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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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