In this study, we developed a series of synthetic oligonucleotides that allowed us to investigate the details on the antigen recognition by autoimmune antibodies in localized scleroderma subjects. Besides dramatically improved analytical specificity of the assay, our data suggests a potential linking for antibodies to DNA to the biological status of disease state in localized scleroderma. Moreover, introducing chemical modifications into short synthetic deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA) molecules completely changed the binding titers of corresponding antibodies and their clinical relevance. The strongest observed effect was registered for the localized scleroderma skin damage index (LoSDI) on the IgG antibodies to TC dinucleotide-rich double-stranded antigen (p < 0.001). In addition to providing valuable tools for diagnosis of clinically relevant biomarkers, we believe that this work opens up new opportunities for research on antibodies to nucleic acids in localized scleroderma and other autoimmune diseases.
- Scleroderma, Localized/immunology