Bacterial heat shock proteins have been implicated in the pathogenesis of several diseases, and the immunological relationship between rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and Escherichia coli DnaJ has been reported. Since there are similarities in the tissue destruction process of RA and periodontitis, we examined the reactivities of antibodies in sera from RA patients to the DnaJ protein from Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay showed that IgG titers to the N-terminal conservative region of the DnaJ are significantly higher in RA patients compared with the healthy controls (p < 0.05). Furthermore, we examined IgG titers of disease controls to determine the specificity of the immune responses to this region in RA patients. The difference between RA and infectious disease patients was also significant (p < 0.05). These results suggest that the N-terminal region of DnaJ from A. actinomycetemcomitans may contribute to the etiologic analysis of RA.
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