Sci Rep 8 (1) 4852 [2018-03-19; online 2018-03-19]
Dogs can spontaneously develop complex systemic autoimmune disorders, with similarities to human autoimmune disease. Autoantibodies directed at self-antigens are a key feature of these autoimmune diseases. Here we report the identification of interleukin enhancer-binding factors 2 and 3 (ILF2 and ILF3) as autoantigens in canine immune-mediated rheumatic disease. The ILF2 autoantibodies were discovered in a small, selected canine cohort through the use of human protein arrays; a method not previously described in dogs. Subsequently, ILF3 autoantibodies were also identified in the same cohort. The results were validated with an independent method in a larger cohort of dogs. ILF2 and ILF3 autoantibodies were found exclusively, and at a high frequency, in dogs that showed a speckled pattern of antinuclear antibodies on immunofluorescence. ILF2 and ILF3 autoantibodies were also found at low frequency in human patients with SLE and Sjögren's syndrome. These autoantibodies have the potential to be used as diagnostic biomarkers for canine, and possibly also human, autoimmune disease.