Autoantibody response to microsomal epoxide hydrolase in hepatitis C and A

Toshitaka Akatsuka, Nobuharu Kobayashi, Takashi Ishikawa, Takafumi Saito, Michiko Shindo, Masayoshi Yamauchi, Kazutaka Kurokohchi, Hitoshi Miyazawa, Hongying Duan, Toshiyuki Matsunaga, Tsugikazu Komoda, Christophe Morisseau, Bruce D. Hammock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Autoimmune responses were observed in a large proportion of hepatitis C cases and are suspected to be part of viral pathogenesis. The AN6520 antigen (AN-Ag) is a normal cellular protein mainly expressed in liver that was found associated with non-A, non-B hepatitis. To elucidate its pathogenic role in hepatitis C, we developed an IgM capture assay using purified AN-Ag and confirmed that the antibody response to AN-Ag is associated almost exclusively with hepatitis C cases (29%). Screening of a human liver expression library revealed that AN-Ag is mainly the microsomal epoxide hydrolase (mEH), a drug-metabolizing enzyme that plays an important role in the metabolism of some mutagenic and carcinogenic epoxides. Using the purified recombinant human mEH as an antigen, we now found that antibodies against this protein are associated with nearly 82% of hepatitis C virus infections and surprisingly with 46% of patients with hepatitis A. The appearance of AN-Ag/mEH in the incubation period of hepatitis C as previously reported and the antibody responses shown here indicate that this enzyme may be a marker for or even a cause of some of the pathology associated with hepatitis C and A.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-18
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Autoimmunity
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2007


  • Baculovirus
  • Hepatitis A virus
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Purification
  • Radioimmunoassay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy


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