Human anti-asparaginyl-tRNA synthetase autoantibodies (anti-KS) increase the affinity of the enzyme for its tRNA substrate.
ABSTRACT Autoantibodies directed against specific human aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases have been associated with a clinical picture including myositis, arthritis, interstitial lung disease and other features that has been referred to as the "anti-synthetase syndrome". Anti-asparaginyl-tRNA synthetase autoantibodies (anti-KS), the most recently described anti-synthetase autoantibodies, are directed against human cytosolic asparaginyl-tRNA synthetase and neutralize specifically its activity. Here we show that these antibodies recognize two epitopes on the human enzyme, an N-terminal epitope reactive in immunoblot experiments and a heat-labile epitope in the catalytic domain. In contrast to the well studied anti-Jo-1 autoantibodies anti-KS when bound to the synthetase increase the affinity of the synthetase for its tRNA substrate and prevent aminoacylation without interfering with the amino acid activation step.