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Genome Technology s Peer Review: A Weekly Forum of Recently Published Journal Articles: Jun 14, 2005

NEW YORK, June 14 (GenomeWeb News) - Following is a description of two recently published research papers recommended by a scientist involved in integrated biology. The recommender, PJ Utz, is an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology,
Stanford University School of Medicine.


For a complete list of recommended papers, read Genome Technology, a GenomeWeb News sister publication.


Early events in lupus humoral autoimmunity suggest initiation through molecular mimicry. McClain M, Heinlen LD, Dennis GJ, Roebuck J, Harley JB, James JA. Nature Medicine 11, 85-89 (2004).


First published online in Nature Medicine last December, this paper by Judith James of the Oklahoma University Health Sciences Center et. al investigates the origins of autoimmunity in systemic lupus erthematosus (SLE) by attempting to identify the environmental agents that could potentially incite autoimmunity. Using peptide arrays, the authors identified the initial autoantigenic epitope for some lupus patients positive for antibodies to 60 kDa Ro. This initial epitope directly cross-reacts with a peptide from the latent viral protein Epstein-Barr virus nuclear antigen-1 (EBNA-1).


Immunizing animals with either the first epitope of 60 kDa Ro or the cross-reactive EBNA-1 epitope resulted in the animals progressively developing autoantibodies binding multiple epitopes of Ro and spliceosomal autoantigens, the authors write. Eventually, the animals acquire clinical symptoms of lupus such as leukopenia, thrombocytopenia and renal dysfunction. As a result, the authors conclude that some humoral autoimmunity in human lupus arises through molecular mimicry between EBNA-1 and lupus autoantigens, and they suspect that Epstein-Barr virus plays an etiologic role in SLE.

The Scan

Shape of Them All

According to BBC News, researchers have developed a protein structure database that includes much of the human proteome.

For Flu and More

The Wall Street Journal reports that several vaccine developers are working on mRNA-based vaccines for influenza.

To Boost Women

China's Ministry of Science and Technology aims to boost the number of female researchers through a new policy, reports the South China Morning Post.

Science Papers Describe Approach to Predict Chemotherapeutic Response, Role of Transcriptional Noise

In Science this week: neural network to predict chemotherapeutic response in cancer patients, and more.