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Clinical significance of antibodies to Ro52/TRIM21 in systemic sclerosis

Marie Hudson12*, Janet Pope3, Michael Mahler4, Solène Tatibouet2, Russell Steele2, Murray Baron12, Canadian Scleroderma Research Group (CSRG) and Marvin J Fritzler5

Author affiliations

1 Division of Rheumatology, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 Cote Ste Catherine, Montréal H3T 1E3, Quebec, Canada

2 Lady Davis Research Institute, Jewish General Hospital, 3755 Cote Ste Catherine, Montréal H3T 1E3, Quebec, Canada

3 Faculty of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology, University of Western Ontario, St. Joseph's Health Centre, 268 Grosvenor Street, London N6A 4V2, Ontario, Canada

4 INOVA Diagnostics, Inc, 9900 Old Grove Rd, San Diego, CA 32131-1638, USA

5 Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive, Calgary T2N 4N1, Alberta, Canada

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Citation and License

Arthritis Research & Therapy 2012, 14:R50  doi:10.1186/ar3763

Published: 6 March 2012



Autoantibodies to Ro52 recently identified as TRIM21 are among the most common autoantibodies in systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases, but their clinical association remains poorly understood. We undertook this study to determine the clinical and serologic associations of anti-Ro52/TRIM21 antibodies in patients with systemic sclerosis (SSc).


Detailed clinical data and sera from 963 patients with SSc enrolled in a multicenter cohort study were collected and entered into a central database. Antibodies to Ro52/TRIM21 and other autoantibodies were detected with an addressable laser-bead immunoassay and different enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) systems. Associations between anti-Ro52/TRIM21 antibodies and clinical and other serologic manifestations of SSc were investigated.


Anti-Ro52/TRIM21 antibodies were present in 20% of SSc patients and overlapped with other main SSc-related antibodies, including anti-centromere (by immunofluorescence and centromere protein (CENP)-A and CENP-B ELISA), anti-topoisomerase I, anti-RNA polymerase III, and anti-Pm/Scl antibodies. Anti-Ro52/TRIM21 antibodies were strongly associated with interstitial lung disease (odds ratio (OR), 1.53; 95% confidence interval (CI), 1.11 to 2.12; P = 0.0091) and overlap syndrome (OR, 2.06; 95% CI, 1.01 to 4.19; P = 0.0059).


Anti-Ro52/TRIM21 antibodies were the second most common autoantibodies in this SSc cohort. In SSc, anti-Ro52/TRIM21 antibodies may be a marker of interstitial lung disease and overlap syndrome.