Clinical Focus

  • Immunology and Rheumatology
  • Rheumatology

Academic Appointments

Professional Education

  • Internship:UCSF Medical Center (1997) CA
  • Residency:UCSF Medical Center (1998) CA
  • Board Certification: Rheumatology, American Board of Internal Medicine (2002)
  • Fellowship:Stanford University Medical Center (2002) CA
  • Medical Education:Stanford University School of Medicine (1996) CA

Research & Scholarship

Current Research and Scholarly Interests

Research Overview

Our laboratory is pursuing two major lines of research.

1. The first is the study of autoimmunity. Autoimmune diseases affect 3-5% of the world population, yet the pathogenesis of most autoimmune diseases is unclear. Moreover, current therapies globally modulate immune function, resulting in potentially fatal side effects, and are not curative, serving only to slow disease progression.

• A major objective of our research is to understand the mechanisms underpinning the initiation, natural remission, and progression of autoimmune diseases—particularly of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and multiple sclerosis (MS)—and to develop targeted therapeutics that cure these diseases without incurring serious adverse side effects.

• Another important goal is to develop biomarker assays that can guide therapeutic decision-making in clinical practice. Effective treatment of RA and MS has been impeded by the heterogeneity of the diseases—by identifying molecular ‘signatures’ of disease subtypes, we hope to ultimately develop clinical tests that enable therapy to be tailored to the individual patient.

2. The second line of research is the study of osteoarthritis (OA), the most common form of arthritis. Unlike RA, OA is not an autoimmune disorder and is generally believed to result from ‘wear and tear’. However, inflammation is emerging as an important component of OA, prompting a reassessment of our understanding of OA pathology. This recent discovery has raised a slew of intriguing questions about the role of inflammation in OA and suggested new possibilities for therapeutic intervention.

• We are working to elucidate the pathogenesis of and develop therapies for OA, a disorder for which there is currently no treatment other than pain alleviation.

Clinical Trials

  • A Pilot Study of Imatinib Mesylate in Steroid Refractory Chronic Graft Versus Host Disease Not Recruiting

    To determine if subjects with steroid refractory cGVHD can tolerate imatinib mesylate and whether their cGVHD responds to imatinib mesylate.

    Stanford is currently not accepting patients for this trial. For more information, please contact Joanne Otani, (650) 721 - 2372.

    View full details


2016-17 Courses

Stanford Advisees

Graduate and Fellowship Programs


All Publications

  • Tyrosine kinases as targets for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis NATURE REVIEWS RHEUMATOLOGY Swanson, C. D., Paniagua, R. T., Lindstrom, T. M., Robinson, W. H. 2009; 5 (6): 317-324


    As critical regulators of numerous cell signaling pathways, tyrosine kinases are implicated in the pathogenesis of several diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In the absence of disease, synoviocytes produce factors that provide nutrition and lubrication for the surrounding cartilage tissue; few cellular infiltrates are seen in the synovium. In RA, however, macrophages, neutrophils, T cells and B cells infiltrate the synovium and produce cytokines, chemokines and degradative enzymes that promote inflammation and joint destruction. In addition, the synovial lining expands owing to the proliferation of synoviocytes and infiltration of inflammatory cells to form a pannus, which invades the surrounding bone and cartilage. Many of these cell responses are regulated by tyrosine kinases that operate in specific signaling pathways, and inhibition of a number of these kinases might be expected to provide benefit in RA.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nrrheum.2009.82

    View details for Web of Science ID 000266568500007

    View details for PubMedID 19491913

  • Molecular Framework for Response to Imatinib Mesylate in Systemic Sclerosis ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM Chung, L., Fiorentino, D. F., Benbarak, M. J., Adler, A. S., Mariano, M. M., Paniagua, R. T., Milano, A., Connolly, M. K., Ratiner, B. D., Wiskocil, R. L., Whitfield, M. L., Chang, H. Y., Robinson, W. H. 2009; 60 (2): 584-591


    Systemic sclerosis (SSc) is an autoimmune disease in which the tyrosine kinases platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR) and Abl are hypothesized to contribute to the fibrosis and vasculopathy of the skin and internal organs. Herein we describe 2 patients with early diffuse cutaneous SSc (dcSSc) who experienced reductions in cutaneous sclerosis in response to therapy with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor imatinib mesylate. Immunohistochemical analyses of skin biopsy specimens demonstrated reductions of phosphorylated PDGFRbeta and Abl with imatinib therapy. By gene expression profiling, an imatinib-responsive signature specific to dcSSc was identified (P < 10(-8)). The response of these patients and the findings of the analyses suggest that PDGFRbeta and Abl play critical, synergistic roles in the pathogenesis of SSc, and that imatinib targets a gene expression program that is frequently dysregulated in dcSSc.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.24221

    View details for Web of Science ID 000263276400032

    View details for PubMedID 19180499

  • Blood autoantibody and cytokine profiles predict response to anti-tumor necrosis factor therapy in rheumatoid arthritis ARTHRITIS RESEARCH & THERAPY Hueber, W., Tomooka, B. H., Batliwalla, F., Li, W., Monach, P. A., Tibshirani, R. J., Van Vollenhoven, R. F., Lampa, J., Saito, K., Tanaka, Y., Genovese, M. C., Klareskog, L., Gregersen, P. K., Robinson, W. H. 2009; 11 (3)


    Anti-TNF therapies have revolutionized the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a common systemic autoimmune disease involving destruction of the synovial joints. However, in the practice of rheumatology approximately one-third of patients demonstrate no clinical improvement in response to treatment with anti-TNF therapies, while another third demonstrate a partial response, and one-third an excellent and sustained response. Since no clinical or laboratory tests are available to predict response to anti-TNF therapies, great need exists for predictive biomarkers.Here we present a multi-step proteomics approach using arthritis antigen arrays, a multiplex cytokine assay, and conventional ELISA, with the objective to identify a biomarker signature in three ethnically diverse cohorts of RA patients treated with the anti-TNF therapy etanercept.We identified a 24-biomarker signature that enabled prediction of a positive clinical response to etanercept in all three cohorts (positive predictive values 58 to 72%; negative predictive values 63 to 78%).We identified a multi-parameter protein biomarker that enables pretreatment classification and prediction of etanercept responders, and tested this biomarker using three independent cohorts of RA patients. Although further validation in prospective and larger cohorts is needed, our observations demonstrate that multiplex characterization of autoantibodies and cytokines provides clinical utility for predicting response to the anti-TNF therapy etanercept in RA patients.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/ar2706

    View details for Web of Science ID 000269019300042

    View details for PubMedID 19460157

  • Proteomic analysis of active multiple sclerosis lesions reveals therapeutic targets NATURE Han, M. H., Hwang, S., Roy, D. B., Lundgren, D. H., Price, J. V., Ousman, S. S., Fernald, G. H., Gerlitz, B., Robinson, W. H., Baranzini, S. E., Grinnell, B. W., Raine, C. S., Sobel, R. A., Han, D. K., Steinman, L. 2008; 451 (7182): 1076-U2


    Understanding the neuropathology of multiple sclerosis (MS) is essential for improved therapies. Therefore, identification of targets specific to pathological types of MS may have therapeutic benefits. Here we identify, by laser-capture microdissection and proteomics, proteins unique to three major types of MS lesions: acute plaque, chronic active plaque and chronic plaque. Comparative proteomic profiles identified tissue factor and protein C inhibitor within chronic active plaque samples, suggesting dysregulation of molecules associated with coagulation. In vivo administration of hirudin or recombinant activated protein C reduced disease severity in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and suppressed Th1 and Th17 cytokines in astrocytes and immune cells. Administration of mutant forms of recombinant activated protein C showed that both its anticoagulant and its signalling functions were essential for optimal amelioration of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. A proteomic approach illuminated potential therapeutic targets selective for specific pathological stages of MS and implicated participation of the coagulation cascade.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature06559

    View details for Web of Science ID 000253453600035

    View details for PubMedID 18278032

  • Selective tyrosine kinase inhibition by imatinib mesylate for the treatment of autoimmune arthritis JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Paniagua, R. T., Sharpe, O., Ho, P. P., Chan, S. M., Chang, A., Higgins, J. P., Tomooka, B. H., Thomas, F. M., Song, J. J., Goodman, S. B., Lee, D. M., Genovese, M. C., Utz, P. J., Steinman, L., Robinson, W. H. 2006; 116 (10): 2633-2642


    Tyrosine kinases play a central role in the activation of signal transduction pathways and cellular responses that mediate the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis. Imatinib mesylate (imatinib) is a tyrosine kinase inhibitor developed to treat Bcr/Abl-expressing leukemias and subsequently found to treat c-Kit-expressing gastrointestinal stromal tumors. We demonstrate that imatinib potently prevents and treats murine collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). We further show that micromolar concentrations of imatinib abrogate multiple signal transduction pathways implicated in RA pathogenesis, including mast cell c-Kit signaling and TNF-alpha release, macrophage c-Fms activation and cytokine production, and fibroblast PDGFR signaling and proliferation. In our studies, imatinib attenuated PDGFR signaling in fibroblast-like synoviocytes (FLSs) and TNF-alpha production in synovial fluid mononuclear cells (SFMCs) derived from human RA patients. Imatinib-mediated inhibition of a spectrum of signal transduction pathways and the downstream pathogenic cellular responses may provide a powerful approach to treat RA and other inflammatory diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI28546

    View details for Web of Science ID 000240965700013

    View details for PubMedID 16981009

  • Lipid microarrays identify key mediators of autoimmune brain inflammation NATURE MEDICINE Kanter, J. L., Narayana, S., Ho, P. P., Catz, I., Warren, K. G., Sobel, R. A., Steinman, L., Robinson, W. H. 2006; 12 (1): 138-143


    Recent studies suggest that increased T-cell and autoantibody reactivity to lipids may be present in the autoimmune demyelinating disease multiple sclerosis. To perform large-scale multiplex analysis of antibody responses to lipids in multiple sclerosis, we developed microarrays composed of lipids present in the myelin sheath, including ganglioside, sulfatide, cerebroside, sphingomyelin and total brain lipid fractions. Lipid-array analysis showed lipid-specific antibodies against sulfatide, sphingomyelin and oxidized lipids in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) derived from individuals with multiple sclerosis. Sulfatide-specific antibodies were also detected in SJL/J mice with acute experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Immunization of mice with sulfatide plus myelin peptide resulted in a more severe disease course of EAE, and administration of sulfatide-specific antibody exacerbated EAE. Thus, autoimmune responses to sulfatide and other lipids are present in individuals with multiple sclerosis and in EAE, and may contribute to the pathogenesis of autoimmune demyelination.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm1344

    View details for Web of Science ID 000234419000064

    View details for PubMedID 16341241

  • Malondialdehyde-Acetaldehyde Adducts and Anti-Malondialdehyde-Acetaldehyde Antibodies in Rheumatoid Arthritis ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY Thiele, G. M., Duryee, M. J., Anderson, D. R., Klassen, L. W., Mohring, S. M., Young, K. A., Benissan-Messan, D., Sayles, H., Dusad, A., Hunter, C. D., Sokolove, J., Robinson, W. H., O'Dell, J. R., Nicholas, A. P., Tuma, D. J., Mikuls, T. R. 2015; 67 (3): 645-655


    Malondialdehyde-acetaldehyde (MAA) adducts are a product of oxidative stress associated with tolerance loss in several disease states. This study was undertaken to investigate the presence of MAA adducts and circulating anti-MAA antibodies in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).Synovial tissue from patients with RA and patients with osteoarthritis (OA) were examined for the presence of MAA-modified and citrullinated proteins. Anti-MAA antibody isotypes were measured in RA patients (n = 1,720) and healthy controls (n = 80) by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Antigen-specific anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs) were measured in RA patients using a multiplex antigen array. Anti-MAA isotype concentrations were compared in a subset of RA patients (n = 80) and matched healthy controls (n = 80). Associations of anti-MAA antibody isotypes with disease characteristics, including ACPA positivity, were examined in all RA patients.Expression of MAA adducts was increased in RA synovial tissue compared to OA synovial tissue, and colocalization with citrullinated proteins was found. Increased levels of anti-MAA antibody isotypes were observed in RA patients compared to controls (P < 0.001). Among RA patients, anti-MAA antibody isotypes were associated with seropositivity for ACPAs and rheumatoid factor (P < 0.001) in addition to select measures of disease activity. Higher anti-MAA antibody concentrations were associated with a greater number of positive antigen-specific ACPA analytes (expressed at high titer) (P < 0.001) and a higher ACPA score (P < 0.001), independent of other covariates.MAA adduct formation is increased in RA and appears to result in robust antibody responses that are strongly associated with ACPAs. These results support speculation that MAA formation may be a cofactor that drives tolerance loss, resulting in the autoimmune responses characteristic of RA.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.38969

    View details for Web of Science ID 000350300400009

    View details for PubMedID 25417811

  • Sequencing the functional antibody repertoire-diagnostic and therapeutic discovery NATURE REVIEWS RHEUMATOLOGY Robinson, W. H. 2015; 11 (3): 171-182


    The development of high-throughput DNA sequencing technologies has enabled large-scale characterization of functional antibody repertoires, a new method of understanding protective and pathogenic immune responses. Important parameters to consider when sequencing antibody repertoires include the methodology, the B-cell population and clinical characteristics of the individuals analysed, and the bioinformatic analysis. Although focused sequencing of immunoglobulin heavy chains or complement determining regions can be utilized to monitor particular immune responses and B-cell malignancies, high-fidelity analysis of the full-length paired heavy and light chains expressed by individual B cells is critical for characterizing functional antibody repertoires. Bioinformatic identification of clonal antibody families and recombinant expression of representative members produces recombinant antibodies that can be used to identify the antigen targets of functional immune responses and to investigate the mechanisms of their protective or pathogenic functions. Integrated analysis of coexpressed functional genes provides the potential to further pinpoint the most important antibodies and clonal families generated during an immune response. Sequencing antibody repertoires is transforming our understanding of immune responses to autoimmunity, vaccination, infection and cancer. We anticipate that antibody repertoire sequencing will provide next-generation biomarkers, diagnostic tools and therapeutic antibodies for a spectrum of diseases, including rheumatic diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nrrheum.2014.220

    View details for Web of Science ID 000350667900007

    View details for PubMedID 25536486

  • Identification of anticitrullinated protein antibody reactivities in a subset of anti-CCP-negative rheumatoid arthritis: association with cigarette smoking and HLA-DRB1 'shared epitope' alleles ANNALS OF THE RHEUMATIC DISEASES Wagner, C. A., Sokolove, J., Lahey, L. J., Bengtsson, C., Saevarsdottir, S., Alfredsson, L., Delanoy, M., Lindstrom, T. M., Walker, R. P., Bromberg, R., Chandra, P. E., Binder, S. R., Klareskog, L., Robinson, W. H. 2015; 74 (3): 579-586


    A hallmark of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the development of autoantibodies targeting proteins that contain citrulline. Anticitrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs) are currently detected by the commercial cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP) assay, which uses a mix of cyclised citrullinated peptides as an artificial mimic of the true antigen(s). To increase the sensitivity of ACPA detection and dissect ACPA specificities, we developed a multiplex assay that profiles ACPAs by measuring their reactivity to the citrullinated peptides and proteins derived from RA joint tissue.We created a bead-based, citrullinated antigen array to profile ACPAs. This custom array contains 16 citrullinated peptides and proteins detected in RA synovial tissues. We used the array to profile ACPAs in sera from a cohort of patients with RA and other non-inflammatory arthritides, as well as sera from an independent cohort of RA patients for whom data were available on carriage of HLA-DRB1 'shared epitope' (SE) alleles and history of cigarette smoking.Our multiplex assay showed that at least 10% of RA patients who tested negative in the commercial CCP assay possessed ACPAs. Carriage of HLA-DRB1 SE alleles and a history of cigarette smoking were associated with an increase in ACPA reactivity-in anti-CCP(+) RA and in a subset of anti-CCP(-) RA.Our multiplex assay can identify ACPA-positive RA patients missed by the commercial CCP assay, thus enabling greater diagnostic sensitivity. Further, our findings suggest that cigarette smoking and possession of HLA-DRB1 SE alleles contribute to the development of ACPAs in anti-CCP(-) RA.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-203915

    View details for Web of Science ID 000349422800015

    View details for PubMedID 24297382

  • Associations of toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 single nucleotide polymorphisms and rheumatoid arthritis disease progression: An observational cohort study INTERNATIONAL IMMUNOPHARMACOLOGY Davis, M. L., LeVan, T. D., Yu, F., Sayles, H., Sokolove, J., Robinson, W., Michaud, K., Thiele, G. M., Mikuls, T. R. 2015; 24 (2): 346-352


    To examine the associations of toll-like receptor (TLR)-4 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) with disease progression in rheumatoid arthritis (RA).A total of 1188 RA patients were genotyped for TLR4 SNPs (rs1927911, rs11536878, and rs4986790). Measures of disease activity were examined, including Disease Activity Score-28 (DAS28), Multidimensional Health Assessment Questionnaire (MD-HAQ), Clinical Disease Activity Index (CDAI), and Simplified Disease Activity Index (SDAI). Genetic associations with these longitudinal measures were examined using generalized estimating equations in both univariate and multivariate analyses. Analyses were then stratified by antigen specific anti-citrullinated peptide antibody (ACPA) status including antibody to citrullinated fibrinogen and citrullinated histone H2B.Disease activity measures progressed less over time in the homozygous minor allele group of rs1927911 including DAS28 (p<0.001), CDAI (p=0.008), and MD-HAQ (p=0.015) in univariate analysis and DAS28, CDAI and SDAI in multivariate analysis. Disease activity progression among those homozygous for the minor allele tended to be lower in the groups with positive ACPA though major differences by autoantibody status were not identified. There were no associations of TLR4 rs11536878 and rs4986790 SNPs with RA disease activity progression.In this population, TLR4 rs1927911 genotypes are associated with disease activity independent of other covariates.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.intimp.2014.12.030

    View details for Web of Science ID 000350183600026

    View details for PubMedID 25573402

  • Alveolar Bone Loss Is Associated With Circulating Anti-Citrullinated Protein Antibody (ACPA) in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis JOURNAL OF PERIODONTOLOGY Gonzalez, S. M., Payne, J. B., Yu, F., Thiele, G. M., Erickson, A. R., Johnson, P. G., Schmid, M. J., Cannon, G. W., Kerr, G. S., Reimold, A. M., Sokolove, J., Robinson, W. H., Mikuls, T. R. 2015; 86 (2): 222-231


    This study examines: 1) alveolar bone loss (ABL), a hallmark of periodontitis, in anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA)-positive rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients versus control patients with osteoarthritis (OA); and 2) the association of ABL with RA disease activity and ACPA concentrations, including multiple antigen-specific ACPA.This multicenter case-control study includes 617 patients diagnosed with RA (n = 287) or OA (n = 330). Panoramic radiographs were taken; patients were categorized into low, moderate, or high tertiles based on mean percentage ABL. Serum ACPA was measured using second-generation anticyclic citrullinated peptide enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a multiplex platform to assess distinct antigen-specific ACPA. A generalized linear mixed model for binary data was used to compare stratified ABL in RA versus OA patients. Associations of moderate and high ABL (versus low) with RA disease activity and severity measures were examined using multivariate regression. Antigen-specific ACPA responses were compared among ABL tertiles using significance analysis of microarrays.ACPA-positive patients with RA had a significantly higher mean percentage of sites with ABL >20% compared with patients with OA (P = 0.03). After multivariate adjustment, greater ABL was significantly associated with higher serum ACPA concentration (P = 0.004), 28-joint Disease Activity Score (P = 0.023), health assessment questionnaire disability (P = 0.05), tender joint count (P = 0.02) and joint space narrowing scores (P = 0.05) among patients with RA. ACPAs targeting citrullinated vimentin and histone were significantly higher in moderate and high ABL groups versus low, regardless of smoking status (q <0.1%).Greater ABL was associated with higher ACPA, consistent with findings at articular sites. ACPA targeting could provide novel insight into important linkages between RA and periodontitis.

    View details for DOI 10.1902/jop.2014.140425

    View details for Web of Science ID 000349380500008

    View details for PubMedID 25299390

  • Contribution of Mast Cell-Derived Interleukin-1 beta to Uric Acid Crystal-Induced Acute Arthritis in Mice ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY Reber, L. L., Marichal, T., Sokolove, J., Starkl, P., Gaudenzio, N., Iwakura, Y., Karasuyama, H., Schwartz, L. B., Robinson, W. H., Tsai, M., Galli, S. J. 2014; 66 (10): 2881-2891

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.38747

    View details for Web of Science ID 000342744300026

  • Role of Protein Phosphatase Magnesium-Dependent 1A and Anti-Protein Phosphatase Magnesium-Dependent 1A Autoantibodies in Ankylosing Spondylitis ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY Kim, Y., Sohn, D. H., Zhao, X., Sokolove, J., Lindstrom, T. M., Yoo, B., Lee, C., Reveille, J. D., Taurog, J. D., Robinson, W. H. 2014; 66 (10): 2793-2803

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.38763

    View details for Web of Science ID 000342744300016

  • Barcode-Enabled Sequencing of Plasmablast Antibody Repertoires in Rheumatoid Arthritis ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY Tan, Y., Kongpachith, S., Blum, L. K., Ju, C., Lahey, L. J., Lu, D. R., Cai, X., Wagner, C. A., Lindstrom, T. M., Sokolove, J., Robinson, W. H. 2014; 66 (10): 2706-2715

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.38754

    View details for Web of Science ID 000342744300008

  • Reply: To PMID 24497204. Arthritis & rheumatology Shelef, M. A., Sokolove, J., Robinson, W. H., Huttenlocher, A. 2014; 66 (9): 2644-2645

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.38722

    View details for PubMedID 24891318

  • Association of fine specificity and repertoire expansion of anticitrullinated peptide antibodies with rheumatoid arthritis associated interstitial lung disease ANNALS OF THE RHEUMATIC DISEASES Giles, J. T., Danoff, S. K., Sokolove, J., Wagner, C. A., Winchester, R., Pappas, D. A., Siegelman, S., Connors, G., Robinson, W. H., Bathon, J. M. 2014; 73 (8): 1487-1494


    Interstitial lung disease (ILD) is associated with high morbidity and mortality in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Citrullinated proteins are observed in RA lung tissues; however, the association of specific anticitrullinated peptide antibodies (ACPA) with ILD in RA is unknown.RA patients underwent multidetector CT (MDCT) of the chest, from which ILD features and a semiquantitative ILD Score (ILDS; range 0-32) were assessed. Anti-CCP (CCP2) and levels of a panel of antibodies against 17 citrullinated and four non-citrullinated peptides were assessed from concurrent serum samples using a custom Bio-Plex bead array. High level ACPA was defined as ≥the group 75th percentile.Among the 177 RA patients studied, median levels of CCP2 and all specific ACPAs were 46-273% higher among RA patients with versus those without ILD (all p values <0.05), and higher levels correlated with higher ILDS. In contrast, levels of non-citrullinated protein antibodies were not higher in those with ILD. RA patients had a median of 2 high level ACPA reactivities (range 0-16), with each high level ACPA associated, on average, with a 0.10 unit higher ILDS (p=0.001). This association remained significant after adjusting for characteristics associated with ILD (age, gender, current and former smoking, Disease Activity Score for 28 joints, current prednisone and leflunomide use). More high level ACPA were observed in those with versus without pulmonary function restriction or impaired diffusion.Our findings of a broader ACPA repertoire in RA ILD suggest a possible role for ACPA in the pathogenesis of ILD.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/annrheumdis-2012-203160

    View details for Web of Science ID 000338696800014

    View details for PubMedID 23716070

  • Quantitative Radiologic Imaging Techniques for Articular Cartilage Composition: Toward Early Diagnosis and Development of Disease-Modifying Therapeutics for Osteoarthritis ARTHRITIS CARE & RESEARCH Oei, E. H., van Tiel, J., Robinson, W. H., Gold, G. E. 2014; 66 (8): 1129-1141

    View details for DOI 10.1002/acr.22316

    View details for Web of Science ID 000340356600001

    View details for PubMedID 24578345

  • Optical imaging of articular cartilage degeneration using near-infrared dipicolylamine probes BIOMATERIALS Hu, X., Wang, Q., Liu, Y., Liu, H., Qin, C., Cheng, K., Robinson, W., Gray, B. D., Pak, K. Y., Yu, A., Cheng, Z. 2014; 35 (26): 7511-7521


    Articular cartilage is the hydrated tissue that lines the ends of long bones in load bearing joints and provides joints with a smooth, nearly frictionless gliding surface. However, the deterioration of articular cartilage occurs in the early stages of osteoarthritis (OA) and is clinically and radiographically silent. Here two cationic near infrared fluorescent (NIRF) dipicolylamine (DPA) probes, Cy5-DPA-Zn and Cy7-DPA-Zn, were prepared for cartilage degeneration imaging and OA early detection through binding to the anionic glycosaminoglycans (GAGs). The feasibility of NIRF dye labeled DPA-Zn probes for cartilage degeneration imaging was examined ex vivo and in vivo. The ex vivo studies showed that Cy5-DPA-Zn and Cy7-DPA-Zn not only showed the high uptake and electrostatic attractive binding to cartilage, but also sensitively reflected the change of GAGs contents. In vivo imaging study further indicated that Cy5-DPA-Zn demonstrated higher uptake and retention in young mice (high GAGs) than old mice (low GAGs) when administrated via local injection in mouse knee joints. More importantly, Cy5-DPA-Zn showed dramatic higher signals in sham joint (high GAGs) than OA side (low GAGs), through sensitive reflecting the change of GAGs in the surgical induced OA models. In summary, Cy5-DPA-Zn provides promising visual detection for early cartilage pathological degeneration in living subjects.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2014.05.042

    View details for Web of Science ID 000339035000025

    View details for PubMedID 24912814

  • Peptidylarginine Deiminase 4 Contributes to Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha-Induced Inflammatory Arthritis ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY Shelef, M. A., Sokolove, J., Lahey, L. J., Wagner, C. A., Sackmann, E. K., Warner, T. F., Wang, Y., Beebe, D. J., Robinson, W. H., Huttenlocher, A. 2014; 66 (6): 1482-1491

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.38393

    View details for Web of Science ID 000337366200010

  • Periodontitis and Porphyromonas gingivalis in Patients With Rheumatoid Arthritis ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY Mikuls, T. R., Payne, J. B., Yu, F., Thiele, G. M., Reynolds, R. J., Cannon, G. W., Markt, J., McGowan, D., Kerr, G. S., Redman, R. S., Reimold, A., Griffiths, G., Beatty, M., Gonzalez, S. M., Bergman, D. A., Hamilton, B. C., Erickson, A. R., Sokolove, J., Robinson, W. H., Walker, C., Chandad, F., O'Dell, J. R. 2014; 66 (5): 1090-1100

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.38348

    View details for Web of Science ID 000337363400006

  • Identifying functional anti-Staphylococcus aureus antibodies by sequencing antibody repertoires of patient plasmablasts CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY Lu, D. R., Tan, Y., Kongpachith, S., Cai, X., Stein, E. A., Lindstrom, T. M., Sokolove, J., Robinson, W. H. 2014; 152 (1-2): 77-89


    Infection by Staphylococcus aureus is on the rise, and there is a need for a better understanding of host immune responses that combat S. aureus. Here we use DNA barcoding to enable deep sequencing of the paired heavy- and light-chain immunoglobulin genes expressed by individual plasmablasts derived from S. aureus-infected humans. Bioinformatic analysis of the antibody repertoires revealed clonal families of heavy-chain sequences and enabled rational selection of antibodies for recombinant expression. Of the ten recombinant antibodies produced, seven bound to S. aureus, of which four promoted opsonophagocytosis of S. aureus. Five of the antibodies bound to known S. aureus cell-surface antigens, including fibronectin-binding protein A. Fibronectin-binding protein A-specific antibodies were isolated from two independent S. aureus-infected patients and mediated neutrophil killing of S. aureus in in vitro assays. Thus, our DNA barcoding approach enabled efficient identification of antibodies involved in protective host antibody responses against S. aureus.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.clim.2014.02.010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000335291400010

  • Serum Inflammatory Mediators as Markers of Human Lyme Disease Activity PLOS ONE Soloski, M. J., Crowder, L. A., Lahey, L. J., Wagner, C. A., Robinson, W. H., Aucott, J. N. 2014; 9 (4)


    Chemokines and cytokines are key signaling molecules that orchestrate the trafficking of immune cells, direct them to sites of tissue injury and inflammation and modulate their states of activation and effector cell function. We have measured, using a multiplex-based approach, the levels of 58 immune mediators and 7 acute phase markers in sera derived from of a cohort of patients diagnosed with acute Lyme disease and matched controls. This analysis identified a cytokine signature associated with the early stages of infection and allowed us to identify two subsets (mediator-high and mediator-low) of acute Lyme patients with distinct cytokine signatures that also differed significantly (p<0.0005) in symptom presentation. In particular, the T cell chemokines CXCL9 (MIG), CXCL10 (IP-10) and CCL19 (MIP3B) were coordinately increased in the mediator-high group and levels of these chemokines could be associated with seroconversion status and elevated liver function tests (p = 0.027 and p = 0.021 respectively). There was also upregulation of acute phase proteins including CRP and serum amyloid A. Consistent with the role of CXCL9/CXCL10 in attracting immune cells to the site of infection, CXCR3+ CD4 T cells are reduced in the blood of early acute Lyme disease (p = 0.01) and the decrease correlates with chemokine levels (p = 0.0375). The levels of CXCL9/10 did not relate to the size or number of skin lesions but elevated levels of serum CXCL9/CXCL10 were associated with elevated liver enzymes levels. Collectively these results indicate that the levels of serum chemokines and the levels of expression of their respective chemokine receptors on T cell subsets may prove to be informative biomarkers for Lyme disease and related to specific disease manifestations.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0093243

    View details for Web of Science ID 000336863900017

    View details for PubMedID 24740099

  • Rheumatoid Factor as a Potentiator of Anti-Citrullinated Protein Antibody-Mediated Inflammation in Rheumatoid Arthritis ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY Sokolove, J., Johnson, D. S., Lahey, L. J., Wagner, C. A., Cheng, D., Thiele, G. M., Michaud, K., Sayles, H., Reimold, A. M., Caplan, L., Cannon, G. W., Kerr, G., Mikuls, T. R., Robinson, W. H. 2014; 66 (4): 813-821


    The co-occurrence of rheumatoid factor (RF) and anti-citrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) positivity in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is well described. However, the mechanisms underlying the potential interaction between these 2 distinct autoantibodies have not been well defined. The aim of this study was to evaluate the epidemiologic and molecular interaction of ACPAs and RF and its association with both disease activity and measures of RA-associated inflammation.In a cohort of 1,488 US veterans with RA, measures of disease activity and serum levels of cytokines and multiplex ACPAs were compared between the following groups of patients: double-negative (anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide [anti-CCP]-/RF-), anti-CCP+/RF-, anti-CCP-/RF+, or double-positive (anti-CCP+/RF+). Additional studies were performed using an in vitro immune complex (IC) stimulation assay in which macrophages were incubated with ACPA ICs in the presence or absence of monoclonal IgM-RF, and tumor necrosis factor α production measured as a readout of macrophage activation.Compared with the double-negative subgroup (as well as each single-positive subgroup), the double-positive subgroup exhibited higher disease activity as well as higher levels of C-reactive protein and inflammatory cytokines (all P < 0.001). In vitro stimulation of macrophages by ACPA ICs increased cytokine production, and the addition of monoclonal IgM-RF significantly increased macrophage tumor necrosis factor α production (P = 0.003 versus ACPA ICs alone).The combined presence of ACPAs and IgM-RF mediates increased proinflammatory cytokine production in vitro and is associated with increased systemic inflammation and disease activity in RA. Our data suggest that IgM-RF enhances the capacity of ACPA ICs to stimulate macrophage cytokine production, thereby providing a mechanistic link by which RF enhances the pathogenicity of ACPA ICs in RA.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.38307

    View details for Web of Science ID 000337361000007

    View details for PubMedID 24757134

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis in the Womens Health Initiative: Methods and Baseline Evaluation AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY Kuller, L. H., Mackey, R. H., Walitt, B. T., Deane, K. D., Holers, V. M., Robinson, W. H., Sokolove, J., Chang, Y., Moreland, L. W. 2014; 179 (7): 917-926


    Second-generation assays for anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP), a highly sensitive and specific marker for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), have redefined the epidemiology of RA. In the Women's Health Initiative (WHI) RA study (2009-2011), we evaluated the prevalence of anti-CCP positivity among 15,691 (10.2% of 161,808) WHI participants aged 50-79 years who reported RA. Using stored baseline specimens, we measured serum anti-CCP, rheumatoid factor (RF), and antinuclear antibody in a defined sample of 9,988 of black, white, and Hispanic women. In a subset of women, we measured plasma cytokine levels and number of copies of the human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DRB1 (HLA-DRB1) shared epitope in DNA by means of Luminex polymerase chain reaction typing (Luminex Corporation, Austin, Texas). We validated classification of probable clinical RA in 2 clinics as anti-CCP positivity or self-reported validated use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs). The prevalence of anti-CCP positivity was 8.1%, and the prevalence of RF positivity was approximately 16.0%. DMARD use including prednisone was reported by 1,140 (11.4%) participants (841 excluding prednisone) but by 57.5% of anti-CCP-positive women. The prevalence of 2 shared epitopes was also much higher for anti-CCP-positive women (18.2%, as opposed to only 5.5% for women with anti-CCP-negative DMARD-positive RA and 6.6% for anti-CCP-negative, RF-negative DMARD nonusers). Median cytokine levels were much higher for anti-CCP-positive/RF-positive women. Women with anti-CCP-positive RA and anti-CCP-negative RA had different characteristics with regard to HLA shared epitope, cigarette smoking, and inflammation (cytokines).

    View details for DOI 10.1093/aje/kwu003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000333247200013

    View details for PubMedID 24569640

  • High-throughput sequencing of natively paired antibody chains provides evidence for original antigenic sin shaping the antibody response to influenza vaccination CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY Tan, Y., Blum, L. K., Kongpachith, S., Ju, C., Cai, X., Lindstrom, T. M., Sokolove, J., Robinson, W. H. 2014; 151 (1): 55-65


    We developed a DNA barcoding method to enable high-throughput sequencing of the cognate heavy- and light-chain pairs of the antibodies expressed by individual B cells. We used this approach to elucidate the plasmablast antibody response to influenza vaccination. We show that >75% of the rationally selected plasmablast antibodies bind and neutralize influenza, and that antibodies from clonal families, defined by sharing both heavy-chain VJ and light-chain VJ sequence usage, do so most effectively. Vaccine-induced heavy-chain VJ regions contained on average >20 nucleotide mutations as compared to their predicted germline gene sequences, and some vaccine-induced antibodies exhibited higher binding affinities for hemagglutinins derived from prior years' seasonal influenza as compared to their affinities for the immunization strains. Our results show that influenza vaccination induces the recall of memory B cells that express antibodies that previously underwent affinity maturation against prior years' seasonal influenza, suggesting that 'original antigenic sin' shapes the antibody response to influenza vaccination.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.clim.2013.12.008

    View details for Web of Science ID 000332351100006

    View details for PubMedID 24525048

  • Determinants of Mortality Among Postmenopausal Women in the Women's Health Initiative Who Report Rheumatoid Arthritis ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY Kuller, L. H., Mackey, R. H., Walitt, B. T., Deane, K. D., Holers, V. M., Robinson, W. H., Sokolove, J., Chang, Y., Liu, S., Parks, C. G., Wright, N. C., Moreland, L. W. 2014; 66 (3): 497-507


    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients have an increased risk of cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality. We measured anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibody levels and determined use of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) among women in the Women's Health Initiative (WHI). Using these data, we undertook this study to assess total mortality over 10 years of followup among white, black, or Hispanic women with self-reported RA in the WHI.Using stored baseline serum, we measured anti-CCP, rheumatoid factor (RF), and antinuclear antibodies (ANAs) in 9,988 women who reported having RA. Based on a previous chart review study, probable RA was defined as either self-reported RA and anti-CCP positivity, or anti-CCP negativity and DMARD use. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to model the relationship of self-reported RA, DMARD exposure, and anti-CCP positivity to total mortality, using followup data through April 2009.At baseline, the mean age was 62.8 years; 24.5% of subjects were black and 10% were Hispanic. Prevalence of anti-CCP positivity was 8.1% (n = 812), and 217 women were anti-CCP negative but had reported use of DMARDs; therefore, 1,029 women (of 9,988) were classified as having probable RA, and 8,958 were classified as unlikely to have RA (with data on DMARD use missing for 1 subject). Age-adjusted mortality rates were ∼2-fold higher for anti-CCP-positive women, with 20.2 deaths per 1,000 person-years, as compared to 11.4 deaths per 1,000 person-years among anti-CCP-negative women with self-reported RA who never used DMARDs. Among women who did not report any arthritis at baseline, we found 8.3 deaths per 1,000 person-years. The increased risk among anti-CCP-positive women with RA was not explained by age, RF positivity, ANA positivity, or DMARD use.Anti-CCP-positive RA was associated with substantial excess mortality among postmenopausal women in the WHI. This result was not explained by the risk factors we measured.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.38268

    View details for Web of Science ID 000337359400004

    View details for PubMedID 24574208

  • Brief report: carboxypeptidase B serves as a protective mediator in osteoarthritis. Arthritis & rheumatology (Hoboken, N.J.) Lepus, C. M., Song, J. J., Wang, Q., Wagner, C. A., Lindstrom, T. M., Chu, C. R., Sokolove, J., Leung, L. L., Robinson, W. H. 2014; 66 (1): 101-106


    We previously demonstrated that carboxypeptidase B (CPB) protects against joint erosion in rheumatoid arthritis by inactivating complement component C5a. We also found that levels of CPB are abnormally high in the synovial fluid of individuals with another joint disease, osteoarthritis (OA). We undertook this study to investigate whether CPB plays a role in the pathogenesis of OA.We compared the development of OA in CPB-deficient (Cpb2(-/-) ) mice and wild-type mice by subjecting them to medial meniscectomy and histologically assessing cartilage damage, osteophyte formation, and synovitis in the stifle joints 4 months later. We measured levels of proCPB, proinflammatory cytokines, and complement components in synovial fluid samples from patients with symptomatic and radiographic knee OA. Finally, we used enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, flow cytometry, and hemolytic assays to assess the effect of CPB on formation of membrane attack complex (MAC)-a complement effector critical to OA pathogenesis.Cpb2(-/-) mice developed dramatically greater cartilage damage than did wild-type mice (P < 0.01) and had a greater number of osteophytes (P < 0.05) and a greater degree of synovitis (P < 0.05). In synovial fluid samples from OA patients, high levels of proCPB were associated with high levels of proinflammatory cytokines and complement components, and levels of proCPB correlated positively with those of MAC. In in vitro complement activation assays, activated CPB suppressed the formation of MAC as well as MAC-induced hemolysis.Our data suggest that CPB protects against inflammatory destruction of the joints in OA, at least in part by inhibiting complement activation.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.38213

