Emerging evidence has suggested environmental factors as causative agents in the pathogenesis of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), We have hypothesized that in PBC the lipoyl domain of the immunodominant E2 component of pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDC-E2) is replaced by a chemical xenobiotic mimic, which is sufficient to break self-tolerance. To address this hypothesis, based upon our quantitative structure-activity relationship data, a total of 107 potential xenobiotic mimics were coupled to the lysine residue of the immunodominant 15 amino acid peptide of the PDC-E2 inner lipoyl domain and spotted on microarray slides. Sera from patients with PBC (n = 47), primary sclerosing cholangitis (n = 15), and healthy volunteers (n = 20) were assayed for Ig reactivity. PBC sera were subsequently absorbed with native lipoylated PDC-E2 peptide or a xenobiotically modified PDC-E2 peptide, and the remaining reactivity analyzed. Of the 107 xenobiotics, 33 had a significantly higher IgG reactivity against PBC sera compared with control sera. In addition, 9 of those 33 compounds were more reactive than the native lipoylated peptide. Following absorption, 8 of the 9 compounds demonstrated cross-reactivity with lipoic acid. One compound, 2-octynoic acid, was unique in both its quantitative structure-activity relationship analysis and reactivity. PBC patient sera demonstrated high Ig reactivity against 2-octynoic acid-PBC-E2 peptide. Not only does 2-octynoic acid have the potential to modify PDC-E2 in vivo but importantly it was/is widely used in the environment including perfumes, lipstick, and many common food flavorings.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy