Universiteit Leiden

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PhD Defence

Anti-Carbamylated protein antibodies in Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Jing Shi
Thursday 7 January 2016
Academy Building
Rapenburg 73
2311 GJ Leiden


  • Prof. R. E. M. Toes
  • Prof. T. W. J. Huizinga
  • Dr. L. A. Trouw

This thesis describes a new type of biomarker (autoantibodies) for Rheumatoid Arthritis patients. This biomarker predict worse disease outcome in Rheumatoid Arthritis patients and higher risk for developing to Rheumatoid Arthritis in healthy persons and patients who have mild symptoms. Therefore, the discovery of this biomarker can help the prediction and prognosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. The discovery of this autoantibody system is triggered by a scientific question asked by Prof. Dr. Cerami that “Whether human immune system can differentiate two different but very similar post-translational modification: citrullination and carbamylation?” Post-translational modification refers to the covalent and generally enzymatic modification of proteins during or after protein biosynthesis (cited from Wikipedia). Citrullination is one type of post-translational modifications which can trigger a specific group of autoantibodies in Rheumatoid Arthritis. This group of autoantibody is proved to be the most important biomarker in Rheumatoid Arthritis as well as a key clue for the pathogenesis of Rheumatoid Arthritis. Carbamylation is another post-translational modification which yield different but very similar end product compared to citrullination. We addressed the above mentioned question and found out that human immune system can indeed differentiate these two post-translational modifications since the Rheumatoid Arthritis patients have another group of autoantibodies targeting carbamylated proteins which is not autoantibodies targeting citrullinated proteins found before. The characteristic of this autoantibodies is systemically studied and the findings were described in this thesis.

Press contact
Inès van Arkel, Science Communications Advisor               
T: 071 -5273282. E:  i.van.arkel@bb.leidenuniv.nl


Thesis abstract

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