The Francis Crick Institute
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Response to comment on 'AIRE-deficient patients harbor unique high-affinity disease-ameliorating autoantibodies'.

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journal contribution
posted on 2020-01-09, 11:46 authored by Christina Hertel, Dmytro Fishman, Anna Lorenc, Annamari Ranki, Kai Krohn, Pärt Peterson, Kai Kisand, Adrian Hayday
In 2016, we reported four substantial observations of APECED/APS1 patients, who are deficient in AIRE, a major regulator of central T cell tolerance (Meyer et al., 2016). Two of those observations have been challenged. Specifically, 'private' autoantibody reactivities shared by only a few patients but collectively targeting >1000 autoantigens have been attributed to false positives (Landegren, 2019). While acknowledging this risk, our study-design included follow-up validation, permitting us to adopt statistical approaches to also limit false negatives. Importantly, many such private specificities have now been validated by multiple, independent means including the autoantibodies' molecular cloning and expression. Second, a significant correlation of antibody-mediated IFNα neutralization with an absence of disease in patients highly disposed to Type I diabetes has been challenged because of a claimed failure to replicate our findings (Landegren, 2019). However, flaws in design and implementation invalidate this challenge. Thus, our results present robust, insightful, independently validated depictions of APECED/APS1, that have spawned productive follow-up studies.