Anti-PM-Scl antibodies are associated with polymyositis-scleroderma overlap or either disease alone. Among sera from 39 patients with anti-PM-Scl, 23 recognized the 100-kD band in immunoblot against HeLa cell extract, 16 of which also stained the 70-kD band. A human thymocyte lambda gt11 cDNA expression library was screened with anti-PM-Scl serum, and two clones were identified whose products reacted with 33 and 37 of 39 anti-PM-Scl sera, respectively, but none of 26 negative control sera. Affinity-purified antibody reacting specifically with plaques of the clone stained the 100-kD band on immunoblot, reacted with nucleoli of HEp-2 cells, and immunoprecipitated the PM-Scl protein complex. Partial sequences of both inserts were identical. One insert was fully sequenced, and additional 5' and 3' sequence was obtained using a gene-specific primer to form a cDNA with HeLa cell RNA as template followed by PCR. The complete nucleotide sequence included 2,739-bp coding for a predicted full-length protein of 98,088 D. There was no homology with the PM-Scl 75-kD protein and no significant homology with other proteins. A mixed-charge cluster was identified, with 22 charged amino acids of 37. In conclusion, the full-length cDNA sequence was determined coding for the PM-Scl 100-kD protein, the most commonly antigenic protein of the PM-Scl complex.
Q Ge, M B Frank, C O'Brien, I N Targoff