Autoimmune disease affects 3% of the world population, yet current therapies that globally suppress immune function are inadequate. Tremendous need exists for specific and curative therapies, and we describe a strategy for development of antigen-specific therapies that inactivate pathogenic lymphocytes causing tissue injury. Major barriers to development of antigen-specific therapies for T-cell-mediated autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and autoimmune diabetes, include (i) lack of knowledge of the specificity of autoimmune responses, for which proteomic technologies represent powerful tools to identify the self-protein targets of the autoimmune response, and (ii) lack of methods to induce specific immune tolerance, for which DNA tolerizing vaccines represent a promising strategy. We termed our approach Reverse Genomics: use of the proteomics-determined specificity of the autoantibody response to develop and select DNA tolerizing vaccines. Studies performed using animal models for multiple sclerosis and autoimmune diabetes support our Reverse Genomics approach. Through integration of proteomics with specific tolerizing therapies, we are developing a comprehensive approach to treat human autoimmune disease.
View details for DOI 10.1006/clim.2002.5185
View details for Web of Science ID 000175409000002