Monoclonal anti-collagen type II antibody CIIC1 is an arthritogenic autoantibody, which induces arthritis in mice. We crystallized and solved the structure of CIIC1 Fab molecule. Analysis of structure revealed an interaction between the CDR regions of one Fab to the CH1 domain of another Fab, which resembles an antibody-antigen interaction. ELISA experiments confirmed the cross-reactivity of both the full CIIC1 antibody and a single chain Fv fragment to other anti-collagen antibodies which are of different isotypes and epitope specificity. The rheumatoid factor like reactivity of CIIC1 antibody together with its collagen type II specificity may explain the pathogenicity of this antibody. (C) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.