Antibodies against the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) was first discovered in the sera of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients. However, the reactivity and specificity of anti-PCNA autoantibodies are still unclear. To investigate the property of anti-PCNA autoantibodies, we conducted an ELISA screening of the anti-PCNA autoantibodies in sera of SLE patients. Eighteen out of 191 SLE sera were found to be positive for anti-PCNA antibodies giving a frequency of nearly 10%. Among the positive sera, a sample with the highest titer of anti-PCNA autoantibody preferentially recognizes the wild-type PCNA as compared to the Y114A mutation which contains a single amino acid substitution at 114 and fails to form the toroidal structure. Moreover, the autoantibody purified from this serum identifies only the free PCNA in crude mammalian cell extracts but not other associated cellular components. This finding raises a possibility that immunostaining with the human anti-PCNA autoantibodies in previous studies might have only partially PCNAs in tissues.