GCAP1, Rab6, and HSP27: Novel autoantibody targets in cancer-associated retinopathy and autoimmune retinopathy

Sufang Yang, Alexander Dizhoor, David J. Wilson, Grazyna Adamus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Purpose: Autoantibodies (AAbs) with different retinal specificities were reported in cancer-associated retinopathy (CAR) and autoimmune retinopathy (AR). The goal was to identify the small retinal proteins of apparent molecular mass of 23-kDa often recognized by patients’ AAbs. Methods: Sera specific for a 23-kDa retinal protein of 173 patients were investigated retrospectively by Western blotting and double immunofluorescence confocal microscopy. A proteomic analysis revealed new 23-kDa protein candidates, including guanylyl cyclase-activating proteins (GCAPs), heat shock protein 27 (HSP27), and Rab6A GTPase (Rab6A). Results: Among the cohort of 173 patients, only 68 had anti-recoverin AAbs and the remaining 105 reacted with 4 unique proteins, which were identified as a Rab6A, HSP27, GCAP1, and GCAP2. Confocal images from a double labeling study confirmed the reactivity of AAbs with different types of cells in human retina, consistent with the target protein’s respective cellular functions. Patients (62/173) had been diagnosed with various kinds of cancer, including 20% of patients who had anti-recoverin, 11% anti-Rab6A, and 5% anti-HSP27 AAbs. Only 50% of recoverin-seropositive patients had cancer and the individuals with anti-recoverin AAbs had a significantly higher likelihood to be diagnosed with cancer than patients with other anti-23-kDa AAbs. Conclusions: The newly discovered retinal autoantigens may be involved in pathogenicity of CAR and AR. The recognition of AAbs against various retinal proteins associated with autoimmune retinal degeneration broadens the group of proteins related with these entities. Translational Relevance: Patients with anti-recoverin, anti-GCAP1, anti-Rab6A, and anti-HSP27 AAbs represented diverse clinical phenotypes, so the presence of diseaseassociated AAbs provides important information for molecular diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1
JournalTranslational Vision Science and Technology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2016


  • Autoimmune response/ disease
  • Cancer-associated retinopathy
  • Recoverin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Ophthalmology


Dive into the research topics of 'GCAP1, Rab6, and HSP27: Novel autoantibody targets in cancer-associated retinopathy and autoimmune retinopathy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this