We used antisera from patients with the CREST syndrome of scleroderma (calcinosis, Raynaud's phenomenon, esophageal dysmotility, sclerodactyly, telangiectasia) to show that an antigenic component of the kinetochore present in metaphase chromosomes is also present in nonhistone chromosome scaffolds isolated following extensive digestion of the DNA and extraction of the bulk of chromosomal protein. All sera from 12 scleroderma CREST patients previously shown by immunofluorescence microscopy to have circulating antikinetochore antibodies recognise a protein of Mr 77,000 (CREST-77) in an immunoblotting assay. 9 of the 12 sera also recognise an antigen of Mr 110,000 (CREST-110). These proteins are present in isolated chromosomes and nonhistone scaffolds derived from them by two different procedures. Sera of five scleroderma CREST patients who are antikinetochore negative (by immunofluorescence) bind to neither protein in immunoblots. These data suggest that CREST-77 (and possibly CREST-110) is a component of the human kinetochore, and that the kinetochore is an integral part of the mitotic chromosome scaffolding.

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