Antibodies to calnexin and mutated calreticulin are common in human sera

C Kyllesbech, N Trier, F Mughal, P Hansen, M Holmström, D El Fassi, H Hasselbalch, V Skov, L Kjær, M Andersen, E Ciplys, R Slibinskas, J Frederiksen, P Højrup, G Houen*

*Corresponding author for this work


PURPOSE OF THE STUDY: Calreticulin is an endoplasmic reticulum chaperone protein, which is involved in protein folding and in peptide loading of major histocompatibility complex class I molecules together with its homolog calnexin. Mutated calreticulin is associated with a group of hemopoietic disorders, especially myeloproliferative neoplasms. Currently only the cellular immune response to mutated calreticulin has been described, although preliminary findings have indicated that antibodies to mutated calreticulin are not specific for myeloproliferative disorders. These findings have prompted us to characterize the humoral immune response to mutated calreticulin and its chaperone homologue calnexin.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We analyzed sera from myeloproliferative neoplasm patients, healthy donors and relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis patients for the occurrence of autoantibodies to wild type and mutated calreticulin forms and to calnexin by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.

RESULTS: Antibodies to mutated calreticulin and calnexin were present at similar levels in serum samples of myeloproliferative neoplasm and multiple sclerosis patients as well as healthy donors. Moreover, a high correlation between antibodies to mutated calreticulin and calnexin was seen for all patient and control groups. Epitope binding studies indicated that cross-reactive antibodies bound to a three-dimensional epitope encompassing a short linear sequence in the C-terminal of mutated calreticulin and calnexin.

CONCLUSION: Collectively, these findings indicate that calreticulin mutations may be common and not necessarily lead to onset of myeloproliferative neoplasm, possibly due to elimination of cells with mutations. This, in turn, may suggest that additional molecular changes may be required for development of myeloproliferative neoplasm.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103380
JournalCurrent research in translational medicine
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)103380
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jan 2023


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