Apoptosis-induced histone H3 methylation is targeted by autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus.
ABSTRACT In systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) apoptotic chromatin is present extracellularly, which is most likely the result of disturbed apoptosis and/or insufficient removal. Released chromatin, modified during apoptosis, activates the immune system resulting in the formation of autoantibodies. A study was undertaken to identify apoptosis-induced histone modifications that play a role in SLE.
The lupus-derived monoclonal antibody BT164, recently established by selection using apoptotic nucleosomes, was analysed by ELISA, western blot analysis and immunofluorescence staining using chromatin, cells, plasma and renal sections. Random peptide phage display and peptide inhibition ELISA were used to identify precisely the epitope of BT164. The reactivity of plasma samples from lupus mice and patients with SLE with the epitope of BT164 was investigated by peptide ELISA.
The epitope of BT164 was mapped in the N-terminal tail of histone H3 (27-KSAPAT-32) and included the apoptosis-induced trimethylation of K27. siRNA-mediated silencing of histone demethylases in cultured cells resulted in hypermethylation of H3K27 and increased nuclear reactivity of BT164. This apoptosis-induced H3K27me3 is a target for autoantibodies in patients and mice with SLE and is present in plasma and in glomerular deposits.
In addition to previously identified acetylation of histone H4, H2A and H2B, this study shows that trimethylation of histone H3 on lysine 27 is induced by apoptosis and associated with autoimmunity in SLE. This finding is important for understanding the autoimmune response in SLE and for the development of translational strategies.
Article: Specific post-translational histone modifications of neutrophil extracellular traps as immunogens and potential targets of lupus autoantibodies.[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: Autoreactivity to histones is a pervasive feature of several human autoimmune disorders, including systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Specific post-translational modifications (PTMs) of histones within neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) may potentially drive the process by which tolerance to these chromatin-associated proteins is broken. We hypothesized that NETs and their unique histone PTMs might be capable of inducing autoantibodies that target histones. We developed a novel and efficient method for the in vitro production, visualization, and broad profiling of histone-PTMs of human and murine NETs. We also immunized Balb/c mice with murine NETs and profiled their sera on autoantigen and histone peptide microarrays for evidence of autoantibody production to their immunogen. We confirmed specificity toward acetyl-modified histone H2B as well as to other histone PTMs in sera from patients with SLE known to have autoreactivity against histones. We observed enrichment for distinctive histone marks of transcriptionally silent DNA during NETosis triggered by diverse stimuli. However, NETs derived from human and murine sources did not harbor many of the PTMs toward which autoreactivity was observed in patients with SLE or in MRL/lpr mice. Further, while murine NETs were weak autoantigens in vivo, there was only partial overlap in the immunoglobulin G (IgG) and IgM autoantibody profiles induced by vaccination of mice with NETs and those seen in patients with SLE. Isolated in vivo exposure to NETs is insufficient to break tolerance and may involve additional factors that have yet to be identified.Arthritis research & therapy 02/2012; 14(1):R25. · 4.27 Impact Factor