    View details for PubMedID 24449579

  • Carboxypeptidase B Serves as a Protective Mediator in Osteoarthritis ARTHRITIS & RHEUMATOLOGY Lepus, C. M., Song, J. J., Wang, Q., Wagner, C. A., Lindstrom, T. M., Chu, C. R., Sokolove, J., Leung, L. L., Robinson, W. H. 2014; 66 (1): 101-106

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.38213

    View details for Web of Science ID 000337356300014

  • Clinical optimization of antigen specific modulation of type 1 diabetes with the plasmid DNA platform CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY Gottlieb, P., Utz, P. J., Robinson, W., Steinman, L. 2013; 149 (3): 297-306


    Some clinical trials in humans have aimed at modulation of type 1 diabetes (T1D) via alteration of the immune response to putative islet cell antigens, particularly proinsulin and insulin, glutamic acid decarboxylase and the peptide, DiaPep 277, derived from heat shock protein 60. The focus here is on development of a specially engineered DNA plasmid encoding proinsulin to treat T1D. The plasmid is engineered to turn off adaptive immunity to proinsulin. This approach yielded exciting results in a randomized placebo controlled trial in 80 adult patients with T1D. The implications of this trial are explored in regards to the potential for sparing inflammation in islets and thus allowing the functioning beta cells to recover and produce more insulin. Strategies to further strengthen the effects seen thus far with the tolerizing DNA plasmid to proinsulin will be elucidated. The DNA platform affords an opportunity for easy modifications. In addition standard exploration of dose levels, route of administration and frequency of dose are practical. Optimization of the effects seen to date on C-peptide and on depletion of proinsulin specific CD8 T cells are feasible, with expected concomitant improvement in other parameters like hemoglobin A1c and reduction in insulin usage. T1D is one of the few autoimmune conditions where antigen specific therapy can be achieved, provided the approach is tested intelligently. Tolerizing DNA vaccines to proinsulin and other islet cell autoantigens is a worthy pursuit to potentially treat, prevent and to perhaps even 'cure' or 'prevent' type 1 diabetes.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.clim.2013.08.010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000328874700005

    View details for PubMedID 24094739

  • Protein microarray analysis reveals BAFF-binding autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Price, J. V., Haddon, D. J., Kemmer, D., Delepine, G., Mandelbaum, G., Jarrell, J. A., Gupta, R., Balboni, I., Chakravarty, E. F., Sokolove, J., Shum, A. K., Anderson, M. S., Cheng, M. H., Robinson, W. H., Browne, S. K., Holland, S. M., Baechler, E. C., Utz, P. J. 2013; 123 (12): 5135-5145


    Autoantibodies against cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors inhibit normal immunity and are implicated in inflammatory autoimmune disease and diseases of immune deficiency. In an effort to evaluate serum from autoimmune and immunodeficient patients for Abs against cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors in a high-throughput and unbiased manner, we constructed a multiplex protein microarray for detection of serum factor-binding Abs and used the microarray to detect autoantibody targets in SLE. We designed a nitrocellulose-surface microarray containing human cytokines, chemokines, and other circulating proteins and demonstrated that the array permitted specific detection of serum factor-binding probes. We used the arrays to detect previously described autoantibodies against cytokines in samples from individuals with autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 and chronic mycobacterial infection. Serum profiling from individuals with SLE revealed that among several targets, elevated IgG autoantibody reactivity to B cell-activating factor (BAFF) was associated with SLE compared with control samples. BAFF reactivity correlated with the severity of disease-associated features, including IFN-α-driven SLE pathology. Our results showed that serum factor protein microarrays facilitate detection of autoantibody reactivity to serum factors in human samples and that BAFF-reactive autoantibodies may be associated with an elevated inflammatory disease state within the spectrum of SLE.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI70231

    View details for Web of Science ID 000327826100020

    View details for PubMedID 24270423

  • Serum autoantibodies to myelin peptides distinguish acute disseminated encephalomyelitis from relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS JOURNAL Van Haren, K., Tomooka, B. H., Kidd, B. A., Banwell, B., Bar-Or, A., Chitnis, T., Tenembaum, S. N., Pohl, D., Rostasy, K., Dale, R. C., O'Connor, K. C., Hafler, D. A., Steinman, L., Robinson, W. H. 2013; 19 (13): 1726-1733


    BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: Acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) share overlapping clinical, radiologic and laboratory features at onset. Because autoantibodies may contribute to the pathogenesis of both diseases, we sought to identify autoantibody biomarkers that are capable of distinguishing them. METHODS: We used custom antigen arrays to profile anti-myelin-peptide autoantibodies in sera derived from individuals with pediatric ADEM (n = 15), pediatric multiple sclerosis (Ped MS; n = 11) and adult MS (n = 15). Using isotype-specific secondary antibodies, we profiled both IgG and IgM reactivities. We used Statistical Analysis of Microarrays software to confirm the differences in autoantibody reactivity profiles between ADEM and MS samples. We used Prediction Analysis of Microarrays software to generate and validate prediction algorithms, based on the autoantibody reactivity profiles. RESULTS: ADEM was characterized by IgG autoantibodies targeting epitopes derived from myelin basic protein, proteolipid protein, myelin-associated oligodendrocyte basic glycoprotein, and alpha-B-crystallin. In contrast, MS was characterized by IgM autoantibodies targeting myelin basic protein, proteolipid protein, myelin-associated oligodendrocyte basic glycoprotein and oligodendrocyte-specific protein. We generated and validated prediction algorithms that distinguish ADEM serum (sensitivity 62-86%; specificity 56-79%) from MS serum (sensitivity 40-87%; specificity 62-86%) on the basis of combined IgG and IgM anti-myelin autoantibody reactivity to a small number of myelin peptides. CONCLUSIONS: Combined profiles of serum IgG and IgM autoantibodies identified myelin antigens that may be useful for distinguishing MS from ADEM. Further studies are required to establish clinical utility. Further biological assays are required to delineate the pathogenic potential of these antibodies.

    View details for DOI 10.1177/1352458513485653

    View details for Web of Science ID 000326893900010

    View details for PubMedID 23612879

  • Whole-genome sequencing identifies a recurrent functional synonymous mutation in melanoma PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Gartner, J. J., Parker, S. C., Prickett, T. D., Dutton-Regester, K., Stitzel, M. L., Lin, J. C., Davis, S., Simhadri, V. L., Jha, S., Katagiri, N., Gotea, V., Teer, J. K., Wei, X., Morken, M. A., Bhanot, U. K., Chen, G., Elnitski, L. L., Davies, M. A., Gershenwald, J. E., Carter, H., Karchin, R., Robinson, W., Robinson, S., Rosenberg, S. A., Collins, F. S., Parmigiani, G., Komar, A. A., Kimchi-Sarfaty, C., Hayward, N. K., Margulies, E. H., Samuels, Y. 2013; 110 (33): 13481-13486


    Synonymous mutations, which do not alter the protein sequence, have been shown to affect protein function [Sauna ZE, Kimchi-Sarfaty C (2011) Nat Rev Genet 12(10):683-691]. However, synonymous mutations are rarely investigated in the cancer genomics field. We used whole-genome and -exome sequencing to identify somatic mutations in 29 melanoma samples. Validation of one synonymous somatic mutation in BCL2L12 in 285 samples identified 12 cases that harbored the recurrent F17F mutation. This mutation led to increased BCL2L12 mRNA and protein levels because of differential targeting of WT and mutant BCL2L12 by hsa-miR-671-5p. Protein made from mutant BCL2L12 transcript bound p53, inhibited UV-induced apoptosis more efficiently than WT BCL2L12, and reduced endogenous p53 target gene transcription. This report shows selection of a recurrent somatic synonymous mutation in cancer. Our data indicate that silent alterations have a role to play in human cancer, emphasizing the importance of their investigation in future cancer genome studies.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1304227110

    View details for Web of Science ID 000323069200063

    View details for PubMedID 23901115

  • Relatives Without Rheumatoid Arthritis Show Reactivity to Anti-Citrullinated Protein/Peptide Antibodies That Are Associated With Arthritis-Related Traits: Studies of the Etiology of Rheumatoid Arthritis ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM Young, K. A., Deane, K. D., Derber, L. A., Hughes-Austin, J. M., Wagner, C. A., Sokolove, J., Weisman, M. H., Buckner, J. H., Mikuls, T. R., O'Dell, J. R., Keating, R. M., Gregersen, P. K., Robinson, W. H., Holers, V. M., Norris, J. M. 2013; 65 (8): 1995-2004


    To examine reactivity to anti-citrullinated protein/peptide antibodies (ACPAs) and determine associations between ACPAs and other rheumatoid arthritis (RA)-related autoantibodies and clinically assessed swollen or tender joints in unaffected first-degree relatives of RA patients.Serum samples were obtained from first-degree relatives without RA according to the 1987 American College of Rheumatology (ACR) and the 2010 ACR/European League Against Rheumatism classification criteria. A bead-based assay was used to measure 16 separate ACPAs in sera from 111 antibody-positive first-degree relatives who were positive on at least 1 visit for any of 5 RA-related autoantibodies (rheumatoid factor [RF], anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide 2 [anti-CCP-2], and RF isotypes), and sera from 99 antibody-negative first-degree relatives who were never autoantibody positive. Cutoffs for positivity for each ACPA were determined using receiver operating characteristic curves derived from data on 200 RA patients and 98 blood donor controls, in which positivity for ≥9 ACPAs had 92% specificity and 62% sensitivity for RA. In first-degree relatives, ACPA reactivity was assessed, and associations between ACPAs (number positive, and positivity for ≥9 ACPAs) and RA-related characteristics were examined.Fifty-seven percent of anti-CCP-2-positive first-degree relatives and 8% of anti-CCP-2- negative first-degree relatives were positive for ≥9 ACPAs. After adjusting for age, sex, ethnicity, and pack-years of smoking, an increasing number of ACPAs was directly associated with the presence of ≥1 tender joint on examination (odds ratio [OR] 1.18, 95% confidence interval [95% CI] 1.04-1.34), with the greatest risk of having ≥1 tender joint seen in first-degree relatives positive for ≥9 ACPAs (OR 5.00, 95% CI 1.37-18.18).RA-free first-degree relatives (even those negative for RF and anti-CCP-2) demonstrate reactivity to multiple ACPAs, and the presence of an increasing number of ACPAs may be associated with signs of joint inflammation. Prospective evaluation of the relationship between these findings and the progression of classifiable RA is warranted.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.38022

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322329100008

    View details for PubMedID 23754702

  • Citrullination Within the Atherosclerotic Plaque: A Potential Target for the Anti-Citrullinated Protein Antibody Response in Rheumatoid Arthritis ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM Sokolove, J., Brennan, M. J., Sharpe, O., Lahey, L. J., Kao, A. H., Krishnan, E., Edmundowicz, D., Lepus, C. M., Wasko, M. C., Robinson, W. H. 2013; 65 (7): 1719-1724


    BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease, an observation not explained by traditional cardiac risk factors and generally limited to those with RA-associated autoantibodies such as rheumatoid factor and anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA). We hypothesized that citrullinated proteins within the atherosclerotic plaque can be targeted by ACPA, forming stimulatory immune complexes which propagate the progression of atherosclerosis. METHODS AND RESULTS: Protein lysates prepared from atherosclerotic segments of human aorta were investigated for the presence of citrulline-modified proteins and specifically citrullinated fibrinogen (cFb) by immunoprecipitation and/or immunoblotting followed by mass spectrometry. Immunohistochemistry was performed in coronary artery plaques for the presence of citrullinated proteins and the PAD4 enzyme. Serum levels of anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (CCP), anti-citrullinated vimentin (cVim), and anti-cFb antibodies were measured in 134 women with seropositive RA previously characterized for the presence of subclinical atherosclerosis by electron beam CT scan (EBCT). Western analysis of atherosclerotic plaque lysates demonstrated several citrullinated proteins and the presence of cFb was confirmed by immunoprecipitation, and mass spectrometry. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated co-localization of citrullinated proteins and the PAD4 enzyme within the coronary artery plaque. In age-adjusted regression models, antibodies targeting cFb and cit-vimentin, but not CCP2, were associated with an increased aortic plaque burden. CONCLUSION: Citrullinated proteins are prevalent within the atherosclerotic plaque, and certain ACPAs are associated with atherosclerotic burden. These observations suggest that targeting of citrullinated epitopes, specifically cFb, within the atherosclerotic plaque could provide a mechanism for accelerated atherosclerosis observed in patients with RA. © 2013 American College of Rheumatology.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.37961

    View details for Web of Science ID 000322155000007

  • Plasmid-Encoded Proinsulin Preserves C-Peptide While Specifically Reducing Proinsulin-Specific CD8+ T Cells in Type 1 Diabetes. Science translational medicine Roep, B. O., Solvason, N., Gottlieb, P. A., Abreu, J. R., Harrison, L. C., Eisenbarth, G. S., Yu, L., Leviten, M., Hagopian, W. A., Buse, J. B., von Herrath, M., Quan, J., King, R. S., Robinson, W. H., Utz, P. J., Garren, H., Steinman, L. 2013; 5 (191): 191ra82-?


    In type 1 diabetes (T1D), there is an intense inflammatory response that destroys the ? cells in the pancreatic islets of Langerhans, the site where insulin is produced and released. A therapy for T1D that targets the specific autoimmune response in this disease while leaving the remainder of the immune system intact, has long been sought. Proinsulin is a major target of the adaptive immune response in T1D. We hypothesized that an engineered DNA plasmid encoding proinsulin (BHT-3021) would preserve ? cell function in T1D patients through reduction of insulin-specific CD8(+) T cells. We studied 80 subjects over 18 years of age who were diagnosed with T1D within the past 5 years. Subjects were randomized 2:1 to receive intramuscular injections of BHT-3021 or BHT-placebo, weekly for 12 weeks, and then monitored for safety and immune responses in a blinded fashion. Four dose levels of BHT-3021 were evaluated: 0.3, 1.0, 3.0, and 6.0 mg. C-peptide was used both as an exploratory efficacy measure and as a safety measure. Islet-specific CD8(+) T cell frequencies were assessed with multimers of monomeric human leukocyte antigen class I molecules loaded with peptides from pancreatic and unrelated antigens. No serious adverse events related to BHT-3021 were observed. C-peptide levels improved relative to placebo at all doses, at 1 mg at the 15-week time point (+19.5% BHT-3021 versus -8.8% BHT-placebo, P < 0.026). Proinsulin-reactive CD8(+) T cells, but not T cells against unrelated islet or foreign molecules, declined in the BHT-3021 arm (P < 0.006). No significant changes were noted in interferon-?, interleukin-4 (IL-4), or IL-10 production in CD4 T cells. Thus, we demonstrate that a plasmid encoding proinsulin reduces the frequency of CD8(+) T cells reactive to proinsulin while preserving C-peptide over the course of dosing.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.3006103

    View details for PubMedID 23803704

  • Identification of Naturally Occurring Fatty Acids of the Myelin Sheath That Resolve Neuroinflammation SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE Ho, P. P., Kanter, J. L., Johnson, A. M., Srinagesh, H. K., Chang, E., Purdy, T. M., Van Haren, K., Wikoff, W. R., Kind, T., Khademi, M., Matloff, L. Y., Narayana, S., Hur, E. M., Lindstrom, T. M., He, Z., Fiehn, O., Olsson, T., Han, X., Han, M. H., Steinman, L., Robinson, W. H. 2012; 4 (137)


    Lipids constitute 70% of the myelin sheath, and autoantibodies against lipids may contribute to the demyelination that characterizes multiple sclerosis (MS). We used lipid antigen microarrays and lipid mass spectrometry to identify bona fide lipid targets of the autoimmune response in MS brain, and an animal model of MS to explore the role of the identified lipids in autoimmune demyelination. We found that autoantibodies in MS target a phosphate group in phosphatidylserine and oxidized phosphatidylcholine derivatives. Administration of these lipids ameliorated experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis by suppressing activation and inducing apoptosis of autoreactive T cells, effects mediated by the lipids' saturated fatty acid side chains. Thus, phospholipids represent a natural anti-inflammatory class of compounds that have potential as therapeutics for MS.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/scitranslmed.3003831

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305075700005

    View details for PubMedID 22674551

  • New tools for classification and monitoring of autoimmune diseases NATURE REVIEWS RHEUMATOLOGY Maecker, H. T., Lindstrom, T. M., Robinson, W. H., Utz, P. J., Hale, M., Boyd, S. D., Shen-Orr, S. S., Fathman, C. G. 2012; 8 (6): 317-328


    Rheumatologists see patients with a range of autoimmune diseases. Phenotyping these diseases for diagnosis, prognosis and selection of therapies is an ever increasing problem. Advances in multiplexed assay technology at the gene, protein, and cellular level have enabled the identification of 'actionable biomarkers'; that is, biological metrics that can inform clinical practice. Not only will such biomarkers yield insight into the development, remission, and exacerbation of a disease, they will undoubtedly improve diagnostic sensitivity and accuracy of classification, and ultimately guide treatment. This Review provides an introduction to these powerful technologies that could promote the identification of actionable biomarkers, including mass cytometry, protein arrays, and immunoglobulin and T-cell receptor high-throughput sequencing. In our opinion, these technologies should become part of routine clinical practice for the management of autoimmune diseases. The use of analytical tools to deconvolve the data obtained from use of these technologies is also presented here. These analyses are revealing a more comprehensive and interconnected view of the immune system than ever before and should have an important role in directing future treatment approaches for autoimmune diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nrrheum.2012.66

    View details for Web of Science ID 000304719600005

    View details for PubMedID 22647780

  • Autoantibody Epitope Spreading in the Pre-Clinical Phase Predicts Progression to Rheumatoid Arthritis PLOS ONE Sokolove, J., Bromberg, R., Deane, K. D., Lahey, L. J., Derber, L. A., Chandra, P. E., Edison, J. D., Gilliland, W. R., Tibshirani, R. J., Norris, J. M., Holers, V. M., Robinson, W. H. 2012; 7 (5)


    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a prototypical autoimmune arthritis affecting nearly 1% of the world population and is a significant cause of worldwide disability. Though prior studies have demonstrated the appearance of RA-related autoantibodies years before the onset of clinical RA, the pattern of immunologic events preceding the development of RA remains unclear. To characterize the evolution of the autoantibody response in the preclinical phase of RA, we used a novel multiplex autoantigen array to evaluate development of the anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA) and to determine if epitope spread correlates with rise in serum cytokines and imminent onset of clinical RA. To do so, we utilized a cohort of 81 patients with clinical RA for whom stored serum was available from 1-12 years prior to disease onset. We evaluated the accumulation of ACPA subtypes over time and correlated this accumulation with elevations in serum cytokines. We then used logistic regression to identify a profile of biomarkers which predicts the imminent onset of clinical RA (defined as within 2 years of testing). We observed a time-dependent expansion of ACPA specificity with the number of ACPA subtypes. At the earliest timepoints, we found autoantibodies targeting several innate immune ligands including citrullinated histones, fibrinogen, and biglycan, thus providing insights into the earliest autoantigen targets and potential mechanisms underlying the onset and development of autoimmunity in RA. Additionally, expansion of the ACPA response strongly predicted elevations in many inflammatory cytokines including TNF-?, IL-6, IL-12p70, and IFN-?. Thus, we observe that the preclinical phase of RA is characterized by an accumulation of multiple autoantibody specificities reflecting the process of epitope spread. Epitope expansion is closely correlated with the appearance of preclinical inflammation, and we identify a biomarker profile including autoantibodies and cytokines which predicts the imminent onset of clinical arthritis.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0035296

