A major CYP2D6 autoepitope in autoimmune hepatitis type 2 and chronic hepatitis C is a three-dimensional structure homologous to other cytochrome P450 autoantigens Academic Article uri icon

publication date

  • 2002


  • Liver-kidney microsomal antibodies type 1 (LKM) are a diagnostic marker for autoimmune hepatitis type 2 (AIH-2), however, LKM autoantibodies are also detected in a small percentage of patients with chronic hepatitis C. The major target of LKM antibodies as evidenced by indirect immunofluorescence is cytochrome P4502D6 (CYP2D6). Anti-CYP2D6 titers of 62 LKM positive sera, 196 sera of patients with hepatic and rheumatic diseases and 33 sera of healthy blood donors (BD) were determined by an in vitro transcription/in vitro translation assay (ITT). Twenty five out of 26 AIH-2 sera and 33/36 LKM positive hepatitis C virus (HCV) sera were anti-CYP2D6 positive by ITT and antibody titers were similar in both patient groups. Epitope mapping experiments were performed by a series of truncated CYP2D6 proteins and by single epitopes of 257-269, 321-351, 373-389 and 410-419 amino acid (aa) expressed as DHFR-fusion proteins in Escherichia coli. The major linear epitope consists of 257-269 aa. This epitope is recognized with a significantly higher prevalence (64%) in AIH-2 than in LKM sera from patients with chronic hepatitis C (24%) (p < 0.001). None of the other autoepitopes showed significant differences in the prevalence of recognition by sera from both patient groups. Minor binding sites consisted of 321-351 aa, which was recognized by less than 20% of LKM sera and in the C-terminal region of 350-494 aa, which was recognized by less than 5% of LKM sera Our study revealed an epitope of 321-379 an on CYP2D6, which was shown to be conformation dependent. It was recognized by the vast majority of LKM sera, specifically by 76% of sera from HCV positive LKM patients and also by 76% of sera from patients with AIH-2. This epitope is homologous to three-dimensional epitopes detected by autoantibodies directed against hepatic cytochromes P450s in drug induced hepatitis and to an autoepitope on CYP21B associated with adrenal failure.