BACKGROUND: Anticentromere antibodies (ACAs) have been observed in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related chronic liver disease (CLD-C) as well as those with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). However, little is known about the differences in immune responses to the centromere proteins among these liver diseases. OBJECTIVE: By synthesizing recombinant proteins consisting of the N- and C-termini of major centromere proteins, we investigated the humoral responses against them in each disease. RESULTS: Eight of the 754 (1%) patients with CLD-C, 14 of the 57 (25%) patients with PBC and six of the 38 (16%) patients with AIH were seropositive for ACAs. There were no significant differences in ACA titers determined by an indirect immunofluorescent method among the groups of patients with CLD-C, PBC and AIH. However, the analysis of immunoreactivities against each recombinant protein revealed that the titers of IgG-subclass autoantibodies against the C-terminus of centromere protein (CENP)-B were significantly higher in the CLD-C patients than in the AIH patients. Likewise, the titers of IgM-subclass autoantibodies against the N-terminus of CENP-A were significantly higher in the PBC group than in the CLD-C group. The ACA-positive patients who developed liver cirrhosis had significantly higher titers of the IgA-subclass autoantibodies against the C-terminus of CENP-C than those who did not. CONCLUSION: These findings suggest that immunoreactivities against the fragments of centromere proteins show distinct patterns among CLD-C, PBC and AIH and that the determination of immunoreactivities against the centromere proteins may be useful for the prediction of disease progression.