Natural and induced antitubulin antibodies were compared for their epitope recognition on alpha- and beta-tubulin subunits by immunoenzymatic assays and Western blot techniques on partially digested tubulin molecules. Our results indicated that natural autoantibodies recognized different epitopes from those recognized by induced antibodies, because: 1) all polyspecific natural autoantibodies tested so far recognized the same or very overlapping epitopes in the central part of both alpha- and beta-subunits (between positions 100 and 300 on the tubulin amino acid sequence) and that this epitope differed from the various epitopes recognized by induced antitubulin antibodies on the amino-terminal or carboxy-terminal parts of the tubulin subunits; 2) one human myeloma protein (monoclonal (m)IgA, kappa) with a monospecific antitubulin activity bound to an epitope around position 310 on both alpha- and beta-subunits and a second human mIg (mIgM, kappa) with a monospecific anti-beta activity bound to an epitope on the carboxy-terminal part of the subunit around amino acid position 350. Both epitopes differed from epitopes recognized by induced antitubulin antibodies. These results thus confirmed our previous findings indicating that natural and induced antitubulin antibodies do not share cross-reactive idiotopes.

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