The human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-B27 peptidome in vivo, in spondyloarthritis-susceptible HLA-B27 transgenic rats and the effect of Erap1 deletion

Eilon Barnea, Dganit Melamed Kadosh, Yael Haimovich, Nimman Satumtira, Martha L. Dorris, Mylinh T. Nguyen, Robert E Hammer, Tri M. Tran, Robert A. Colbert, Joel D Taurog, Arie Admon

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39 Scopus citations


HLA-B27 is a class I major histocompatibility (MHC-I) allele that confers susceptibility to the rheumatic disease ankylosing spondylitis (AS) by an unknown mechanism. ERAP1 is an aminopeptidase that trims peptides in the endoplasmic reticulum for binding to MHC-I molecules. ERAP1 shows genetic epistasis with HLA-B27 in conferring susceptibility to AS. Male HLA-B27 transgenic rats develop arthritis and serve as an animal model of AS, whereas female B27 transgenic rats remain healthy. We used large scale quantitative mass spectrometry to identify over 15,000 unique HLA-B27 peptide ligands, isolated after immunoaffinity purification of the B27 molecules from the spleens of HLA-B27 transgenic rats. Heterozygous deletion of Erap1, which reduced the Erap1 level to less than half, had no qualitative or quantitative effects on the B27 peptidome. Homozygous deletion of Erap1 affected approximately one-third of the B27 peptidome but left most of the B27 peptidome unchanged, suggesting the possibility that some of the HLA-B27 immunopeptidome is not processed in the presence of Erap1. Deletion of Erap1 was permissive for the AS-like phenotype, increased mean peptide length and increased the frequency of C-terminal hydrophobic residues and of N-terminal Ala, Ser, or Lys. The presence of Erap1 increased the frequency of C-terminal Lys and Arg, of Glu and Asp at intermediate residues, and of N-terminal Gly. Several peptides of potential interest in AS pathogenesis, previously identified in human cell lines, were isolated. However, rats susceptible to arthritis had B27 peptidomes similar to those of non-susceptible rats, and no peptides were found to be uniquely associated with arthritis. Whether specific B27-bound peptides are required for AS pathogenesis remains to be determined. Data are available via ProteomeXchange with identifier PXD005502.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)642-662
Number of pages21
JournalMolecular and Cellular Proteomics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology


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