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Disease Association, Origin, and Clinical Relevance of Autoantibodies to the Glycolytic Enzyme Enolase
  1. Veronika M. Gitlits,
  2. Ban-Hock Toh,
  3. John W. Sentry
  1. From the Department of Pathology and Immunology, Monash University Medical School, Prahran, Victoria 3181, Australia.
  1. J.W.S. receives a salary support from the National Health and Medical Research Council of Australia.
  2. This review constitutes part of the PhD studies of V.M.G., who is supported by an Australian Postgraduate Award.
  3. Address correspondence to: John W. Sentry, PhD, Department of Pathology and Immunology, Monash University Medical School, Prahran, Victoria 3181, Australia. E-mail john.sentry{at}


Serum autoantibodies to the glycolytic enzyme enolase have been reported in a diverse range of inflammatory, degenerative, and psychiatric disorders. Diseases in which these antibodies have been reported in high incidence include autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 (80%, 35 of 44), primary (69%, 60 of 87), and secondary (58%, 14 of 24) membranous nephropathy, cancer-associated retinopathy (68.8%, 11 of 16), autoimmune hepatitis type 1 (60%, 12 of 20), mixed cryoglobulinemia with renal involvement (63.6%, seven of 11), cystoid macular edema (60%, six of 10), and endometriosis (50%, 21 of 41). In autoimmune polyglandular syndrome type 1 patients, all had chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis with demonstrated antibody reactivity to candida enolase, which is suggestive of cross reactivity or epitope mimicry. Formation of autoantibodies to enolase may be a normal process, with reported incidence in apparently healthy subjects ranging from 0% (zero of 91) to 11.7% (seven of 60). Nonetheless, we suggest that excessive production of these autoantibodies, which are generated as a consequence of uptake of enolase by antigen-presenting cells and subsequent B cell activation, can potentially initiate tissue injury as a result of immune complex deposition.

Key Words
  • glycolytic enzyme
  • enolase
  • autoimmunity
  • autoantibodies

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