Patients with primary biliary cirrhosis frequently develop autoantibodies directed to gp210, a major glycoprotein of the nuclear pore complex. This protein contains a large glycosylated cisternal domain, a single transmembrane segment, and a short cytoplasmic tail. It has been previously shown that autoantibodies from primary biliary cirrhosis patients exclusively react with the cytoplasmic tail. We demonstrate that autoantibodies against gp210 recognize at least two different epitopes. 4 out of 12 anti-gp210 positive sera reacted with the fragment consisting of the cytoplasmic tail, and 8 sera targeted a novel epitope located within the large glycosylated lumenal domain. Moreover, our data prove that carbohydrate moieties are an essential part of this novel epitope. We propose, therefore, that future screening assays should be performed with antigens possessing both epitopes to detect all sera with anti-gp210 specificity.

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