mAbs produced by immunization of BALB/c mice with Streptococcus pyogenes M type 5 membranes were further characterized for their reaction with S. pyogenes pep M5 protein and with autoantigens associated with human cell lines. mAbs 36.2.2 and 54.2.8 simultaneously reacted with M protein and a membrane protein(s) of S. pyogenes. When cell lines were mixed with 54.2.8, we saw nuclear fluorescence along with staining of the cytoskeleton. Subsequent experiments revealed that 54.2.8 was an anti-DNA antibody that reacted with DNA, poly(I), poly(dT), and weakly with cardiolipin. Its reactivity with the cytoskeleton could be blocked with anti-vimentin. On the other hand, 36.2.2 reacted with the cytoskeleton, sparing the nucleus, and was inhibited by the alpha helical proteins myosin, actin, and keratin. mAb 54.2.8 was inhibited with myosin, but not with actin and keratin. None of the antibodies studied were inhibited by collagen, and none of them were rheumatoid factors. The results imply that Group A streptococci can activate B cell clones against myosin, alpha helical proteins, or DNA, thereby contributing to the enhancement of autoantibody production.

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