“When we mapped the genome of Bacteroides fragilis a few years ago we were astonished to discover a human-like gene not present in any other bacteria. The protein produced from this gene is nearly the same shape as a protein in almost every human cell.
“When we discovered that Bacteroides fragilis produces lots of this mimic protein we were very excited. No other bacteria produced a mimic of human ubiquitin and this one lives in our gut. We immediately wondered if it might be linked with autoimmune diseases such as lupus. It has been known since the 1990s that some people with autoimmune diseases have antibodies that target their own human ubiquitin, but we don’t know why this happens. So we decided to see if people also had antibodies that target the Bacteroides fragilis version of ubiquitin.”Full article at Queen's University Belfast