    View details for Web of Science ID 000305342300003

    View details for PubMedID 22662108

  • Inhibition of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Ameliorates Collagen-Induced Arthritis JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Swanson, C. D., Akama-Garren, E. H., Stein, E. A., Petralia, J. D., Ruiz, P. J., Edalati, A., Lindstrom, T. M., Robinson, W. H. 2012; 188 (7): 3513-3521


    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune synovitis characterized by the formation of pannus and the destruction of cartilage and bone in the synovial joints. Although immune cells, which infiltrate the pannus and promote inflammation, play a prominent role in the pathogenesis of RA, other cell types also contribute. Proliferation of synovial fibroblasts, for example, underlies the formation of the pannus, while proliferation of endothelial cells results in neovascularization, which supports the growth of the pannus by supplying it with nutrients and oxygen. The synovial fibroblasts also promote inflammation in the synovium by producing cytokines and chemokines. Finally, osteoclasts cause the destruction of bone. In this study, we show that erlotinib, an inhibitor of the tyrosine kinase epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), reduces the severity of established collagen-induced arthritis, a mouse model of RA, and that it does so by targeting synovial fibroblasts, endothelial cells, and osteoclasts. Erlotinib-induced attenuation of autoimmune arthritis was associated with a reduction in number of osteoclasts and blood vessels, and erlotinib inhibited the formation of murine osteoclasts and the proliferation of human endothelial cells in vitro. Erlotinib also inhibited the proliferation and cytokine production of human synovial fibroblasts in vitro. Moreover, EGFR was highly expressed and activated in the synovium of mice with collagen-induced arthritis and patients with RA. Taken together, these findings suggest that EGFR plays a central role in the pathogenesis of RA and that EGFR inhibition may provide benefits in the treatment of RA.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1102693

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302150300065

    View details for PubMedID 22393153

  • Therapeutic Effects of Systemic Administration of Chaperone alpha B-Crystallin Associated with Binding Proinflammatory Plasma Proteins JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Rothbard, J. B., Kurnellas, M. P., Brownell, S., Adams, C. M., Su, L., Axtell, R. C., Chen, R., Fathman, C. G., Robinson, W. H., Steinman, L. 2012; 287 (13): 9708-9721


    The therapeutic benefit of the small heat shock protein ?B-crystallin (HspB5) in animal models of multiple sclerosis and ischemia is proposed to arise from its increased capacity to bind proinflammatory proteins at the elevated temperatures within inflammatory foci. By mass spectral analysis, a common set of ?70 ligands was precipitated by HspB5 from plasma from patients with multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and amyloidosis and mice with experimental allergic encephalomyelitis. These proteins were distinguished from other precipitated molecules because they were enriched in the precipitate as compared with their plasma concentrations, and they exhibited temperature-dependent binding. More than half of these ligands were acute phase proteins or members of the complement or coagulation cascades. Consistent with this proposal, plasma levels of HspB5 were increased in patients with multiple sclerosis as compared with normal individuals. The combination of the thermal sensitivity of the HspB5 combined with the high local concentration of these ligands at the site of inflammation is proposed to explain the paradox of how a protein believed to exhibit nonspecific binding can bind with some relative apparent selectivity to proinflammatory proteins and thereby modulate inflammation.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M111.337691

    View details for Web of Science ID 000302167200005

    View details for PubMedID 22308023

  • Differential mTOR and ERK pathway utilization by effector CD4 T cells suggests combinatorial drug therapy of arthritis CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY Lin, J. T., Stein, E. A., Wong, M. T., Kalpathy, K. J., Su, L. L., Utz, P. J., Robinson, W. H., Fathnnan, C. G. 2012; 142 (2): 127-138


    The signaling pathways utilized by naïve and experienced effector CD4 T cells during activation and proliferation were evaluated. While inhibition of either mTOR or MAPK alone was able to inhibit naïve T cell proliferation, both mTOR and MAPK (ERK) pathway inhibition was required to efficiently block experienced, effector CD4 T cell proliferation. This was demonstrated both in vitro, and in vivo by treating mice with collagen-induced arthritis using mTOR and/or ERK inhibitors. The combination of mTOR and ERK inhibition prevented or treated disease more efficiently than either agent alone. These data illustrate the different requirements of naïve and experienced effector CD4 T cells in the use of the mTOR and MAPK pathways in proliferation, and suggest that therapies targeting both the mTOR and MAPK pathways may be more effective than targeting either pathway alone in the treatment of CD4 T cell-mediated autoimmunity.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.clim.2011.09.008

    View details for Web of Science ID 000300388200007

    View details for PubMedID 22075384

  • Development and deployment of antigen arrays for investigation of B-cell fine specificity in autoimmune disease. Frontiers in bioscience (Elite edition) Sokolove, J., Lindstrom, T. M., Robinson, W. H. 2012; 4: 320-330


    Recent developments in proteomic technologies have enabled the high-throughput, multiplex measurement of large panels of antibodies in biological fluids of patients with immune-driven diseases. Antigen microarrays are increasingly being used to delineate the natural history of autoantibody formation and epitope spread, and thus gain insight into the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, as well as into host immunity and its shortcomings. Characterization of autoimmunity that precedes the onset of clinically apparent disease has the potential to guide disease prevention using either conventional immunosupression or novel, antigen-specific tolerizing therapies. In addition, autoantibody profiling has the potential to identify molecular subtypes of a disease, which could allow for prediction of disease outcomes such as severity, tissue damage, and response to therapy.

    View details for PubMedID 22201874

  • Response to 'Plasma proteins present in osteoarthritic synovial fluid can stimulate cytokine production via Toll-like receptor 4' - authors' reply. Arthritis research & therapy Sohn, D. H., Sokolove, J., Sharpe, O., Erhart, J. C., Chandra, P. E., Lahey, L. J., Lindstrom, T. M., Hwang, I., Boyer, K. A., Andriacchi, T. P., Robinson, W. H. 2012; 14 (5): 406

    View details for PubMedID 22979902

  • Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors Ameliorate Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis in a Mouse Model of Multiple Sclerosis JOURNAL OF CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY Crespo, O., Kang, S. C., Daneman, R., Lindstrom, T. M., Ho, P. P., Sobel, R. A., Steinman, L., Robinson, W. H. 2011; 31 (6): 1010-1020


    Multiple sclerosis is an autoimmune disease of the central nervous system characterized by neuroinflammation and demyelination. Although considered a T cell-mediated disease, multiple sclerosis involves the activation of both adaptive and innate immune cells, as well as resident cells of the central nervous system, which synergize in inducing inflammation and thereby demyelination. Differentiation, survival, and inflammatory functions of innate immune cells and of astrocytes of the central nervous system are regulated by tyrosine kinases. Here, we show that imatinib, sorafenib, and GW2580-small molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitors-can each prevent the development of disease and treat established disease in a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. In vitro, imatinib and sorafenib inhibited astrocyte proliferation mediated by the tyrosine kinase platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), whereas GW2580 and sorafenib inhibited macrophage tumor necrosis factor (TNF) production mediated by the tyrosine kinases c-Fms and PDGFR, respectively. In vivo, amelioration of disease by GW2580 was associated with a reduction in the proportion of macrophages and T cells in the CNS infiltrate, as well as a reduction in the levels of circulating TNF. Our findings suggest that GW2580 and the FDA-approved drugs imatinib and sorafenib have potential as novel therapeutics for the treatment of autoimmune demyelinating disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1007/s10875-011-9579-6

    View details for Web of Science ID 000297522500010

    View details for PubMedID 21847523

  • Identification of a central role for complement in osteoarthritis NATURE MEDICINE Wang, Q., Rozelle, A. L., Lepus, C. M., Scanzello, C. R., Song, J. J., Larsen, D. M., Crish, J. F., Bebek, G., Ritter, S. Y., Lindstrom, T. M., Hwang, I., Wong, H. H., Punzi, L., Encarnacion, A., Shamloo, M., Goodman, S. B., Wyss-Coray, T., Goldring, S. R., Banda, N. K., Thurman, J. M., Gobezie, R., Crow, M. K., Holers, V. M., Lee, D. M., Robinson, W. H. 2011; 17 (12): 1674-U196


    Osteoarthritis, characterized by the breakdown of articular cartilage in synovial joints, has long been viewed as the result of 'wear and tear'. Although low-grade inflammation is detected in osteoarthritis, its role is unclear. Here we identify a central role for the inflammatory complement system in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis. Through proteomic and transcriptomic analyses of synovial fluids and membranes from individuals with osteoarthritis, we find that expression and activation of complement is abnormally high in human osteoarthritic joints. Using mice genetically deficient in complement component 5 (C5), C6 or the complement regulatory protein CD59a, we show that complement, specifically, the membrane attack complex (MAC)-mediated arm of complement, is crucial to the development of arthritis in three different mouse models of osteoarthritis. Pharmacological modulation of complement in wild-type mice confirmed the results obtained with genetically deficient mice. Expression of inflammatory and degradative molecules was lower in chondrocytes from destabilized joints from C5-deficient mice than C5-sufficient mice, and MAC induced production of these molecules in cultured chondrocytes. Further, MAC colocalized with matrix metalloprotease 13 (MMP13) and with activated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) around chondrocytes in human osteoarthritic cartilage. Our findings indicate that dysregulation of complement in synovial joints has a key role in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nm.2543

    View details for Web of Science ID 000297978000042

    View details for PubMedID 22057346

  • Chemerin158K Protein Is the Dominant Chemerin Isoform in Synovial and Cerebrospinal Fluids but Not in Plasma JOURNAL OF BIOLOGICAL CHEMISTRY Zhao, L., Yamaguchi, Y., Sharif, S., Du, X., Song, J. J., Lee, D. M., Recht, L. D., Robinson, W. H., Morser, J., Leung, L. L. 2011; 286 (45): 39520-39527


    Chemerin is a chemoattractant involved in immunity that may also function as an adipokine. Chemerin circulates as an inactive precursor (chem163S), and its activation requires proteolytic cleavages at its C terminus, involving proteases involved in coagulation, fibrinolysis, and inflammation. However, the key proteolytic steps in prochemerin activation in vivo remain to be established. Previously, we have shown that C-terminal cleavage of chem163S by plasmin to chem158K, followed by a carboxypeptidase cleavage, leads to the most active isoform, chem157S. To identify and quantify the in vivo chemerin isoforms in biological specimens, we developed specific ELISAs for chem163S, chem158K, and chem157S, using antibodies raised against peptides from the C terminus of the different chemerin isoforms. We found that the mean plasma concentrations of chem163S, chem158K, and chem157S were 40 ± 7.9, 8.1 ± 2.9, and 0.7 ± 0.8 ng/ml, respectively. The total level of cleaved and noncleaved chemerins in cerebrospinal fluids was ?10% of plasma levels whereas it was elevated ?2-fold in synovial fluids from patients with arthritis. On the other hand, the fraction of cleaved chemerins was much higher in synovial fluid and cerebrospinal fluid samples than in plasma (?75%, 50%, and 18% respectively). Chem158K was the dominant chemerin isoform, and it was not generated by ex vivo processing, indicating that cleavage of prochemerin at position Lys-158, whether by plasmin or another serine protease, represents a major step in prochemerin activation in vivo. Our study provides the first direct evidence that chemerin undergoes extensive proteolytic processing in vivo, underlining the importance of measuring individual isoforms.

    View details for DOI 10.1074/jbc.M111.258954

    View details for Web of Science ID 000296759800069

    View details for PubMedID 21930706

  • Plasma carboxypeptidase B downregulates inflammatory responses in autoimmune arthritis JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Song, J. J., Hwang, I., Cho, K. H., Garcia, M. A., Kim, A. J., Wang, T. H., Lindstrom, T. M., Lee, A. T., Nishimura, T., Zhao, L., Morser, J., Nesheim, M., Goodman, S. B., Lee, D. M., Bridges, S. L., Gregersen, P. K., Leung, L. L., Robinson, W. H. 2011; 121 (9): 3517-3527


    The immune and coagulation systems are both implicated in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Plasma carboxypeptidase B (CPB), which is activated by the thrombin/thrombomodulin complex, plays a procoagulant role during fibrin clot formation. However, an antiinflammatory role for CPB is suggested by the recent observation that CPB can cleave proinflammatory mediators, such as C5a, bradykinin, and osteopontin. Here, we show that CPB plays a central role in downregulating C5a-mediated inflammatory responses in autoimmune arthritis. CPB deficiency exacerbated inflammatory arthritis in a mouse model of RA, and cleavage of C5a by CPB suppressed the ability of C5a to recruit immune cells in vivo. In human patients with RA, genotyping of nonsynonymous SNPs in the CPB-encoding gene revealed that the allele encoding a CPB variant with longer half-life was associated with a lower risk of developing radiographically severe RA. Functionally, this CPB variant was more effective at abrogating the proinflammatory properties of C5a. Additionally, expression of both CPB and C5a in synovial fluid was higher in patients with RA than in those with osteoarthritis. These findings suggest that CPB plays a critical role in dampening local, C5a-mediated inflammation and represents a molecular link between inflammation and coagulation in autoimmune arthritis.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI46387

    View details for Web of Science ID 000294753700019

    View details for PubMedID 21804193

  • Tyrosine kinases in inflammatory dermatologic disease JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ACADEMY OF DERMATOLOGY Paniagua, R. T., Fiorentino, D. F., Chung, L., Robinson, W. H. 2011; 65 (2): 389-403


    Tyrosine kinases (TKs) are enzymes that catalyze the phosphorylation of tyrosine residues on protein substrates. They are key components of signaling pathways that drive an array of cellular responses including proliferation, differentiation, migration, and survival. Specific TKs have recently been identified as critical to the pathogenesis of several autoimmune and inflammatory diseases. Small-molecule inhibitors of TKs are emerging as a novel class of therapy that may provide benefit in certain patient subsets. In this review, we highlight TK signaling implicated in inflammatory dermatologic diseases, evaluate strategies aimed at inhibiting these aberrant signaling pathways, and discuss prospects for future drug development.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jaad.2010.04.026

    View details for Web of Science ID 000293311200017

    View details for PubMedID 20584561

  • Role of the Toll-like receptor pathway in the recognition of orthopedic implant wear-debris particles BIOMATERIALS Pearl, J. I., Ma, T., Irani, A. R., Huang, Z., Robinson, W. H., Smith, R. L., Goodman, S. B. 2011; 32 (24): 5535-5542


    The inflammatory response to prosthetic implant-derived wear particles is the primary cause of bone loss and aseptic loosening of implants, but the mechanisms by which macrophages recognize and respond to particles remain unknown. Studies of innate immunity demonstrate that Toll-like receptors (TLRs) recognize pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPS). All TLRs signal through myeloid differentiation factor 88 (MyD88), except TLR3 which signals through TIR domain containing adapter inducing interferon-beta (TRIF), and TLR4 which signals through both MyD88 and TRIF. We hypothesized that wear-debris particles may act as PAMPs/DAMPs and activate macrophages via TLRs. To test this hypothesis, we first demonstrated that inhibition of MyD88 decreases polymethylmethacrylate (PMMA) particle-induced production of TNF-? in RAW 264.7 macrophages. Next we compared particle-induced production of TNF-? among MyD88 knockout (MyD88(-/-)), TRIF knockout (TRIF(-/-)), and wild type (WT) murine macrophages. Relative to WT, disruption of MyD88 signaling diminished, and disruption of TRIF amplified the particle-induced production of TNF-?. Gene expression data indicated that this latter increase in TNF-? was due to a compensatory increase in expression of MyD88 associated components of the TLR pathway. Finally, using an in vivo model, MyD88(-/-) mice developed less particle-induced osteolysis than WT mice. These results indicate that the response to PMMA particles is partly dependent on MyD88, presumably as part of TLR signaling; MyD88 may represent a therapeutic target for prevention of wear debris-induced periprosthetic osteolysis.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.biomaterials.2011.04.046

    View details for Web of Science ID 000292431100001

    View details for PubMedID 21592562

  • Human peptidome display NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY Robinson, W. H., Steinman, L. 2011; 29 (6): 500-502

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nbt.1888

    View details for Web of Science ID 000291342100014

    View details for PubMedID 21654669

  • Chaperone Activity of alpha B-Crystallin Is Responsible for Its Incorrect Assignment as an Autoantigen in Multiple Sclerosis JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Rothbard, J. B., Zhao, X., Sharpe, O., Strohman, M. J., Kurnellas, M., Mellins, E. D., Robinson, W. H., Steinman, L. 2011; 186 (7): 4263-4268


    For 15 y, ? B-crystallin (heat shock protein [Hsp] B5) has been labeled an autoantigen in multiple sclerosis (MS) based on humoral and cellular responses found in humans and animal models. However, there have been several scientific inconsistencies with this assignment, ranging from studies demonstrating small differences in anticrystallin responses between patients and healthy individuals to the inability of crystallin-specific T cells to induce symptoms of experimental allergic encephalomyelitis in animal models. Experiments in this article demonstrate that the putative anti-HspB5 Abs from 23 MS patients cross-react with 7 other members of the human small Hsp family and were equally present in normal plasma. Biolayer interferometry demonstrates that the binding was temperature dependent, and that the calculated K(a) increased as the concentration of the sHsp decreased. These two patterns are characteristic of multiple binding sites with varying affinities, the composition of which changes with temperature, supporting the hypothesis that HspB5 bound the Ab and not the reverse. HspB5 also precipitated Ig heavy and L chains from sera from patients with MS. These results establish that small Hsps bind Igs with high affinity and refute much of the serological data used to assign ? B-crystallin as an autoantigen.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.1003934

    View details for Web of Science ID 000288751200051

    View details for PubMedID 21357544

  • Fishing for Biomarkers with Antigen Mimics CELL Lindstrom, T. M., Robinson, W. H. 2011; 144 (1): 13-15


    Current efforts to identify antibodies that are biomarkers of disease rely on knowing the antigens they target. In many diseases, however, the relevant antigens are unknown. Reddy et al. (2010) now present an approach for discovering antibody biomarkers that avoids the need for antigen identification.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cell.2010.12.022

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285993600003

    View details for PubMedID 21215365

  • Immune Complexes Containing Citrullinated Fibrinogen Costimulate Macrophages via Toll-like Receptor 4 and Fc gamma Receptor ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM Sokolove, J., Zhao, X., Chandra, P. E., Robinson, W. H. 2011; 63 (1): 53-62


    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is associated with the presence of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPAs). Nearly two-thirds of patients with ACPA-positive RA have immune complexes that contain citrullinated fibrinogen, and these citrullinated fibrinogen-containing immune complexes (cFb-IC) can exacerbate disease in murine models of RA; however, the exact role of such ACPA ICs in RA pathogenesis has remained elusive. We undertook the present study to investigate a novel mechanism by which ACPAs specifically targeting citrullinated fibrinogen may directly stimulate macrophage tumor necrosis factor (TNF) production.Murine or human macrophages were stimulated with native fibrinogen (nFb), cFb, or in vitro-generated nFb-IC or cFb-IC, and TNF production was measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. ICs were generated with either polyclonal anti-Fb antibodies or pooled IgG from patients with ACPA-positive RA. To evaluate the role of the Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR-4)/myeloid differentiation protein (MyD88) pathway and the Fc? receptor (Fc?R) pathway in the induction of TNF by Fb and Fb-IC, parallel experiments were performed using 1) TLR-4-deficient or MyD88-deficient macrophages, and 2) inhibitors of TLR-4 or Fc?R.Citrullinated Fb stimulated macrophage TNF production more potently than did native Fb. Incorporation of cFb into ICs augmented its ability to stimulate TNF production by macrophages. Stimulation of TNF by cFb was dependent on TLR-4 and MyD88, while stimulation by cFb-IC was dependent on both TLR-4/MyD88 and Fc?R.We demonstrated that cFb-IC can costimulate macrophages via dual engagement of TLR-4 and Fc?R, resulting in the synergistic induction of TNF production. Our findings suggest a potential role of citrullination in increasing the potency of an endogenous innate immune ligand and provide insight into the mechanism by which anticitrulline autoimmunity may contribute to the onset and propagation of inflammation in RA.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.30081

