Autoantibodies to p75/LEDGF, a cell survival factor, found in patients with atypical retinal degeneration

Marian S. Chin, Rafael C. Caruso, Barbara Detrick, John J. Hooks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


We have identified a group of patients with an atypical retinal degeneration having anti-retinal autoantibodies in their sera. This select population is characterized by a progressively severe loss of vision associated with a decrease in photoreceptor function, abnormal pigmentation of the retinal pigment epithelium and a negative family history of retinal dystrophy. Immunohistochemical analysis on mouse retinal tissues with sera from this group of patients demonstrated high titers of anti-retinal antibodies (320 to 1280). Anti-retinal reactivity at these levels was not detected in sera from normal individuals, or from patients with uveitis or known genetic retinal degenerations. One antigen that was identified from a retina cDNA library with sera from a patient with atypical retinal degeneration was lens epithelium-derived growth factor (LEDGF). Western blot analysis revealed that sera from all three patients demonstrated reactivity to p75/LEDGF, a survival factor that protects cells from oxidative, thermal and UV damage. In conclusion, we have found a novel group of patients with a retinal degeneration of non-paraneoplastic, non-familial origin demonstrating immunoreactivity to an autoantigen, p75/LEDGF, heretofore not associated with this disease. Finally, identification of specific anti-retinal antibodies may have applications in the diagnosis and management of retinal degeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)17-27
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Autoimmunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 2006


  • ATR-X
  • Autoantibody
  • P75/LEDGF/DFS70
  • Retinal degeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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