Myelin Basic Protein Citrullination, a Hallmark of Central Nervous System Demyelination, Assessed by Novel Monoclonal Antibodies in Prion Diseases

Byungki Jang, Yong Chul Jeon, Hae Young Shin, Yun Jung Lee, Hyunji Kim, Yoshitaka Kondo, Akihito Ishigami, Yong Sun Kim, Eun Kyoung Choi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Myelin basic protein (MBP) citrullination by peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD) enzymes leads to incomplete protein-lipid bilayer interactions and vulnerability to proteolytic enzymes, resulting in disorganization of the myelin sheath in the central nervous system. Therefore, citrullinated MBP (citMBP) has been suggested as a hallmark of demyelination, but how citMBP is implicated in prion diseases remains unknown. For the first time, we developed mouse monoclonal anti-citMBP IgG1 (clones 1B8, 1H1, and 3C6) and IgM (clone 3G5) antibodies that recognize human citMBP at its R25, R122, and R130 residues and at its C-terminal region (or the corresponding sites in mouse MBP), respectively. Using a biochemical, immunohistochemical, and immunogold-silver staining for electron microscopy techniques, we found that MBP residue R23 (corresponding to human R25) was specifically citrullinated, was stained as intense punctae in the corpus callosum, the striatum, and the cerebellar white matter, and was predominantly localized in disorganized myelin in the brains of scrapie-infected mice. In the brains of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) patients, MBP residues R25, R122, and R130 were markedly citrullinated and were stained as fibrils and punctae. In particular, white matter regions, such as the midbrain and the medulla, exhibited high levels of citMBP compared to other regions. However, the high levels of citMBP were not correlated with PAD2 expression. The clone 3G5 recognized significantly increased expression of the 18.5 kDa and/or 21.5 kDa variants of MBP in prion disease. Our findings suggest that significantly increased levels of citMBP may reflect demyelinating neuropathology, and that these newly developed antibodies may be useful for identifying demyelination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3172-3184
Number of pages13
JournalMolecular Neurobiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Apr 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Citrullination
  • Demyelination
  • Myelin basic protein
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Peptidylarginine deiminase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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