Guidelines for immunologic laboratory testing in the rheumatic diseases: anti-Sm and anti-RNP antibody tests

Guidelines for immunologic laboratory testing in the rheumatic diseases: anti-Sm and anti-RNP antibody tests

Guidelines for immunologic laboratory testing in the rheumatic diseases: anti-Sm and anti-RNP antibody tests

Introduction

This article on antibodies to Sm and RNP is part of a series on immunologic testing guidelines (1–5). The introduction
to the series outlines the full methodology for obtaining data, grading the literature, combining the information from multiple sources, and for developing recommendations (1).The Sm antigen was named after a patient, Smith, who had systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Antibodies to Sm were identified in 1966 by immunodiffusion (ID) to a phosphate buffered saline extract of calf thymus (subsequently called extractable nuclear antigen [ENA]) and by hemagglutination (HA) (6). The antigen to which anti-Sm antibodies bind consists of a series of proteins: B, B’, D, E, F, and G complexed with small nuclear RNAs: U1, U2, U4 – 6, and U5. These complexes of nuclear proteins and RNAs are called small nuclear ribonucleoprotein particles (snRNPs); they are important in the splicing of precursor messenger RNA (7), an integral step in the processing of RNA transcribed from DNA.

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