The aim of this study was to examine oxidative stress and low level of α-1-antitrypsin (A1AT) in primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS), and evaluate the associated autoreactivity against unmodified and their 4-hydroxy-2-nonenal (HNE)-modified peptides with pSS. Two differentially expressed proteins, α-1-acid glycoprotein 1 (A1AG1) and A1AT, exhibited 2-fold differences, and their HNE modifications were identified by depleted-albumin and immunoglobulin G (IgG) serum protein, in-solution digestion, in-gel digestion, and nano-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (nano-LC-MS/MS) from pSS patients and age-matched healthy controls (HCs). Furthermore, levels of proteins, confirmation of HNE modifications, HNE-protein adducts and autoreactivity against unmodified and their HNE-modified peptides were further validated. Levels of the HNE-protein adduct and A1AG1 were significantly higher in pSS patients than HCs, but levels of A1AT were significantly lower in pSS patients compared to HCs. Only the HNE modification of A1AT was confirmed. Our study suggests that elevated HNE-protein adduct, oxidative stress, level (odds ratio (OR) 4.877, p = 0.003), lowered A1AT level (OR 3.910, p = 0.010) and a decreased level of anti-A1AT50-63 IgG (OR 3.360, p = 0.010) showed an increased risk in pSS patients compared to HCs, respectively.
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