Serum from a patient with paraneoplastic encephalomyelitis (PEM) and small cell lung cancer (SCLC) showed high titer immunohistochemical staining of the axon initial segment (AIS) on rat and human brain sections. EM studies showed that the antigen was localized in close proximity of the microtubules in the AIS. Double labeling experiments and absence of staining at the nodes of Ranvier excluded the previously identified βIV spectrin as autoantigen. Screening a rat hippocampal cDNA library resulted in the isolation of ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme E2E1 (UBE2E1). However, blocking and elution experiments excluded UBE2E1 as the AIS autoantigen.

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Neuroscience Letters
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Shams'ili, S., de Leeuw, B., Hulsenboom, E., Jaarsma, D., & Smitt, P. S. (2009). A new paraneoplastic encephalomyelitis autoantibody reactive with the axon initial segment. Neuroscience Letters, 467(2), 169–172. doi:10.1016/j.neulet.2009.10.031