Anti-Galectin-3 IgG autoantibodies in patients with Crohn's disease characterized by means of phage display peptide libraries.
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Galectin-3, a member of beta-galactoside-binding lectins, is expressed and secreted by a variety of cell types including human intestinal epithelial cells. The presence of anti-galectin-3 antibody in the sera of patients was analyzed by immunoblotting using recombinant human galectin-3. A substantially higher percentage of sera from Crohn's disease patients contained anti-galectin-3 IgG autoantibodies than from patients with ulcerative colitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, or autoimmune hepatitis and of apparently healthy control volunteers. In Crohn's disease patients the titer of autoantibodies was high and interestingly correlated negatively with disease activity. To characterize and generate artificial epitopes (mimotopes), the anti-galectin-3 monoclonal antibodies A3A12 and B2C10 were used for biopannings of phage display nonapeptide libraries. These mimotopes interfered with the binding of autoantibodies to recombinant and native intestinal epithelial galectin-3. Our data may suggest that galectin-3 mimotopes could be used for the induction of IgG with desired specificity to regulate immune responses in Crohn's disease patients.
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