Development of an ELISA to detect anti-BP180 autoantibodies in bullous pemphigoid and herpes gestationis

George J. Giudice, Kendell C. Wilske, Grant J. Anhalt, Janet A. Fairley, T. Ann F. Taylor, Dary J. Emery, Raymond G. Hoffman, Luis A. Diaz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


Autoantibodies associated with the subepidermal blistering disorders bullous pemphigoid and herpes gestationis react with a 180-kD transmembrane hemidesmosomal protein, designated BP180. The BP180 ectodomain is composed of a series of interrupted collagen triple helical domains. Located on one of the noncollagenous extracellular segments of this protein is an immunodominant epitope, designated MCW-1, recognized by patient autoantibodies. In this investigation we have developed an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay system to detect antibody reactivity against the MCW-1 epitope with the use of a bacterial fusion protein containing the BP180 autoantibody-reactive site. The following sera were assayed for reactivity with this recombinant protein: bullous pemphigoid (n = 62), herpes gestationis (n = 28), endemic pemphigus foliaceus (n = 17), lupus erythematosus (n = 15), and normal human sera (n = 22). This enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay-based protocol was shown to be highly specific (98.3%) in detecting autoantibody activity in bullous pemphigoid and herpes gestationis patients. Fifty-three percent of bullous pemphigoid sera and 71% of herpes gestationis sera, but none of the control sera, yielded positive results in this assay. Of the patient sera that were known to react with full-length BP180, almost all showed reactivity with the MCW-1 antigenic site of this protein. Autoantibodies detected in this assay were predominantly of the immunoglobulin G class. The results presented here lend support to the hypothesis that this well-defined antigen/antibody system may be relevant in pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)878-881
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1994


  • autoimmunity
  • basement membrane
  • collagen
  • hemidesmosome
  • skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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