Presence of Antibodies Binding to Negative Elongation Factor E in Sarcoidosis.
Sarcoidosis is characterized by multiorgan involvement and granulomatous inflammation. Its origin is unknown and the potential role of autoimmunity has not been sufficiently determined. We investigated the presence of autoantibodies in sarcoidosis using protein array technology. The derivation cohort consisted of patients with sarcoidosis (n = 25) and controls including autoimmune disease and blood donors (n = 246). In addition, we tested a validation cohort including pulmonary sarcoidosis patients (n = 58) and healthy controls (n = 13). Initially, sera of three patients with sarcoidosis were screened using a protein array with 28.000 proteins against controls. Thereby we identified the Negative Elongation Factor E (NELF-E) as an autoantigen. With confirmatory Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA)testing, 29/82 patients (35%) with sarcoidosis had antibodies against NELF-E of the Immunoglobulin (Ig) G type, whereas 18/253 (7%) sera of the controls were positive for NELF-E. Clinically, there was an association of the frequency of NELF-E antibody detection with lung parenchymal involvement and corresponding x-ray types. NELF-E autoantibodies are associated with sarcoidosis and should be further investigated.