Autoantibodies to peptidylarginine deiminase 2 are associated with less severe disease in rheumatoid arthritis

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13 Scopus citations


Objective: Peptidylarginine deiminases (PAD) 2 and 4 are key enzymes in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pathogenesis due to their ability to generate the protein targets of anti-citrullinated protein antibodies (ACPA). Anti-PAD4 antibodies that cross-react with PAD3 (anti-PAD3/4) have been identified and are associated with severe joint and lung disease. Here, we examined whether anti-PAD2 antibodies were present in patients with RA and defined their clinical significance. Patients and Methods: A PAD2 ELISA was established to screen for anti-PAD2 IgG in sera from RA patients from a prospective observational cohort study (n = 184) and healthy controls (n = 100). RA patient characteristics were compared according to anti-PAD2 antibody status. Multivariable models were constructed to explore the independent associations of anti-PAD2 antibodies with clinical variables. Results: Anti-PAD2 antibodies were found in 18.5% of RA patients and 3% of healthy controls (p < 0.001). Among RA patients, anti-PAD2 antibodies were not associated with traditional genetic or serologic RA risk factors, including HLA-DRβ1 shared epitope alleles, ACPA, rheumatoid factor (RF), or anti-PAD3/4 antibodies. In addition, antibodies to PAD2 were associated with fewer swollen joints, a lower prevalence of interstitial lung disease, and less progression of joint damage. In subset analyses in which patients were stratified by the baseline presence of ACPA/RF or anti-PAD3/4 antibodies, anti-PAD2 antibodies provided additional value in identifying patients with the least progressive joint disease. Conclusions: Anti-PAD2 antibodies represent a novel serologic marker in RA that identifies a genetically and clinically unique subset of patients with less severe joint and lung disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2696
JournalFrontiers in immunology
Issue numberNOV
StatePublished - Nov 20 2018


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoimmunity
  • Disease activity
  • Interstitial lung disease
  • Peptidylarginine deiminase
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Shared epitope
  • Sharp score

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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