Antibodies against heat shock protein 60 derived from Helicobacter pylori: diagnostic implications in cardiovascular disease.
Immune responses against heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) of pathogen-origin are thought to be defensive events which, due to molecular mimicry, misdirect to a human counterpart. Therefore, atherosclerosis may be serologically predicted by anti-HSP60 antibodies (Abs). In the present study, we analyzed the clinical prevalence of the serum IgG Abs against Helicobacter pylori (Hp)-derived HSP60 (Hp-HSP60) or its peptide fragments in patients with cardiovascular disease (CVD; n=250), as compared to those in age- and gender-matched non-CVD patients (n=293). Anti-Hp cell lysate Abs frequently appeared in Hp-infected patients who were not associated with CVD. In contrast, Abs against the particular amino acid sequence Hp-HSP60(II3) (II3 region, Glu(141)-Leu(160), in Hp-HSP60) predominantly appeared in CVD patients, as well as IgG anti-human HSP60 (Hu-HSP60(w)). Furthermore, neither titer of anti-Hp-HSP60(II3) nor anti-Hu-HSP60(w) Abs was correlated with the levels of high sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP). This data strongly suggested that IgG anti-Hp-HSP60(II3) Abs cross-reacted with Hu-HSP60(w) were independent diagnostic markers relevant to CVD. Further, the 20 amino acid residues (Glu(141)-Leu(160)) might be predominant CVD-associated epitopes that induce anti-Hu-HSP60 auto-Abs, whose location was predicted in the tertiary structure of Hu-HSP60.