity. Administration of one of these peptides in a soluble form protects mice from renal deposition of the R4A anti-DNA antibody in vivo. This represents a new therapeutic approach in systemic lupus erythematosus that focuses on protecting target organs from antibody mediated injury.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1955-1960
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number5
StatePublished - 4 Mar 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • cross-reactivity
  • lupus nephritis
  • peptide library
  • systemic lupus erythematosus


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