    View details for Web of Science ID 000285934100008

    View details for PubMedID 20954191

  • Novel multiplex technology for diagnostic characterization of rheumatoid arthritis ARTHRITIS RESEARCH & THERAPY Chandra, P. E., Sokolove, J., Hipp, B. G., Lindstrom, T. M., Elder, J. T., Reveille, J. D., Eberl, H., Klause, U., Robinson, W. H. 2011; 13 (3)


    The aim of this study was to develop a clinical-grade, automated, multiplex system for the differential diagnosis and molecular stratification of rheumatoid arthritis (RA).We profiled autoantibodies, cytokines, and bone-turnover products in sera from 120 patients with a diagnosis of RA of < 6 months' duration, as well as in sera from 27 patients with ankylosing spondylitis, 28 patients with psoriatic arthritis, and 25 healthy individuals. We used a commercial bead assay to measure cytokine levels and developed an array assay based on novel multiplex technology (Immunological Multi-Parameter Chip Technology) to evaluate autoantibody reactivities and bone-turnover markers. Data were analyzed by Significance Analysis of Microarrays and hierarchical clustering software.We developed a highly reproducible, automated, multiplex biomarker assay that can reliably distinguish between RA patients and healthy individuals or patients with other inflammatory arthritides. Identification of distinct biomarker signatures enabled molecular stratification of early-stage RA into clinically relevant subtypes. In this initial study, multiplex measurement of a subset of the differentiating biomarkers provided high sensitivity and specificity in the diagnostic discrimination of RA: Use of 3 biomarkers yielded a sensitivity of 84.2% and a specificity of 93.8%, and use of 4 biomarkers a sensitivity of 59.2% and a specificity of 96.3%.The multiplex biomarker assay described herein has the potential to diagnose RA with greater sensitivity and specificity than do current clinical tests. Its ability to stratify RA patients in an automated and reproducible manner paves the way for the development of assays that can guide RA therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/ar3383

    View details for Web of Science ID 000297149700032

    View details for PubMedID 21702928

  • The Number of Elevated Cytokines and Chemokines in Preclinical Seropositive Rheumatoid Arthritis Predicts Time to Diagnosis in an Age-Dependent Manner ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM Deane, K. D., O'Donnell, C. I., Hueber, W., Majka, D. S., Lazar, A. A., Derber, L. A., Gilliland, W. R., Edison, J. D., Norris, J. M., Robinson, W. H., Holers, V. M. 2010; 62 (11): 3161-3172


    To evaluate levels of biomarkers in preclinical rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and to use elevated biomarkers to develop a model for the prediction of time to future diagnosis of seropositive RA.Stored samples obtained from 73 military cases with seropositive RA prior to RA diagnosis and from controls (mean 2.9 samples per case; samples collected a mean of 6.6 years prior to diagnosis) were tested for rheumatoid factor (RF) isotypes, anti-cyclic citrullinated peptide (anti-CCP) antibodies, 14 cytokines and chemokines (by bead-based assay), and C-reactive protein (CRP).Preclinical positivity for anti-CCP and/or ?2 RF isotypes was >96% specific for future RA. In preclinical RA, levels of the following were positive in a significantly greater proportion of RA cases versus controls: interleukin-1? (IL-1?), IL-1?, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12p40, IL-12p70, IL-15, fibroblast growth factor 2, flt-3 ligand, tumor necrosis factor ?, interferon-?-inducible 10-kd protein, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and CRP. Also, increasing numbers of elevated cytokines/chemokines were present in cases nearer to the time of diagnosis. RA patients who were ?40 years old at diagnosis had a higher proportion of samples positive for cytokines/chemokines 5-10 years prior to diagnosis than did patients who were <40 years old at diagnosis (P < 0.01). In regression modeling using only case samples positive for autoantibodies highly specific for future RA, increasing numbers of cytokines/chemokines were predictive of decreased time to diagnosis, and the predicted time to diagnosis based on cytokines/chemokines was longer in older compared with younger cases.Levels of autoantibodies, cytokines/chemokines, and CRP are elevated in the preclinical period of RA development. In preclinical autoantibody-positive cases, the number of elevated cytokines/chemokines is predictive of the time of diagnosis of future RA in an age-dependent manner.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.27638

    View details for Web of Science ID 000283776400005

    View details for PubMedID 20597112

  • A model for harmonizing flow cytometry in clinical trials. Nature immunology Maecker, H. T., McCoy, J. P., Amos, M., Elliott, J., Gaigalas, A., Wang, L., Aranda, R., Banchereau, J., Boshoff, C., Braun, J., Korin, Y., Reed, E., Cho, J., Hafler, D., Davis, M., Fathman, C. G., Robinson, W., Denny, T., Weinhold, K., Desai, B., Diamond, B., Gregersen, P., Di Meglio, P., Nestle, F. O., Peakman, M., Villanova, F., Ferbas, J., Field, E., Kantor, A., Kawabata, T., Komocsar, W., Lotze, M., Nepom, J., Ochs, H., O'Lone, R., Phippard, D., Plevy, S., Rich, S., Roederer, M., Rotrosen, D., Yeh, J. 2010; 11 (11): 975-978


    Complexities in sample handling, instrument setup and data analysis are barriers to the effective use of flow cytometry to monitor immunological parameters in clinical trials. The novel use of a central laboratory may help mitigate these issues.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ni1110-975

    View details for PubMedID 20959798

  • Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Role for Immunosenescence? JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN GERIATRICS SOCIETY Lindstrom, T. M., Robinson, W. H. 2010; 58 (8): 1565-1575


    Aging is accompanied by a progressive decline in the integrity of the immune system, a process known as immunosenescence. Pathological features typical of immune dysfunction in older adults, encompassing dysregulation of innate and adaptive immune responses, characterize rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease whose incidence increases with age. Recent evidence suggests that certain features of immunosenescence, such as the decrease in T-cell generation and diversity, may contribute to the development of RA. Thus, physiological immunosenescence may render older adults susceptible to RA, and premature immunosenescence may contribute to the development of RA in young adults. In addition, other features of immunosenescence may result from the chronic immune stimulation that occurs in RA and lead to worsening of the disease. This article reviews the immunopathological features common to aging and RA and discusses the mechanisms by which immunosenescence may contribute to the development or progression of RA.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2010.02965.x

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280643700021

    View details for PubMedID 20942872

  • Natural killer cells trigger osteoclastogenesis and bone destruction in arthritis PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Soederstroem, K., Stein, E., Colmenero, P., Purath, U., Mueller-Ladner, U., de Matos, C. T., Tarner, I. H., Robinson, W. H., Engleman, E. G. 2010; 107 (29): 13028-13033


    Osteoclasts are bone-eroding cells that develop from monocytic precursor cells in the presence of receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand (RANKL) and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF). Osteoclasts are essential for physiological bone remodeling, but localized excessive osteoclast activity is responsible for the periarticular bone destruction that characteristically occurs in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The origin of osteoclasts at sites of bone erosion in RA is unknown. Natural killer (NK) cells, as well as monocytes, are abundant in the inflamed joints of patients with RA. We show here that such NK cells express both RANKL and M-CSF and are frequently associated with CD14(+) monocytes in the RA synovium. Moreover, when synovial NK cells are cocultured with monocytes in vitro, they trigger their differentiation into osteoclasts, a process dependent on RANKL and M-CSF. As in RA, NK cells in the joints of mice with collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) express RANKL. Depletion of NK cells from mice before the induction of CIA reduces the severity of subsequent arthritis and almost completely prevents bone erosion. These results suggest that NK cells may play an important role in the destruction of bone associated with inflammatory arthritis.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1000546107

    View details for Web of Science ID 000280144500059

    View details for PubMedID 20615964

  • Biomarkers for rheumatoid arthritis: making it personal. Scandinavian journal of clinical and laboratory investigation. Supplementum Lindstrom, T. M., Robinson, W. H. 2010; 242: 79-84


    Effective treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) has been hampered by the heterogeneity of the disease. Although early intervention can result in disease remission, it requires early diagnosis - and current diagnostic tests are not sufficiently accurate or sensitive in the early stages of RA. As a result, RA is typically diagnosed only once damage to the joints has already begun, a time at which the window for optimal treatment may have been missed. Furthermore, a significant proportion of RA patients do not respond to any given therapeutic. Research efforts are increasingly focused on discovery of biomarkers that enable early diagnosis and stratification of RA, and thus the implementation of timely, targeted therapy. Biomarkers have the potential to transform the management of RA by enabling not only early diagnosis, but also assessment and prediction of disease severity, selection of therapy, and monitoring of response to therapy. In this mini review, we discuss the development of molecular biomarkers for RA.

    View details for DOI 10.3109/00365513.2010.493406

    View details for PubMedID 20515283

  • Endogenous antibodies promote rapid myelin clearance and effective axon regeneration after nerve injury PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Vargas, M. E., Watanabe, J., Singh, S. J., Robinson, W. H., Barres, B. A. 2010; 107 (26): 11993-11998


    Degenerating myelin inhibits axon regeneration and is rapidly cleared after peripheral (PNS) but not central nervous system (CNS) injury. To better understand mechanisms underlying rapid PNS myelin clearance, we tested the potential role of the humoral immune system. Here, we show that endogenous antibodies are required for rapid and robust PNS myelin clearance and axon regeneration. B-cell knockout JHD mice display a significant delay in macrophage influx, myelin clearance, and axon regeneration. Rapid clearance of myelin debris is restored in mutant JHD mice by passive transfer of antibodies from naïve WT mice or by an anti-PNS myelin antibody, but not by delivery of nonneural antibodies. We demonstrate that degenerating nerve tissue is targeted by preexisting endogenous antibodies that control myelin clearance by promoting macrophage entrance and phagocytic activity. These results demonstrate a role for immunoglobulin (Ig) in clearing damaged self during healing and suggest that the immune-privileged status of the CNS may contribute to failure of CNS myelin clearance and axon regeneration after injury.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1001948107

    View details for Web of Science ID 000279332300061

    View details for PubMedID 20547838

  • A Multitude of Kinases-Which are the Best Targets in Treating Rheumatoid Arthritis? RHEUMATIC DISEASE CLINICS OF NORTH AMERICA Lindstrom, T. M., Robinson, W. H. 2010; 36 (2): 367-?


    Small-molecule kinase inhibitors are increasingly taking center stage in the quest for new drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). By targeting kinases, small-molecule inhibitors can exert potent anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory effects; the success of small-molecule kinase inhibitors in the treatment of cancer has spurred efforts to identify kinases that could be targeted for the treatment of chronic inflammatory disorders, such as RA. Although many kinase inhibitors have proved efficacious in the treatment of inflammatory arthritis in animals few have been tested in RA clinical trials. This article discusses the challenges and progress in the pursuit of small-molecule kinase inhibitors for RA, including lessons learned from the failure of erstwhile frontrunner inhibitors and the promise of inhibitors making their debut on the RA stage.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.rdc.2010.02.005

    View details for Web of Science ID 000279254800010

    View details for PubMedID 20510239

  • c-Fms-mediated differentiation and priming of monocyte lineage cells play a central role in autoimmune arthritis ARTHRITIS RESEARCH & THERAPY Paniagua, R. T., Chang, A., Mariano, M. M., Stein, E. A., Wang, Q., Lindstrom, T. M., Sharpe, O., Roscow, C., Ho, P. P., Lee, D. M., Robinson, W. H. 2010; 12 (1)


    Tyrosine kinases are key mediators of multiple signaling pathways implicated in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). We previously demonstrated that imatinib mesylate--a Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved, antineoplastic drug that potently inhibits the tyrosine kinases Abl, c-Kit, platelet-derived growth factor receptor (PDGFR), and c-Fms--ameliorates murine autoimmune arthritis. However, which of the imatinib-targeted kinases is the principal culprit in disease pathogenesis remains unknown. Here we examine the role of c-Fms in autoimmune arthritis.We tested the therapeutic efficacy of orally administered imatinib or GW2580, a small molecule that specifically inhibits c-Fms, in three mouse models of RA: collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), anti-collagen antibody-induced arthritis (CAIA), and K/BxN serum transfer-induced arthritis (K/BxN). Efficacy was evaluated by visual scoring of arthritis severity, paw thickness measurements, and histological analysis. We assessed the in vivo effects of imatinib and GW2580 on macrophage infiltration of synovial joints in CIA, and their in vitro effects on macrophage and osteoclast differentiation, and on osteoclast-mediated bone resorption. Further, we determined the effects of imatinib and GW2580 on the ability of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF; the ligand for c-Fms) to prime bone marrow-derived macrophages to produce tumor necrosis factor (TNF) upon subsequent Fc receptor ligation. Finally, we measured M-CSF levels in synovial fluid from patients with RA, osteoarthritis (OA), or psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and levels of total and phosphorylated c-Fms in synovial tissue from patients with RA.GW2580 was as efficacious as imatinib in reducing arthritis severity in CIA, CAIA, and K/BxN models of RA. Specific inhibition of c-Fms abrogated (i) infiltration of macrophages into synovial joints of arthritic mice; (ii) differentiation of monocytes into macrophages and osteoclasts; (iii) osteoclast-mediated bone resorption; and (iv) priming of macrophages to produce TNF upon Fc receptor stimulation, an important trigger of synovitis in RA. Expression and activation of c-Fms in RA synovium were high, and levels of M-CSF were higher in RA synovial fluid than in OA or PsA synovial fluid.These results suggest that c-Fms plays a central role in the pathogenesis of RA by mediating the differentiation and priming of monocyte lineage cells. Therapeutic targeting of c-Fms could provide benefit in RA.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/ar2940

    View details for Web of Science ID 000278012700045

    View details for PubMedID 20181277

  • Autoimmunity against Fibrinogen Mediates Inflammatory Arthritis in Mice JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Ho, P. P., Lee, L. Y., Zhao, X., Tomooka, B. H., Paniagua, R. T., Sharpe, O., Benbarak, M. J., Chandra, P. E., Hueber, W., Steinman, L., Robinson, W. H. 2010; 184 (1): 379-390


    Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune synovitis characterized by the presence of anticitrullinated protein Abs, although the exact targets and role of anticitrullinated protein autoimmunity in the pathogenesis of RA remain to be defined. Fibrinogen, which can be citrullinated, has recently emerged as a candidate autoantigen. To determine whether autoimmunity against fibrinogen can mediate inflammatory arthritis, we immunized a variety of common mouse strains with fibrinogen and found that DBA/1 and SJL mice developed an inflammatory and erosive arthritis. Mice with fibrinogen-induced arthritis (FIA) possess fibrinogen-reactive T cells that produce the proinflammatory cytokines IL-6, IL-17, TNF-alpha, and IFN-gamma. FIA can be adoptively transferred with either plasma or fibrinogen-specific T cells from diseased mice. Mice with FIA possess rheumatoid factor, circulating immune complexes, and anticyclic citrullinated peptide Abs, all of which are characteristic of human RA. These observations demonstrate that fibrinogen is arthritogenic in mice and that the pathogenesis of FIA is mediated by both autoantibodies and fibrinogen-reactive T cells.

    View details for DOI 10.4049/jimmunol.0901639

    View details for Web of Science ID 000272985300043

    View details for PubMedID 19949094

  • Autoimmune Disease Classification by Inverse Association with SNP Alleles PLOS GENETICS Sirota, M., Schaub, M. A., Batzoglou, S., Robinson, W. H., Butte, A. J. 2009; 5 (12)


    With multiple genome-wide association studies (GWAS) performed across autoimmune diseases, there is a great opportunity to study the homogeneity of genetic architectures across autoimmune disease. Previous approaches have been limited in the scope of their analysis and have failed to properly incorporate the direction of allele-specific disease associations for SNPs. In this work, we refine the notion of a genetic variation profile for a given disease to capture strength of association with multiple SNPs in an allele-specific fashion. We apply this method to compare genetic variation profiles of six autoimmune diseases: multiple sclerosis (MS), ankylosing spondylitis (AS), autoimmune thyroid disease (ATD), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Crohn's disease (CD), and type 1 diabetes (T1D), as well as five non-autoimmune diseases. We quantify pair-wise relationships between these diseases and find two broad clusters of autoimmune disease where SNPs that make an individual susceptible to one class of autoimmune disease also protect from diseases in the other autoimmune class. We find that RA and AS form one such class, and MS and ATD another. We identify specific SNPs and genes with opposite risk profiles for these two classes. We furthermore explore individual SNPs that play an important role in defining similarities and differences between disease pairs. We present a novel, systematic, cross-platform approach to identify allele-specific relationships between disease pairs based on genetic variation as well as the individual SNPs which drive the relationships. While recognizing similarities between diseases might lead to identifying novel treatment options, detecting differences between diseases previously thought to be similar may point to key novel disease-specific genes and pathways.

    View details for DOI 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000792

    View details for Web of Science ID 000273469700042

    View details for PubMedID 20041220

  • Thrombin-Activatable Carboxypeptidase B Cleavage of Osteopontin Regulates Neutrophil Survival and Synoviocyte Binding in Rheumatoid Arthritis ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM Sharif, S. A., Du, X., Myles, T., Song, J. J., Price, E., Lee, D. M., Goodman, S. B., Nagashima, M., Morser, J., Robinson, W. H., Leung, L. L. 2009; 60 (10): 2902-2912


    Osteopontin (OPN) is a proinflammatory cytokine that plays an important role in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). OPN can be cleaved by thrombin, resulting in OPN-R and exposing the cryptic C-terminal alpha4beta1 and alpha9beta1 integrin-binding motif (SVVYGLR). Thrombin-activatable carboxypeptidase B (CPB), also called thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor, removes the C-terminal arginine from OPN-R, generating OPN-L and abrogating its enhanced cell binding. We undertook this study to investigate the roles of OPN-R and OPN-L in synoviocyte adhesion, which contributes to the formation of invasive pannus, and in neutrophil survival, which affects inflammatory infiltrates in RA.Using specifically developed enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays, we tested the synovial fluid of patients with RA, osteoarthritis (OA), and psoriatic arthritis (PsA) to determine OPN-R, OPN-L, and full-length OPN (OPN-FL) levels.Elevated levels of OPN-R and OPN-L were found in synovial fluid samples from RA patients, but not in samples from OA or PsA patients. Increased levels of OPN-R and OPN-L correlated with increased levels of multiple inflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha and interleukin-6. Immunohistochemical analyses revealed robust expression of OPN-FL, but only minimal expression of OPN-R, in RA synovium, suggesting that cleaved OPN is released into synovial fluid. In cellular assays, OPN-FL, and to a lesser extent OPN-R and OPN-L, had an antiapoptotic effect on neutrophils. OPN-R augmented RA fibroblast-like synoviocyte binding mediated by SVVYGLR binding to alpha4beta1, whereas OPN-L did not.Thrombin activation of OPN (resulting in OPN-R) and its subsequent inactivation by thrombin-activatable CPB (generating OPN-L) occurs locally within inflamed joints in RA. Our data suggest that thrombin-activatable CPB plays a central homeostatic role in RA by regulating neutrophil viability and reducing synoviocyte adhesion.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.24814

    View details for Web of Science ID 000270696600007

    View details for PubMedID 19790060

  • Engagement of CD81 induces ezrin tyrosine phosphorylation and its cellular redistribution with filamentous actin JOURNAL OF CELL SCIENCE Coffey, G. P., Rajapaksa, R., Liu, R., Sharpe, O., Kuo, C., Krauss, S. W., Sagi, Y., Davis, R. E., Staudt, L. M., Sharman, J. P., Robinson, W. H., Levy, S. 2009; 122 (17): 3137-3144


    CD81 is a tetraspanin family member involved in diverse cellular interactions in the immune and nervous systems and in cell fusion events. However, the mechanism of action of CD81 and of other tetraspanins has not been defined. We reasoned that identifying signaling molecules downstream of CD81 would provide mechanistic clues. We engaged CD81 on the surface of B-lymphocytes and identified the induced tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins by mass spectrometry. This analysis showed that the most prominent tyrosine phosphorylated protein was ezrin, an actin-binding protein and a member of the ezrin-radixin-moesin family. We also found that CD81 engagement induces spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) and that Syk was involved in tyrosine phosphorylation of ezrin. After engagement of CD81, it colocalized with ezrin and F-actin, and this association was disrupted when Syk activation was blocked. Taken together, these studies suggest a model in which CD81 interfaces between the plasma membrane and the cytoskeleton by activating Syk, mobilizing ezrin, and recruiting F-actin to facilitate cytoskeletal reorganization and cell signaling. This mechanism might explain the pleiotropic effects induced in response to stimulation of cells by anti-CD81 antibodies or by the hepatitis C virus, which uses this molecule as its key receptor.

