Humoral autoimmune responses to the squamous cell carcinoma antigen protein family in psoriasis

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Substantial evidence indicates that psoriasis is a T-lymphocyte-mediated autoimmune disease. However, longstanding data also indicate IgG and complement deposition in upper epidermis of psoriasis plaques. This led us to propose that autoantigen-autoantibody interactions in the skin may also be of pathogenic importance. Here, we have confirmed the presence of IgG in upper lesional epidermis and used high-resolution two-dimensional immunoblotting of extracts from this tissue, and laser desorption mass spectrometry of tryptic peptides, to define a series of epidermal proteins that bind IgG from psoriatic serum. The most prominent of these autoantigens are homologues of the serpin, squamous cell carcinoma antigen (SCCA), the other autoantigens identified including arginase 1, enolase 1, and keratin 10. Blood levels of IgG autoantibodies that bind to SCCA proteins were significantly higher in psoriasis than healthy controls (P=0.005), but were not detectable in sera from patients with active atopic dermatitis. To our knowledge, SCCA proteins have not previously been described as autoantigenic in animals or humans and form complexes with IgG that are associated with complement deposition. These findings expose potentially pathogenic humoral immunologic events and thus possible therapeutic targets in psoriasis. © 2008 The Society for Investigative Dermatology.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2219-2224
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2008