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Response to: ‘Acquiring new N-glycosylation sites in variable regions of immunoglobulin genes by somatic hypermutation is a common feature of autoimmune diseases’ by Visser et al
  1. Rochelle D Vergroesen1,
  2. Linda M Slot1,
  3. Lise Hafkenscheid1,
  4. Marvyn T Koning2,
  5. Hans U Scherer1,
  6. René E M Toes1
  1. 1 Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2 Department of Hematology, Leiden University Medical Center, Leiden, The Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to Dr Hans U Scherer, Department of Rheumatology, Leiden University Medical Center, 2300RC Leiden, The Netherlands; H.U.Scherer{at}

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We thank Visser et al 1 for their interesting correspondence to our recently published letter entitled ‘B-cell receptor sequencing of anticitrullinated protein antibody (ACPA) IgG-expressing B cells indicates a selective advantage for the introduction of N-glycosylation sites during somatic hypermutation’.2 Visser et al performed a meta-analysis on publicly available datasets to analyse acquired N-glycosylation sites in the variable region of B cell receptors (BCRs) derived from patients with different autoimmune diseases. BCR sequences of antigen-specific B cells isolated after vaccination or infection and BCR sequences of healthy donors (HD) served as comparison. The meta-analysis showed acquired N-glycosylation sites in 9% of BCR sequences derived from patients with autoimmune diseases and in 2.3% and 2.7% of sequences derived from HD and vaccine/infection-induced B cells, respectively. This enhanced frequency of acquired N-glycosylation sites (compared with controls) was observed for all autoimmune diseases, with the exception of ankylosing spondylitis (AS, 3%) …

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  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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