    View details for DOI 10.1242/jcs.045658

    View details for Web of Science ID 000269122000013

    View details for PubMedID 19654214

  • Neuroprotective natural antibodies to assemblies of amyloidogenic peptides decrease with normal aging and advancing Alzheimer's disease PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Britschgi, M., Olin, C. E., Johns, H. T., Takeda-Uchimura, Y., LeMieux, M. C., Rufibach, K., Rajadas, J., Zhang, H., Tomooka, B., Robinson, W. H., Clark, C. M., Fagan, A. M., Galasko, D. R., Holtzman, D. M., Jutel, M., Kaye, J. A., Lemere, C. A., Leszek, J., Li, G., Peskind, E. R., Quinn, J. F., Yesavage, J. A., Ghiso, J. A., Wyss-Coray, T. 2009; 106 (29): 12145-12150


    A number of distinct beta-amyloid (Abeta) variants or multimers have been implicated in Alzheimer's disease (AD), and antibodies recognizing such peptides are in clinical trials. Humans have natural Abeta-specific antibodies, but their diversity, abundance, and function in the general population remain largely unknown. Here, we demonstrate with peptide microarrays the presence of natural antibodies against known toxic Abeta and amyloidogenic non-Abeta species in plasma samples and cerebrospinal fluid of AD patients and healthy controls aged 21-89 years. Antibody reactivity was most prominent against oligomeric assemblies of Abeta and pyroglutamate or oxidized residues, and IgGs specific for oligomeric preparations of Abeta1-42 in particular declined with age and advancing AD. Most individuals showed unexpected antibody reactivities against peptides unique to autosomal dominant forms of dementia (mutant Abeta, ABri, ADan) and IgGs isolated from plasma of AD patients or healthy controls protected primary neurons from Abeta toxicity. Aged vervets showed similar patterns of plasma IgG antibodies against amyloid peptides, and after immunization with Abeta the monkeys developed high titers not only against Abeta peptides but also against ABri and ADan peptides. Our findings support the concept of conformation-specific, cross-reactive antibodies that may protect against amyloidogenic toxic peptides. If a therapeutic benefit of Abeta antibodies can be confirmed in AD patients, stimulating the production of such neuroprotective antibodies or passively administering them to the elderly population may provide a preventive measure toward AD.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.0904866106

    View details for Web of Science ID 000268178400059

    View details for PubMedID 19581601

  • Genomics and proteomics: Applications in autoimmune diseases. Pharmacogenomics and personalized medicine Hueber, W., Robinson, W. H. 2009; 2: 39-48


    Tremendous progress has been made over the past decade in the development and refinement of genomic and proteomic technologies for the identification of novel drug targets and molecular signatures associated with clinically important disease states, disease subsets, or differential responses to therapies. The rapid progress in high-throughput technologies has been preceded and paralleled by the elucidation of cytokine networks, followed by the stepwise clinical development of pathway-specific biological therapies that revolutionized the treatment of autoimmune diseases. Together, these advances provide opportunities for a long-anticipated personalized medicine approach to the treatment of autoimmune disease. The ever-increasing numbers of novel, innovative therapies will need to be harnessed wisely to achieve optimal long-term outcomes in as many patients as possible while complying with the demands of health authorities and health care providers for evidence-based, economically sound prescription of these expensive drugs. Genomic and proteomic profiling of patients with autoimmune diseases holds great promise in two major clinical areas: (1) rapid identification of new targets for the development of innovative therapies and (2) identification of patients who will experience optimal benefit and minimal risk from a specific (targeted) therapy. In this review, we attempt to capture important recent developments in the application of genomic and proteomic technologies to translational research by discussing informative examples covering a diversity of autoimmune diseases.

    View details for PubMedID 23226033

  • Regulation of tissue inflammation by thrombi n-activatable carboxypeptidase B (or TAFI) MOLECULAR IMMUNOLOGY Leung, L. L., Myles, T., Nishimura, T., Song, J. J., Robinson, W. H. 2008; 45 (16): 4080-4083


    Thrombin-activatable procarboxypeptidase B (proCPB or thrombin-activatable fibrinolysis inhibitor or TAFI) is a plasma procarboxypeptidase that is activated by the thrombin-thrombomodulin complex on the vascular endothelial surface. The activated CPB removes the newly exposed carboxyl terminal lysines in the partially digested fibrin clot, diminishes tissue plasminogen activator and plasminogen binding, and protects the clot from premature lysis. We have recently shown that CPB is catalytically more efficient than plasma CPN, the major plasma anaphylatoxin inhibitor, in inhibiting bradykinin, activated complement C3a, C5a, and thrombin-cleaved osteopontin in vitro. Using a thrombin mutant (E229K) that has minimal procoagulant properties but retains the ability to activate protein C and proCPB in vivo, we showed that infusion of E229K thrombin into wild-type mice reduced bradykinin-induced hypotension but it had no effect in proCPB-deficient mice, indicating that the beneficial effect of E229K thrombin is mediated through its activation of proCPB and not protein C. Similarly proCPB-deficient mice displayed enhanced pulmonary inflammation in a C5a-induced alveolitis model and E229K thrombin ameliorated the magnitude of alveolitis in wild-type but not proCPB-deficient mice. ProCPB-deficient mice also displayed enhanced arthritis in an inflammatory arthritis model. Thus, our in vitro and in vivo data support the thesis that thrombin-activatable CPB has broad anti-inflammatory properties. By specific cleavage of the carboxyl terminal arginines from C3a, C5a, bradykinin and thrombin-cleaved osteopontin, it inactivates these active inflammatory mediators. Along with the activation of protein C, the activation of proCPB by the endothelial thrombin-thrombomodulin complex represents a homeostatic feedback mechanism in regulating thrombin's pro-inflammatory functions in vivo.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molimm.2008.07.010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000260245000006

    View details for PubMedID 18706698

  • Genomic and proteomic analysis reveals a threshold level of MYC required for tumor maintenance CANCER RESEARCH Shachaf, C. M., Gentles, A. J., Elchuri, S., Sahoo, D., Soen, Y., Sharpe, O., Perez, O. D., Chang, M., Mitchel, D., Robinson, W. H., Dill, D., Nolan, G. P., Plevritis, S. K., Felsher, D. W. 2008; 68 (13): 5132-5142


    MYC overexpression has been implicated in the pathogenesis of most types of human cancers. MYC is likely to contribute to tumorigenesis by its effects on global gene expression. Previously, we have shown that the loss of MYC overexpression is sufficient to reverse tumorigenesis. Here, we show that there is a precise threshold level of MYC expression required for maintaining the tumor phenotype, whereupon there is a switch from a gene expression program of proliferation to a state of proliferative arrest and apoptosis. Oligonucleotide microarray analysis and quantitative PCR were used to identify changes in expression in 3,921 genes, of which 2,348 were down-regulated and 1,573 were up-regulated. Critical changes in gene expression occurred at or near the MYC threshold, including genes implicated in the regulation of the G(1)-S and G(2)-M cell cycle checkpoints and death receptor/apoptosis signaling. Using two-dimensional protein analysis followed by mass spectrometry, phospho-flow fluorescence-activated cell sorting, and antibody arrays, we also identified changes at the protein level that contributed to MYC-dependent tumor regression. Proteins involved in mRNA translation decreased below threshold levels of MYC. Thus, at the MYC threshold, there is a loss of its ability to maintain tumorigenesis, with associated shifts in gene and protein expression that reestablish cell cycle checkpoints, halt protein translation, and promote apoptosis.

    View details for DOI 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-07-6192

    View details for Web of Science ID 000257415300024

    View details for PubMedID 18593912

  • Complement receptor CR2/CR1 deficiency protects mice from collagen-induced arthritis and associates with reduced autoantibodies to type II collagen and citrullinated antigens MOLECULAR IMMUNOLOGY Kuhn, K. A., Cozine, C. L., Tomooka, B., Robinson, W. H., Holers, V. M. 2008; 45 (10): 2808-2819


    Collagen-induced arthritis (CIA), a model of autoimmune inflammatory arthritis, depends upon complement activation and effective B cell responses. To determine the importance of complement receptors CR2/CR1 in CIA, the Cr2-/- genotype was backcrossed onto the DBA/1j strain. CIA was induced by immunization with bovine type II collagen in CFA on days 0 and 21. Cr2-/- mice demonstrated a significantly diminished arthritis severity, decreased antibodies to bovine and murine collagen, and a significant reduction in antibodies to citrullinated antigens. Autoantibodies to citrullinated antigens have been shown to amplify anti-type II collagen passive transfer arthritis. To test the hypothesis that that simple replacement of such antibodies might re-establish severe disease in Cr2-/- mice, monoclonal antibodies to citrullinated antigens were administered to mice during the disease course. Although citrullinated antigens targeted by these antibodies were present within the joints of all mice, addition of these monoclonal antibodies increased disease severity only in Cr2+/+ mice. Taken together, these data suggest that CR2/CR1 are required to develop robust autoimmunity in the CIA model and that amplification of arthritis by antibodies to citrullinated antigens depends on factor(s) absent in arthritic Cr2-/- mice.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.molimm.2008.01.036

    View details for Web of Science ID 000256318800011

    View details for PubMedID 18374982

  • Epitope spreading to citrullinated antigens in mouse models of autoimmune arthritis and demyelination ARTHRITIS RESEARCH & THERAPY Kidd, B. A., Ho, P. P., Sharpe, O., Zhao, X., Tomooka, B. H., Kanter, J. L., Steinman, L., Robinson, W. H. 2008; 10 (5)


    Anti-citrullinated protein antibodies have a diagnostic role in rheumatoid arthritis (RA); however, little is known about their origins and contribution to pathogenesis. Citrullination is the post-translational conversion of arginine to citrulline by peptidyl arginine deiminase, and increased citrullination of proteins is observed in the joint tissue in RA and in brain tissue in multiple sclerosis (MS).We applied synovial and myelin protein arrays to examine epitope spreading of B cell responses to citrullinated epitopes in both the collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) model for RA and the experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) model for MS. Synovial and myelin protein arrays contain a spectrum of proteins and peptides, including native and citrullinated forms, representing candidate autoantigens in RA and MS, respectively. We applied these arrays to characterise the specificity of autoantibodies in serial serum samples derived from mice with acute and chronic stages of CIA and EAE.In samples from pre-disease CIA and acute-disease EAE, we observed autoantibody targeting of the immunising antigen and responses to a limited set of citrullinated epitopes. Over the course of diseases, the autoantibody responses expanded to target multiple citrullinated epitopes in both CIA and EAE. Using immunoblotting and mass spectrometry analysis, we identified citrullination of multiple polypeptides in CIA joint and EAE brain tissue that have not previously been described as citrullinated.Our results suggest that anti-citrulline antibody responses develop in the early stages of CIA and EAE, and that autoimmune inflammation results in citrullination of joint proteins in CIA and brain proteins in EAE, thereby creating neoantigens that become additional targets in epitope spreading of autoimmune responses.

    View details for DOI 10.1186/ar2523

    View details for Web of Science ID 000263644500038

    View details for PubMedID 18826638

  • Induction of antigen-specific tolerance in multiple sclerosis after immunization with DNA encoding myelin basic protein in a randomized, placebo-controlled phase 1/2 trial ARCHIVES OF NEUROLOGY Bar-Or, A., Vollmer, T., Antel, J., Arnold, D. L., Bodner, C. A., Campagnolo, D., Gianettoni, J., Jalili, F., Kachuck, N., Lapierre, Y., Niino, M., Oger, J., Price, M., Rhodes, S., Robinson, W. H., Shi, F., Utz, P. J., Valone, F., Weiner, L., Steinman, L., Garren, H. 2007; 64 (10): 1407-1415


    To assess safety and immune modulation by BHT-3009, a tolerizing DNA vaccine encoding full-length human myelin basic protein, in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).The study was a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Subjects receiving placebo were crossed over into an active arm after treatment unblinding.The trial was conducted at 4 academic institutions within North America. Patients Thirty patients with relapsing-remitting or secondary progressive MS who were not taking any other disease-modifying drugs were enrolled in the trial. Further, the patients were required to have either 1 to 5 gadolinium-enhancing lesions on screening brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a relapse in the previous 2 years, or disease worsening in the previous 2 years.BHT-3009 was administered as intramuscular injections at weeks 1, 3, 5, and 9 after randomization into the trial, with or without 80 mg of daily oral atorvastatin calcium in combination. Three dose levels of BHT-3009 were tested (0.5 mg, 1.5 mg, and 3 mg).The primary outcome measures were safety and tolerability of BHT-3009. Secondary outcome measures included the number and volume of gadolinium-enhanced lesions on MRI, relapses, and analysis of antigen-specific immune responses.BHT-3009 was safe and well tolerated, provided favorable trends on brain MRI, and produced beneficial antigen-specific immune changes. These immune changes consisted of a marked decrease in proliferation of interferon-gamma-producing, myelin-reactive CD4+ T cells from peripheral blood and a reduction in titers of myelin-specific autoantibodies from cerebral spinal fluid as assessed by protein microarrays. We did not observe a substantial benefit of the atorvastatin combination compared with BHT-3009 alone.In patients with MS, BHT-3009 is safe and induces antigen-specific immune tolerance with concordant reduction of inflammatory lesions on brain MRI.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000249998400004

    View details for PubMedID 17698695

  • Protective and therapeutic role for alpha B-crystallin in autoimmune demyelination NATURE Ousman, S. S., Tomooka, B. H., Van Noort, J. M., Wawrousek, E. F., O'Connor, K. C., Hafler, D. A., Sobel, R. A., Robinson, W. H., Steinman, L. 2007; 448 (7152): 474-U7


    alphaB-crystallin (CRYAB) is the most abundant gene transcript present in early active multiple sclerosis lesions, whereas such transcripts are absent in normal brain tissue. This crystallin has anti-apoptotic and neuroprotective functions. CRYAB is the major target of CD4+ T-cell immunity to the myelin sheath from multiple sclerosis brain. The pathophysiological implications of this immune response were investigated here. We demonstrate that CRYAB is a potent negative regulator acting as a brake on several inflammatory pathways in both the immune system and central nervous system (CNS). Cryab-/- mice showed worse experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) at the acute and progressive phases, with higher Th1 and Th17 cytokine secretion from T cells and macrophages, and more intense CNS inflammation, compared with their wild-type counterparts. Furthermore, Cryab-/- astrocytes showed more cleaved caspase-3 and more TUNEL staining, indicating an anti-apoptotic function of Cryab. Antibody to CRYAB was detected in cerebrospinal fluid from multiple sclerosis patients and in sera from mice with EAE. Administration of recombinant CRYAB ameliorated EAE. Thus, the immune response against a negative regulator of inflammation, CRYAB, in multiple sclerosis, would exacerbate inflammation and demyelination. This can be countered by giving CRYAB itself for therapy of ongoing disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nature05935

    View details for Web of Science ID 000248302700047

    View details for PubMedID 17568699

  • Proteomic analysis of secreted proteins in early rheumatoid arthritis: anti-citrulline autoreactivity is associated with up regulation of proinflammatory cytokines ANNALS OF THE RHEUMATIC DISEASES Hueber, W., Tomooka, B. H., Zhao, X., Kidd, B. A., Drijfhout, J. W., Fries, J. F., van Venrooij, W. J., Metzger, A. L., Genovese, M. C., Robinson, W. H. 2007; 66 (6): 712-719


    To identify peripheral blood autoantibody and cytokine profiles that characterise clinically relevant subgroups of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis using arthritis antigen microarrays and a multiplex cytokine assay.Serum samples from 56 patients with a diagnosis of rheumatoid arthritis of <6 months' duration were tested. Cytokine profiles were also determined in samples from patients with psoriatic arthritis (PsA) and ankylosing spondylitis (n = 21), and from healthy individuals (n = 19). Data were analysed using Kruskal-Wallis test with Dunn's adjustment for multiple comparisons, linear correlation tests, significance analysis of microarrays (SAM) and hierarchical clustering software.Distinct antibody profiles were associated with subgroups of patients who exhibited high serum levels of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)alpha, interleukin (IL)1beta, IL6, IL13, IL15 and granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor. Significantly increased autoantibody reactivity against citrullinated epitopes was observed in patients within the cytokine "high" subgroup. Increased levels of TNFalpha, IL1alpha, IL12p40 and IL13, and the chemokines eotaxin/CCL11, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 and interferon-inducible protein 10, were present in early rheumatoid arthritis as compared with controls (p<0.001). Chemokines showed some of the most impressive differences. Only IL8/CXCL8 concentrations were higher in patients with PsA/ankylosing spondylitis (p = 0.02).Increased blood levels of proinflammatory cytokines are associated with autoantibody targeting of citrullinated antigens and surrogate markers of disease activity in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis. Proteomic analysis of serum autoantibodies, cytokines and chemokines enables stratification of patients with early rheumatoid arthritis into molecular subgroups.

