Antibodies to a microbial peptide sharing sequence homology with βA3-crystallin damage lens epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo

Dhirendra P. Singh, Toshiharu Sueno, Takanobu Kikuchi, Sirdanahalli C. Guru, Shirley Yu, Joseph Horwitz, Leo T. Chylack, Toshimichi Shinohara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Circulating auto-antibodies (Abs) against lens antigens (Ags) are highly prevalent in patients with cataract, but their origin and pathogenic significance are unknown. We hypothesized that Abs raised after exposure to infectious microbes could cross-react with lens Ags. To test this hypothesis, we generated a monoclonal Ab to human βA3-crystallin. Epitope analysis indicated that the ETQAE sequence in the N-terminus region of βA3-crystallin was critical for mounting a humoral response. Similar sequences were found in three microbial Ags. Mice injected with a microbial oligopeptide containing ETQAE emulsified with complete Freund's adjuvant (CFA) raised Abs which cross-reacted with βA3-crystallin and developed lens epithelial cell (LEG) damage in vitro. We also genetically engineered an βA3-crystallin-expressing E. coli. Mice immunized with the recombinant E. coli developed LEC damage. These results support the hypothesis that exposure to microbes having Ags homologous to self Ags can trigger a humoral immune response that leads to LEC damage in mice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-322
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Age-related cataract
  • Auto-antibodies
  • Cross-reactive antigen
  • E. coli
  • Infection
  • βA-crystallin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Antibodies to a microbial peptide sharing sequence homology with βA<sub>3</sub>-crystallin damage lens epithelial cells in vitro and in vivo'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this