Sm is a small nuclear ribonucleoprotein composed of several protein autoantigens designated B, B1, D, E, F, and G, which range in size from 11 kD to 26 kD. Sm antibodies are specific for lupus erythematosus (LE) and occur in approximately 30% of LE patients. The levels of Sm antibodies remain relatively constant over time in patients with LE and are usually found in patients that also have RNP antibodies. (1,2)
Sm is 1 of 4 autoantigens commonly referred to as extractable nuclear antigens (ENAs). The other ENAs are RNP, SS-A/Ro, and SS-B/La. Each ENA is composed of 1 or more proteins associated with small nuclear RNA species (snRNP) ranging in size from 80 to approximately 350 nucleotides. Antibodies to ENAs are common in patients with connective tissue diseases (systemic rheumatic diseases) including LE, mixed connective tissue disease, Sjogren syndrome, scleroderma (systemic sclerosis), and polymyositis/dermatomyositis.