    View details for DOI 10.1136/ard.2006.054924

    View details for Web of Science ID 000246594700002

    View details for PubMedID 16901957

  • Identification of biomarkers associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma in CuZn superoxide dismutase deficient mice PROTEOMICS Elchuri, S., Naeemuddin, M., Sharpe, O., Robinson, W. H., Huang, T. 2007; 7 (12): 2121-2129


    To identify biomarkers associated with the development of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in CuZn superoxide dismutase (CuZnSOD, Sod1) deficient mice, 2-DE followed by MS analysis was carried out with liver samples obtained from 18-month-old Sod1-/- and +/+ mice. The intracellular Ca binding protein, regucalcin (RGN), showed a divergent alteration in Sod1-/- samples. Whereas elevated RGN levels were observed in -/- samples with no obvious neoplastic changes, marked reduction in RGN was observed in -/- samples with fully developed HCC. GST mu1 (GSTM1), on the other hand, showed a significant increase only in the neoplastic regions obtained from Sod1-/- livers. No change in GSTM1 was observed in the surrounding normal tissues. Marked reduction was observed in two intracellular lipid transporters, fatty acid binding protein 1 (FABP1) and major urinary protein 11 and 8 (MUP 11&8), in Sod1-/- samples. Analysis of additional samples at 18-22 months of age showed a three-fold increase in enolase activities in Sod1-/- livers. Consistent with previous findings, carbonic anhydrase 3 (CAIII) levels were significantly reduced in Sod1-/- samples, and immunohistochemical analysis revealed that the reduction was not homogenous throughout the lobular structure in the liver.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pmic.200601011

    View details for Web of Science ID 000247642100016

    View details for PubMedID 17514684

  • Imatinib for the treatment of rheumatic diseases NATURE CLINICAL PRACTICE RHEUMATOLOGY Paniagua, R. T., Robinson, W. H. 2007; 3 (4): 190-191

    View details for DOI 10.1038/ncprheum0465

    View details for Web of Science ID 000245360700002

    View details for PubMedID 17396105

  • Tolerizing DNA vaccines for autoimmune arthritis AUTOIMMUNITY Ho, P. P., Higgins, J. P., Kidd, B. A., Tomooka, B., Digennaro, C., Lee, L. Y., De Vegvar, H. E., Steinman, L., Robinson, W. H. 2006; 39 (8): 675-682


    Current therapies for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases non-specifically suppress immune function, and there is great need for fundamental approaches such as antigen-specific tolerizing therapy. In this paper we describe development of antigen-specific tolerizing DNA vaccines to treat collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in mice, and use of protein microarrays to monitor response to therapy and to identify potential additional autoimmune targets for next generation vaccines. We demonstrate that tolerizing DNA vaccines encoding type II collagen (CII) reduced the incidence and severity of CIA. Atorvastatin, a statin drug found to reduce the severity of autoimmunity, potentiated the effect of DNA vaccines encoding CII. Analysis of cytokines produced by collagen-reactive T cells derived from mice receiving tolerizing DNA encoding CII, as compared to control vaccines, revealed reduced production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha. Arthritis microarray analysis demonstrated reduced spreading of autoantibody responses in mice treated with DNA encoding CII. The development of tolerizing DNA vaccines, and the use of antibody profiling to guide design of and to monitor therapeutic responses to such vaccines, represents a promising approach for the treatment of RA and other autoimmune diseases.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/08916930601061603

    View details for Web of Science ID 000242934700006

    View details for PubMedID 17178564

  • Proteomic biomarkers for autoimmune disease PROTEOMICS Hueber, W., Robinson, W. H. 2006; 6 (14): 4100-4105


    Autoimmune diseases affect 3% of the world population, yet the diagnosis and classification of autoimmune diseases remain based on clinical examination combined with traditional laboratory tests and imaging studies. The development of genomic and proteomic technologies provides an unprecedented ability to identify novel biosignatures to diagnose, classify, and guide therapeutic decision making in patients with autoimmune disease. In this article, we review recent advances in proteomics technologies and their application to autoimmune disease.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pmic.200600017

    View details for Web of Science ID 000239358600013

    View details for PubMedID 16786488

  • Fluid supported lipid bilayers containing mono sialoganglioside GM1: A QCM-D and FRAP study COLLOIDS AND SURFACES B-BIOINTERFACES Weng, K. C., Kanter, J. L., Robinson, W. H., Frank, C. W. 2006; 50 (1): 76-84


    In an effort to use model fluid membranes for immunological studies, we compared the formation of planar phospholipid bilayers supported on silicon dioxide surfaces with and without incorporation of glycolipids as the antigen for in situ antibody binding. Dynamic light scattering measurements did not differentiate the hydrodynamic volumes of extruded small unilamellar vesicles (E-SUVs) containing physiologically relevant concentrations (0.5-5 mol%) of monosialoganglioside GM1 (GM1) from exclusive egg yolk L-alpha-phosphatidylcholine (egg PC) E-SUVs. However, quantifiable differences in deposition mass and dissipative energy loss emerged in the transformation of 5 mol% GM1/95 mol% egg PC E-SUVs to planar supported lipid bilayers (PSLBs) by vesicle fusion on thermally evaporated SiO2, as monitored by the quartz crystal microbalance with dissipation (QCM-D) technique. Compared to the 100 mol% egg PC bilayers on the same surface, E-SUVs containing 5 mol% GM1 reached a approximately 12% higher mass and a lower dissipative energy loss during bilayer transformation. PSLBs with 5 mol% GM1 are approximately 18% heavier than 100 mol% egg PC and approximately 11% smaller in projected area per lipid, indicating an increased rigidity and a tighter packing. Subsequent binding of polyclonal immunoglobulin G anti-GM1 to the PSLBs was performed in situ and showed specificity. The anti-GM1 to GM1 ratios at equilibrium were roughly proportional to the concentrations of anti-GM1 administered in the solution. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching was utilized to verify the retained, albeit reduced lateral fluidity of the supported membranes. Five moles percentage of GM1 membranes (GM1 to PC ratio approximately 1:19) decorated with 1 mol% N-(Texas Red sulfonyl)-1,2-dihexadecanoyl-sn-glycerol-3-phosphoethanolamine (Texas Red DHPE) exhibited an approximately 16% lower diffusion coefficient of 1.32+/-0.06 microm2/s, compared to 1.58+/-0.04 microm2/s for egg PC membranes without GM1 (p<0.01). The changes in vesicle properties and membrane lateral fluidity are attributed to the interactions of GM1 with itself and GM1 with other membrane lipids. This system allows for molecules of interest such as GM1 to exist on a more biologically relevant surface than those used in conventional methods such as ELISA. Our analysis of rabbit serum antibodies binding to GM1 demonstrates this platform can be used to test for the presence of anti-lipid antibodies in serum.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.colsurfb.2006.03.010

    View details for Web of Science ID 000238515200012

    View details for PubMedID 16730958

  • Antibodies against citrullinated proteins enhance tissue injury in experimental autoimmune arthritis JOURNAL OF CLINICAL INVESTIGATION Kuhn, K. A., Kulik, L., Tomooka, B., Braschler, K. J., Arend, W. P., Robinson, W. H., Holers, V. M. 2006; 116 (4): 961-973


    Antibodies against citrullinated proteins are specific and predictive markers for rheumatoid arthritis although the pathologic relevance of these antibodies remains unclear. To investigate the significance of these autoantibodies, collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) in mice was used to establish an animal model of antibody reactivity to citrullinated proteins. DBA/1J mice were immunized with bovine type II collagen (CII) at days 0 and 21, and serum was collected every 7 days for analysis. Antibodies against both CII and cyclic citrullinated peptide, one such citrullinated antigen, appeared early after immunization, before joint swelling was observed. Further, these antibodies demonstrated specific binding to citrullinated filaggrin in rat esophagus by indirect immunofluorescence and citrullinated fibrinogen by Western blot. To evaluate the role of immune responses to citrullinated proteins in CIA, mice were tolerized with a citrulline-containing peptide, followed by antigen challenge with CII. Tolerized mice demonstrated significantly reduced disease severity and incidence compared with controls. We also identified novel murine monoclonal antibodies specific to citrullinated fibrinogen that enhanced arthritis when coadministered with a submaximal dose of anti-CII antibodies and bound targets within the inflamed synovium of mice with CIA. These results demonstrate that antibodies against citrullinated proteins are centrally involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune arthritis.

    View details for DOI 10.1172/JCI25422

    View details for Web of Science ID 000236556100018

    View details for PubMedID 16585962

  • Antigen arrays for antibody profiling CURRENT OPINION IN CHEMICAL BIOLOGY Robinson, W. H. 2006; 10 (1): 67-72


    Antigen array technologies enable large-scale profiling of the specificity of antibody responses against autoantigens, tumor antigens and microbial antigens. Antibody profiling will provide insights into pathogenesis, and will enable development of novel tests for diagnosis and guiding therapy in the clinic. Recent advances in the field include development of antigen array-based approaches to examine immune responses against antigens encoded in genetic libraries, post-translationally modified proteins, and other biomolecules such as lipids. A promising application is the use of antibody profiling to guide development and selection of antigen-specific therapies to treat autoimmune disease. This review discusses these advances and the challenges ahead for development and refinement of antibody profiling technologies for use in the research laboratory and the clinic.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.cbpa.2005.12.028

    View details for Web of Science ID 000235858200011

    View details for PubMedID 16406767

  • Treatment of autoimmune neuroinflammation with a synthetic tryptophan metabolite SCIENCE Platten, M., Ho, P. P., Youssef, S., Fontoura, P., Garren, H., Hur, E. M., Gupta, R., Lee, L. Y., Kidd, B. A., Robinson, W. H., Sobel, R. A., Selley, M. L., Steinman, L. 2005; 310 (5749): 850-855


    Local catabolism of the amino acid tryptophan (Trp) by indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) is considered an important mechanism of regulating T cell immunity. We show that IDO transcription was increased when myelin-specific T cells were stimulated with tolerogenic altered self-peptides. Catabolites of Trp suppressed proliferation of myelin-specific T cells and inhibited production of proinflammatory T helper-1 (T(H)1) cytokines. N-(3,4,-Dimethoxycinnamoyl) anthranilic acid (3,4-DAA), an orally active synthetic derivative of the Trp metabolite anthranilic acid, reversed paralysis in mice with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, a model of multiple sclerosis (MS). Trp catabolites and their derivatives offer a new strategy for treating T(H)1-mediated autoimmune diseases such as MS.

    View details for DOI 10.1126/science.1117634

    View details for Web of Science ID 000233121800045

    View details for PubMedID 16272121

  • A suppressive oligodeoxynucleotide enhances the efficacy of myelin cocktail/IL-4-tolerizing DNA vaccination and treats autoimmune disease JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Ho, P. P., Fontoura, P., Platten, M., Sobel, R. A., DeVoss, J. J., Lee, L. Y., Kidd, B. A., Tomooka, B. H., Capers, J., Agrawal, A., Gupta, R., Zernik, J., Yee, M. K., Lee, B. J., Garren, H., Robinson, W. H., Steinman, L. 2005; 175 (9): 6226-6234


    Targeting pathogenic T cells with Ag-specific tolerizing DNA vaccines encoding autoantigens is a powerful and feasible therapeutic strategy for Th1-mediated autoimmune diseases. However, plasmid DNA contains abundant unmethylated CpG motifs, which induce a strong Th1 immune response. We describe here a novel approach to counteract this undesired side effect of plasmid DNA used for vaccination in Th1-mediated autoimmune diseases. In chronic relapsing experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), combining a myelin cocktail plus IL-4-tolerizing DNA vaccine with a suppressive GpG oligodeoxynucleotide (GpG-ODN) induced a shift of the autoreactive T cell response toward a protective Th2 cytokine pattern. Myelin microarrays demonstrate that tolerizing DNA vaccination plus GpG-ODN further decreased anti-myelin autoantibody epitope spreading and shifted the autoreactive B cell response to a protective IgG1 isotype. Moreover, the addition of GpG-ODN to tolerizing DNA vaccination therapy effectively reduced overall mean disease severity in both the chronic relapsing EAE and chronic progressive EAE mouse models. In conclusion, suppressive GpG-ODN effectively counteracted the undesired CpG-induced inflammatory effect of a tolerizing DNA vaccine in a Th1-mediated autoimmune disease by skewing both the autoaggressive T cell and B cell responses toward a protective Th2 phenotype. These results demonstrate that suppressive GpG-ODN is a simple and highly effective novel therapeutic adjuvant that will boost the efficacy of Ag-specific tolerizing DNA vaccines used for treating Th1-mediated autoimmune diseases.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000232786300083

    View details for PubMedID 16237121

  • Antigen microarray profiling of autoantibodies in rheumatoid arthritis ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM Hueber, W., Kidd, B. A., Tomooka, B. H., Lee, B. J., Bruce, B., Fries, J. F., Sonderstrup, G., Monach, P., Drijfhout, J. W., van Venrooij, W. J., Utz, P. J., Genovese, M. C., Robinson, W. H. 2005; 52 (9): 2645-2655


    Because rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a heterogeneous autoimmune disease in terms of disease manifestations, clinical outcomes, and therapeutic responses, we developed and applied a novel antigen microarray technology to identify distinct serum antibody profiles in patients with RA.Synovial proteome microarrays, containing 225 peptides and proteins that represent candidate and control antigens, were developed. These arrays were used to profile autoantibodies in randomly selected sera from 2 different cohorts of patients: the Stanford Arthritis Center inception cohort, comprising 18 patients with established RA and 38 controls, and the Arthritis, Rheumatism, and Aging Medical Information System cohort, comprising 58 patients with a clinical diagnosis of RA of <6 months duration. Data were analyzed using the significance analysis of microarrays algorithm, the prediction analysis of microarrays algorithm, and Cluster software.Antigen microarrays demonstrated that autoreactive B cell responses targeting citrullinated epitopes were present in a subset of patients with early RA with features predictive of the development of severe RA. In contrast, autoimmune targeting of the native epitopes contained on synovial arrays, including several human cartilage gp39 peptides and type II collagen, were associated with features predictive of less severe RA.Proteomic analysis of autoantibody reactivities provides diagnostic information and allows stratification of patients with early RA into clinically relevant disease subsets.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/art.21269

    View details for Web of Science ID 000232115700009

    View details for PubMedID 16142722

  • Suppression of autoimmunity via microbial mimics of altered peptide ligands MOLECULAR MIMICRY: INFECTION-INDUCING AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE Steinman, L., Utz, P. J., Robinson, W. H. 2005; 296: 55-63


    Molecular mimics of self-antigens can behave as altered peptide ligands and serve to ameliorate autoimmune disease. Analysis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis with proteomic autoantibody microarrays reveals that there might exist a wide variety of microbes with features that mimic self-epitopes. Autoimmunity could therefore be modulated via microbial immunity, which may account for relapse and remission of ongoing disease.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000235217000004

    View details for PubMedID 16323420

  • Immunity to the extracellular domain of Nogo-A modulates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Fontoura, P., Ho, P. P., DeVoss, J., Zheng, B. H., Lee, B. J., Kidd, B. A., Garren, H., Sobel, R. A., Robinson, W. H., Tessier-Lavigne, M., Steinman, L. 2004; 173 (11): 6981-6992


    Nogo-66, the extracellular 66 aa loop of the Nogo-A protein found in CNS myelin, interacts with the Nogo receptor and has been proposed to mediate inhibition of axonal regrowth. It has been shown that immunization with Nogo-A promotes recovery in animal models of spinal cord injury through induction of Ab production. In this report, studies were performed to characterize the immune response to Nogo-66 and to determine the role of Nogo in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Immunization of EAE-susceptible mouse strains with peptides derived from Nogo-66 induced a CNS immune response with clinical and pathological similarities to EAE. The Nogo-66 peptides elicited strong T cell responses that were not cross-reactive to other encephalitogenic myelin Ags. Using a large scale spotted microarray containing proteins and peptides derived from a wide spectrum of myelin components, we demonstrated that Nogo-66 peptides also generated a specific Ab response that spreads to several other encephalitogenic myelin Ags following immunization. Nogo-66-specific T cell lines ameliorated established EAE, via Nogo-66-specific Th2 cells that entered the CNS. These results indicate that some T cell and B cell immune responses to Nogo-66 are associated with suppression of ongoing EAE, whereas other Nogo-66 epitopes can be encephalitogenic.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000225307500059

    View details for PubMedID 15557195

  • Characterization of novel antigens recognized by serum autoantibodies from anti-CD1 TCR-transgenic lupus mice EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Hueber, W., Zeng, D. F., Sharpe, O., Robinson, W. H., Strober, S., Utz, P. J. 2004; 34 (6): 1654-1662


    In this study, we further characterize the humoral autoimmune response in the recently described anti-CD1 autoreactive T cell receptor-transgenic mouse lupus model (CD1 lupus model). We discovered and characterized novel autoantigens, comprising a protein of 105 kDa (p105) and a novel RNA molecule of 140 base pairs (bp) that is likely associated with p105, and several additional factors with distinct biochemical properties. In the CD1 lupus model, lethally irradiated BALB/c/nu/nu mice were injected intravenously with sorted bone marrow cells and sorted splenic T cells from donor BALB/c mice expressing TCR alpha and beta transgenes that encode autoreactivity for CD1d. Adoptive hosts injected with the single-positive (CD4(+) and CD8(+)) subset of transgenic cells developed anti-double-stranded DNA antibodies and a lupus-like illness. Sera were analyzed by Western blotting and immunoprecipitation. Antigens were characterized by biochemical and serological methods. Serum autoantibodies from 5 of 12 (42%) CD1 lupus mice immunoprecipitated a 105-kDa protein, termed p105. p105 was associated with a small RNA of approximately 140 bp. Anti-p105 autoantibodies appeared early in the course of disease. Serological and biochemical characterization suggested that p105 was distinct from known lupus autoantigens of similar molecular masses, indicating that p105 represents a novel autoantigen in lupus.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/eji.200324201

    View details for Web of Science ID 000221993200017

    View details for PubMedID 15162435

  • High-throughput methods for measuring autoantibodies in systemic lupus erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases AUTOIMMUNITY Graham, K. L., Robinson, W. H., Steinman, L., Utz, P. J. 2004; 37 (4): 269-272


    Numerous groups have now validated high-throughput approaches to autoantibody profiling in a variety of systems. Recently, we have used autoantigen microarray technology to identify distinct autoantibody profiles in H-2 congenic MRL/lpr mice (Sekine et al., manuscript in preparation), and we are expanding this platform to study human and mouse models of IDDM and RA. We are also developing protein arrays for multiplex analysis of serum antibody isotypes. Multiplexed methods for autoantibody profiling will undoubtedly continue to uncover novel aspects of autoimmunity and B cell biology. It is now time to move these technologies beyond the proof-of-concept phase, and start addressing the next series of important questions. These include, but certainly are not limited to: identifying "autoantibody signatures" associated with disease state or outcome; profiling autoantibodies during the natural course of murine and human disease; and monitoring changes in autoantibody profiles of patients in response to therapeutic intervention. However, the next set of challenges is just right around the corner. As data and statistical analysis tools become more robust, it will be possible to generate and approach new hypotheses at an unprecedented pace.

    View details for DOI 10.1080/08916930410001710686

    View details for Web of Science ID 000223372000006

    View details for PubMedID 15518040

  • Microarray profiling of antiviral antibodies for the development of diagnostics, vaccines, and therapeutics CLINICAL IMMUNOLOGY de Vegvar, H. E., Robinson, W. H. 2004; 111 (2): 196-201


    Multiplex analysis of antiviral antibody (Ab) responses provides a potentially powerful strategy for viral diagnosis, prognostication, and development of vaccines and prophylactic Abs. In the coming years, advancements in proteomic technologies will provide even more robust methods to characterize antiviral Ab responses. Biomedical researchers will be faced with the exciting challenge of identifying antiviral Ab specificities that correlate with improved outcomes and efficacious interventions, and translating the findings into more effective diagnostics, prophylactics, and therapeutics.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000221681800006

    View details for PubMedID 15137952

  • Unlocking the "PAD" lock on rheumatoid arthritis ANNALS OF THE RHEUMATIC DISEASES Utz, P. J., Genovese, M. C., Robinson, W. H. 2004; 63 (4): 330-332

    View details for DOI 10.1136/ard.2003.015990

    View details for Web of Science ID 000220198000002

    View details for PubMedID 15020322

  • Genomic and proteomic analysis of multiple sclerosis - Opinion CURRENT OPINION IN IMMUNOLOGY Robinson, W. H., Utz, P. J., Steinman, L. 2003; 15 (6): 660-667


    Multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases result from the dysregulation of genetic and proteomic programs. In MS, the loss of immune homeostasis leads to aberrant targeting and destruction of the myelin sheath, which manifests as the clinical syndrome of MS. The advent of technologies to perform large-scale analysis of mRNA transcript and protein expression will transform our understanding of the mechanisms underlying the initiation and progression of MS, and will yield new targets for therapeutic intervention.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.coi.2003.09.015

    View details for Web of Science ID 000186862400011

    View details for PubMedID 14630200

  • Protein arrays for autoantibody profiling and fine-specificity mapping PROTEOMICS Robinson, W. H., Steinman, L., Utz, P. J. 2003; 3 (11): 2077-2084


    Protein arrays provide a powerful approach to study autoimmune disease. Autoimmune responses activate B cells to produce autoantibodies that recognize self-molecules termed autoantigens, many of which are proteins or protein complexes. Protein arrays enable profiling of the specificity of autoantibody responses against panels of peptides and proteins representing known autoantigens as well as candidate autoantigens. In addition to identifying autoantigens and mapping immunodominant epitopes, proteomic analysis of autoantibody responses will further enable diagnosis, prognosis, and tailoring of antigen-specific tolerizing therapy.

