Autoantibodies to phosphatidylethanolamine (PE) recognize a kininogen- PE complex

T Sugi and JA McIntyre


Demonstration of autoimmune antiphospholipid antibodies (aPA) to negatively charged phospholipids (PL) in an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) requires the presence of certain phospholipid-binding plasma proteins, eg, beta 2-glycoprotein I. We found a requirement for plasma against the electrically neutral or zwitterionic phospholipid, phosphatidylethanolamine (PE). Two of these PE-binding plasma proteins were identified as high molecular weight kininogen (HMWK) and low molecular weight kininogen (LMWK). We studied anti-PE antibody (aPE) seropositive plasma from 13 patients with SLE and/or recurrent spontaneous abortions by using partially purified kininogens and kininogen binding proteins from adult bovine serum isolated by carboxymethyl (CM)-papain affinity chromatography. Eleven of 13 sera recognized a kininogen-PE complex and/or a kininogen-binding protein-kininogen-PE complex. Some aPE-positive patient sera were shown to recognize highly purified HMWK and LMWK by ELISA only when the kininogens were presented on a PE substrate. These aPE sera did not recognize PE, HMWK, or LMWK when they were presented independently as the sole antigens on the ELISA plates. Other aPE-positive sera that did not react with PE-bound HMWK or LMWK reacted with the CM-papain column eluate when it was bound to PE, which suggests that these aPE recognize factor XI or prekallikrein, which normally bind to HMWK. The aPE ELISA reactivity of two patient sera were inhibited by preincubation of the CM-papain column eluate in the ELISA plate. These data show that most aPE are not specific for PE but require the presence of certain PL-binding plasma proteins that are kininogens or proteins in complex with kininogens. Our studies indicate that aPE bind to different plasma proteins than those implicated in anionic PL, aPA ELISA reactivity.