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PhIP-Seq Reveals Autoantibodies for Ubiquitously Expressed Antigens in Viral Myocarditis

Rasquinha, M;Lasrado, N;Petro-Turnquist, E;Weaver, E;Venkataraman, T;Anderson, D;Laserson, U;Larman, H;Reddy, J;

Enteroviruses such as group B coxsackieviruses (CVB) are commonly suspected as causes of myocarditis that can lead to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and the mouse model of CVB3 myocarditis is routinely used to understand DCM pathogenesis. Mechanistically, autoimmunity is suspected due to the presence of autoantibodies for select antigens. However, their role continues to be enigmatic, which also raises the question of whether the breadth of autoantibodies is sufficiently characterized. Here, we attempted to comprehensively analyze the autoantibody repertoire using Phage ImmunoPrecipitation Sequencing (PhIP-Seq), a versatile and high-throughput platform, in the mouse model of CVB3 myocarditis. First, PhIP-Seq analysis using the VirScan library revealed antibody reactivity only to CVB3 in the infected group but not in controls, thus validating the technique in this model. Second, using the mouse peptide library, we detected autoantibodies to 32 peptides from 25 proteins in infected animals that are ubiquitously expressed and have not been previously reported. Third, by using ELISA as a secondary assay, we confirmed antibody reactivity in sera from CVB3-infected animals to cytochrome c oxidase assembly factor 4 homolog (COA4) and phosphoinositide-3-kinase adaptor protein 1 (PIK3AP1), indicating the specificity of antibody detection by PhIP-Seq technology. Fourth, we noted similar antibody reactivity patterns in CVB3 and CVB4 infections, suggesting that the COA4- and PIK3AP1-reactive antibodies could be common to multiple CVB infections. The specificity of the autoantibodies was affirmed with influenza-infected animals that showed no reactivity to any of the antigens tested. Taken together, our data suggest that the autoantibodies identified by PhIP-Seq may have relevance to CVB pathogenesis, with a possibility that similar reactivity could be expected in human DCM patients.