    View details for DOI 10.1002/pmic.200300583

    View details for Web of Science ID 000186582500002

    View details for PubMedID 14595805

  • Microarray profiling of antibody responses against simian-human immunodeficiency virus: Postchallenge convergence of reactivities independent of host histocompatibility type and vaccine regimen JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY de Vegvar, H. E., Amara, R. R., Steinman, L., Utz, P. J., Robinson, H. L., Robinson, W. H. 2003; 77 (20): 11125-11138


    We developed antigen microarrays to profile the breadth, strength, and kinetics of epitope-specific antiviral antibody responses in vaccine trials with a simian-human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) model for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. These arrays contained 430 distinct proteins and overlapping peptides spanning the SHIV proteome. In macaques vaccinated with three different DNA and/or recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (rMVA) vaccines encoding Gag-Pol or Gag-Pol-Env, these arrays distinguished vaccinated from challenged macaques, identified three novel viral epitopes, and predicted survival. Following viral challenge, anti-SHIV antibody responses ultimately converged to target eight immunodominant B-cell regions in Env regardless of vaccine regimen, host histocompatibility type, and divergent T-cell specificities. After challenge, responses to nonimmunodominant epitopes were transient, while responses to dominant epitopes were gained. These data suggest that the functional diversity of anti-SHIV B-cell responses is highly limited in the presence of persisting antigen.

    View details for DOI 10.1128/JVI.77.20.11125-11138.2003

    View details for Web of Science ID 000185686100038

    View details for PubMedID 14512560

  • Protein microarrays guide tolerizing DNA vaccine treatment of autoimmune encephalomyelitis NATURE BIOTECHNOLOGY Robinson, W. H., Fontoura, P., Lee, B. J., de Vegvar, H. E., Tom, J., Pedotti, R., DiGennaro, C. D., Mitchell, D. J., Fong, D., Ho, P. P., Ruiz, P. J., Maverakis, E., Stevens, D. B., Bernard, C. C., Martin, R., Kuchroo, V. K., van Noort, J. M., Genain, C. P., Amor, S., Olsson, T., Utz, P. J., Garren, H., Steinman, L. 2003; 21 (9): 1033-1039


    The diversity of autoimmune responses poses a formidable challenge to the development of antigen-specific tolerizing therapy. We developed 'myelin proteome' microarrays to profile the evolution of autoantibody responses in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model for multiple sclerosis (MS). Increased diversity of autoantibody responses in acute EAE predicted a more severe clinical course. Chronic EAE was associated with previously undescribed extensive intra- and intermolecular epitope spreading of autoreactive B-cell responses. Array analysis of autoantigens targeted in acute EAE was used to guide the choice of autoantigen cDNAs to be incorporated into expression plasmids so as to generate tolerizing vaccines. Tolerizing DNA vaccines encoding a greater number of array-determined myelin targets proved superior in treating established EAE and reduced epitope spreading of autoreactive B-cell responses. Proteomic monitoring of autoantibody responses provides a useful approach to monitor autoimmune disease and to develop and tailor disease- and patient-specific tolerizing DNA vaccines.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/nbt859

    View details for Web of Science ID 000185051000035

    View details for PubMedID 12910246

  • Autoantibodies in early arthritis: Advances in diagnosis and prognostication CLINICAL AND EXPERIMENTAL RHEUMATOLOGY Hueber, W., Utz, P. J., Robinson, W. H. 2003; 21 (5): S59-S64


    Several excellent reviews have recently been published on the significance of autoantibodies in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) (1-4). Here we: (i) review selected longitudinal studies examining the predictive utility of autoantibodies in early arthritis and early RA cohorts; (ii) assess the relevance of autoantibodies as an independent parameter for prediction and prognostication of RA; and (iii) describe the potential of multiplex autoantibody assays, including miniaturized, high-throughput microarray technology, to improve diagnosis and prognostication in recent-onset synovitis/early arthritis patients.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000185970100011

    View details for PubMedID 14969052

  • Protein and peptide array analysis of autoimmune disease BIOTECHNIQUES Robinson, W. H., Steinman, L., Utz, P. J. 2002: 66-69


    Molecular cloning, sequencing of the human genome, and other major advances in biomedical research have contributed substantially to our understanding of autoimmune disease. Nevertheless, to date, such advances have failed to reveal the etiology of or yield curative therapies for autoimmune disease. New approaches are needed. Proteomics, the large-scale study of expression and function of proteins that compose our tissues and mediate disease, represents a powerful and promising strategy. We developed protein and peptide arrays to profile autoantibody responses in autoimmune disease. Protein and peptide array analysis of autoimmune samples is revealing human and pathogen proteins involved in initiation and perpetuation of autoimmunity. Proteomic determination of autoantibody profiles can be utilized for diagnosis, prognostication, and guiding tolerizing therapy for autoimmune disease.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000180064700010

    View details for PubMedID 12514932

  • Millennium Award. Proteomics for the development of DNA tolerizing vaccines to treat autoimmune disease. Clinical immunology Robinson, W. H., Garren, H., Utz, P. J., Steinman, L. 2002; 103 (1): 7-12


    Autoimmune disease affects 3% of the world population, yet current therapies that globally suppress immune function are inadequate. Tremendous need exists for specific and curative therapies, and we describe a strategy for development of antigen-specific therapies that inactivate pathogenic lymphocytes causing tissue injury. Major barriers to development of antigen-specific therapies for T-cell-mediated autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune diabetes, include (i) lack of knowledge of the specificity of autoimmune responses, for which proteomic technologies represent powerful tools to identify the self-protein targets of the autoimmune response, and (ii) lack of methods to induce specific immune tolerance, for which DNA tolerizing vaccines represent a promising strategy. We termed our approach Reverse Genomics: use of the proteomics-determined specificity of the autoantibody response to develop and select DNA tolerizing vaccines. Studies performed using animal models for multiple sclerosis and autoimmune diabetes support our Reverse Genomics approach. Through integration of proteomics with specific tolerizing therapies, we are developing a comprehensive approach to treat human autoimmune disease.

    View details for PubMedID 11987980

  • Proteomics technologies for the study of autoimmune disease ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM Robinson, W. H., Steinman, L., Utz, P. J. 2002; 46 (4): 885-893

    View details for Web of Science ID 000174946500006

    View details for PubMedID 11953963

  • Autoantigen microarrays for multiplex characterization of autoantibody responses NATURE MEDICINE Robinson, W. H., DiGennaro, C., Hueber, W., Haab, B. B., KAMACHI, M., Dean, E. J., Fournel, S., Fong, D., Genovese, M. C., de Vegvar, H. E., Skriner, K., Hirschberg, D. L., Morris, R. I., Muller, S., Pruijn, G. J., van Venrooij, W. J., Smolen, J. S., Brown, P. O., Steinman, L., Utz, P. J. 2002; 8 (3): 295-301


    We constructed miniaturized autoantigen arrays to perform large-scale multiplex characterization of autoantibody responses directed against structurally diverse autoantigens, using submicroliter quantities of clinical samples. Autoantigen microarrays were produced by attaching hundreds of proteins, peptides and other biomolecules to the surface of derivatized glass slides using a robotic arrayer. Arrays were incubated with patient serum, and spectrally resolvable fluorescent labels were used to detect autoantibody binding to specific autoantigens on the array. We describe and characterize arrays containing the major autoantigens in eight distinct human autoimmune diseases, including systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. This represents the first report of application of such technology to multiple human disease sera, and will enable validated detection of antibodies recognizing autoantigens including proteins, peptides, enzyme complexes, ribonucleoprotein complexes, DNA and post-translationally modified antigens. Autoantigen microarrays represent a powerful tool to study the specificity and pathogenesis of autoantibody responses, and to identify and define relevant autoantigens in human autoimmune diseases.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000174139500036

    View details for PubMedID 11875502

  • Autoantibody profiling for the study and treatment of autoimmune disease ARTHRITIS RESEARCH Hueber, W., Utz, P. J., Steinman, L., Robinson, W. H. 2002; 4 (5): 290-295


    Proteomics technologies enable profiling of autoantibody responses using biological fluids derived from patients with autoimmune disease. They provide a powerful tool to characterize autoreactive B-cell responses in diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune diabetes, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Autoantibody profiling may serve purposes including classification of individual patients and subsets of patients based on their 'autoantibody fingerprint', examination of epitope spreading and antibody isotype usage, discovery and characterization of candidate autoantigens, and tailoring antigen-specific therapy. In the coming decades, proteomics technologies will broaden our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of and will further our ability to diagnose, prognosticate and treat autoimmune disease.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000177695600007

    View details for PubMedID 12223102

  • Demyelinating and neurologic events reported in association with tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonism - By what mechanisms could tumor necrosis factor alpha antagonists improve rheumatoid arthritis but exacerbate multiple sclerosis? ARTHRITIS AND RHEUMATISM Robinson, W. H., Genovese, M. C., Moreland, L. W. 2001; 44 (9): 1977-1983

    View details for Web of Science ID 000172491200004

    View details for PubMedID 11592357

  • Allele-specific expression of the mouse B-cell surface protein CD72 on T cells IMMUNOGENETICS Robinson, W. H., LANDOLFI, M. M., Parnes, J. R. 1997; 45 (3): 195-200


    CD72 is a 45 000 Mr mouse B-cell surface glycoprotein involved in B-cell proliferation and differentiation. Expression of mouse CD72 is thought to be restricted to the B-cell lineage. We recently demonstrated that the monoclonal antibodies K10.6 and B9.689, previously defined as recognizing the mouse lymphocyte alloantigens Ly-19.2 and Ly-32.2, respectively, recognize specific alleles of CD72. Early studies using antibody-mediated cytotoxicity assays demonstrated that K10.6 and B9.689 react with B cells, several T-cell lines, and a subset of peripheral T cells. These findings led us to consider the possibility that CD72 might also be expressed on a subset of T cells. In this report we demonstrate that CD72 is constitutively expressed on a fraction of peripheral T cells isolated from strains of mice expressing the CD72(b) allele, but not the CD72(a) or CD72(c) alleles. Three days after activating T cells with concanavalin A or plate-bound CD3-specific mAb, CD72 is expressed on a larger fraction of peripheral T cells as well as a fraction of thymocytes from mouse strains expressing the CD72(b) allele. CD72 is expressed on both the CD4(+) and CD8(+) thymocyte and peripheral T-cell subsets. No CD72 expression is detected on activated thymocytes or peripheral T cells from mouse strains expressing the CD72(a) or CD72(c) alleles. Expression of CD72(b) on peripheral T cells was confirmed by northern blot analysis demonstrating CD72 mRNA expression. These results demonstrate that CD72 expression is not restricted to B lineage cells in mouse strains expressing the CD72(b) allele; instead, a population of T lineage cells in these mice also expresses CD72.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1997WE19000005

    View details for PubMedID 8995186



    CD6 is a 105/130 kDa monomeric T cell surface glycoprotein that has been shown to play a role in human T cell activation. Recently a partial mouse CD6 cDNA sequence was described. We have isolated full-length cDNA clones including the initiation codon and sequence encoding the full signal peptide, as well as an additional 39 amino acids within the cytoplasmic domain as compared to the previously reported clone. The predicted full-length mouse CD6 protein contains 665 amino acids and has the features of a type I integral membrane protein. The extracellular domain of mouse CD6 is composed of three repeated cysteine-rich domains similar to those in human CD6, mouse and human CD5, and other members of a family of proteins whose prototype is the type I macrophage scavenger receptor. In marked contrast to the previously published human CD6 sequence, the mouse sequence predicts a long cytoplasmic tail that is not closely related to other proteins and possesses two proline-rich motifs containing the SH3-domain binding consensus sequence, three protein kinase C phosphorylation site motifs, nine casein kinase-2 phosphorylation site motifs, and a serine-threonine-rich motif repeated three times. Northern blot analysis revealed that mouse CD6 mRNA is expressed predominantly in thymus, lymph node, and spleen. A polyclonal antiserum was raised against mouse CD6 by gene gun plasmid DNA immunization of rabbits with the mouse CD6 cDNA in an expression vector. In immunofluorescence analysis this polyclonal antiserum positively stained the surface of cells transfected with the mouse CD6 cDNA in an expression vector, as well as most normal mouse thymocytes and peripheral T cells. CD6 protein is expressed on most CD4+CD8+ double-positive and CD4+ or CD8+ single-positive thymocytes, and is expressed at highest levels on mature CD3high thymocytes. The expression of mouse CD6 in thymocytes and peripheral T cells correlates closely with the expression of the related CD5 molecule. The polyclonal rabbit anti-mouse CD6 Abs immunoprecipitated a major polypeptide of 128 kDa from resting and 130 kDa from PMA- and FCS-activated mouse thymocytes and lymph node cells; it is likely that this increase in size upon activation is due to phosphorylation of mouse CD6 as has been described for human CD6. These data demonstrate that mouse thymocytes and T cells express a 130-kDa cell surface protein homologous to human CD6.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995TD88800029

    View details for PubMedID 7594475



    Human CD6 is a monomeric 105/130-kDa T cell surface glycoprotein that is involved in T cell activation. The apparent discrepancy between the size of the cytoplasmic domain in human (44 amino acids) and mouse (243 amino acids) CD6, led us to use reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction of human peripheral blood lymphocyte mRNA to isolate cDNA clones that include the carboxyl-terminal coding region of human CD6. The nucleotide sequence of the longest human cDNA clone, CD6-PB1, predicts a protein of 668 amino acids with a 244-amino acid cytoplasmic domain similar in size to and possessing 71.5% amino acid sequence identity with the cytoplasmic domain of mouse CD6. This previously unrecognized 244-amino acid cytoplasmic domain does not have significant homology to any other known protein (except mouse CD6), but does possess two proline-rich motifs containing the SH3 domain-binding consensus sequence, a serine-threonine-rich motif repeated three times, three protein kinase C phosphorylation-site motifs, and 10 casein kinase-2 phosphorylation-site motifs. These sequences are likely to play a role in the ability of CD6-specific monoclonal antibodies to stimulate T cell proliferation. Full-length CD6 cDNA containing this cytoplasmic domain sequence encodes a monomeric 105/130-kDa protein that can be immunoprecipitated from the surface of transfected cells and comigrates upon SDS-PAGE with wild-type CD6 immunoprecipitated from PBL. We also isolated two alternatively spliced forms of human CD6 cDNA lacking sequences encoding membrane-proximal regions of the cytoplasmic domain which maintain the same reading frame as CD6-PB1. The short cytoplasmic domain of the previously reported human CD6-15 cDNA clone results from a deletion of a 20-bp segment through use of an alternative 3' splice site, resulting in a frame shift and premature termination of translation relative to the clones we have isolated. These data demonstrate that human CD6 possesses a large cytoplasmic domain containing sequence motifs that are likely to be involved in signal transduction upon stimulation of T cells through CD6 ligation.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995TB37100007

    View details for PubMedID 7589069

  • STRUCTURE OF THE MOUSE CD72 (LYB-2) GENE AND ITS ALTERNATIVELY SPLICED TRANSCRIPTS JOURNAL OF IMMUNOLOGY Ying, H., Nakayama, E., Robinson, W. H., Parnes, J. R. 1995; 154 (6): 2743-2752


    The complete sequence of the CD72 gene from the C57L mouse, including the 5' and 3' flanking sequences, is reported. The gene spans 6830 base pairs and includes nine exons surrounding eight introns. It does not have an obvious TATAA box, so it belongs to a group of genes with TATA-less promoters that are regulated during mammalian immunodifferentiation. cDNA sequence comparisons among CD72a, CD72b, and CD72c alleles have demonstrated two distinct seven amino acid insertion/deletions among these allelic variants. Based on our genomic sequence studies as well as PCR analyses, we found that different strains of mice can alternatively or exclusively use either of two AG sites surrounding the 21-bp insertion/deletions as 3' splice sites in an allele-specific manner. Other alternative splicing events, such as exon skipping, also contribute to CD72 polymorphism. In mouse splenic B cells there are allele-specific distributions of CD72 mRNAs that contain sequences from both exon 3 and exon 4, from either exon 3 or exon 4, or from neither exon 3 nor 4. It is unclear what the in vivo function might be of the proteins encoded by the mRNA forms lacking these exon sequences.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1995QL08400021

    View details for PubMedID 7876545



    Lyb-2/CD72 is a 45-kDa mouse B cell surface protein that binds CD5 (Ly-1) and has been shown to induce B cell proliferation upon mAb binding. The serologically defined Ly-19.2 and Ly-32.2 lymphocyte alloantigens have mouse strain distribution patterns similar to that of the Lyb-2/CD72 alleles and map to the same region on chromosome 4 as Lyb-2/CD72. Our recent isolation of the Lyb-2a, -2b, and -2c cDNA has enabled us in this report to examine the relationship between Ly-19, Ly-32, and Lyb-2/CD72. A rat T cell line transfected with a mouse Lyb-2a cDNA is recognized by Ly-19.2-specific mAb, whereas transfectants expressing the Lyb-2b cDNA are recognized by both Ly-19.2 and Ly-32.2-specific mAb. Cell surface iodination immunoprecipitation analysis from Lyb-2a cDNA transfectants using Lyb-2a- and Ly-19.2-specific mAb as well as from Lyb-2b cDNA transfectants using Lyb-2b-, Ly-19.2-, and Ly-32.2-specific Ab, produced immunoprecipitates containing comigrating 45-kDa polypeptides. Preclearing studies with these transfectants indicate that the immunoprecipitated proteins represent the same polypeptide chain. These results demonstrate that the mouse Ly-19.2 and Ly-32.2 alloantigens are in fact the B cell differentiation Ag Lyb-2/CD72.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1993MD34900035

    View details for PubMedID 8409435



    Lyb-2/CD72 is a 45-kDa mouse B cell surface protein that binds CD5 and has been shown to play a role in B cell proliferation and differentiation. Using the polymerase chain reaction we have isolated and sequenced cDNA clones encoding the serologically defined mouse Lyb-2a, Lyb-2b, and Lyb-2c alleles. We confirmed that our full length cDNA clones encode the Lyb-2a, -2b, and -2c alleles, respectively, by transfecting the isolated Lyb-2/CD72 cDNA clones into L cells and demonstrating that the transfectants bind only the appropriate allele specific anti-Lyb-2/CD72 antibodies. Sequence comparisons demonstrate that the Lyb-2/CD72 allels are highly conserved in their cytoplasmic and transmembrane domains but exhibit a high degree of polymorphism in their extracellular domains. This polymorphism in the extracellular region involves amino acid substitutions at a minimum of 20 residues and is concentrated primarily in the membrane distal region. cDNA sequence comparisons also demonstrate two distinct seven amino acid insertion/deletions among these allelic variants. A form of Lyb-2b cDNA lacking the sequence encoding the transmembrane region was isolated from a C57B1/6 mouse and a CH12.LX subline. The Lyb-2/CD72 PCR products from mRNA of mice expressing Lyb-2a and Lyb-2c contain a DNA fragment that corresponds in size to the transmembraneless form, suggesting that these mouse strains also express this mRNA.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1992JF47400019

    View details for PubMedID 1634777



    Monolayers of BHK-21/W1-2 cells were pulsed with (3)H-uridine at different times after infection with rubella virus, and viral-specific cytoplasmic ribonucleic acid species were demonstrated.

    View details for Web of Science ID A1969E851000014

    View details for PubMedID 16789124