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Diabetes. 2006 Nov;55(11):3061-7.

Identification of Novel HLA-A*0201-restricted epitopes in recent-onset type 1 diabetic subjects and antibody-positive relatives.

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  • 1Benaroya Research Institute at Virginia Mason, 1201 Ninth Ave., Room 260, Seattle WA, 98101, USA.


Cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs) are considered to be essential for beta-cell destruction in type 1 diabetes. However, few islet-associated peptides have been demonstrated to activate autoreactive CTLs from type 1 diabetic subjects. In an effort to identify novel epitopes, we used matrix-assisted algorithms to predict peptides of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP), prepro-islet amyloid polypeptide (ppIAPP), and islet-specific glucose-6-phosphatase catalytic subunit-related protein (IGRP) that likely bind to HLA-A*0201 with a strong affinity and contain a COOH-terminal proteasomal cleavage site. Seven peptides stabilized HLA-A*0201 expression in binding assays and were used to stimulate peripheral blood mononuclear cells and were evaluated for granzyme B secretion. We found that 5 of 13 type 1 diabetic subjects and 4 of 6 antibody-positive relatives exhibited greater numbers of granzyme B-secreting cells in response to at least one putative epitope compared with healthy control subjects. The most prevalent responses in antibody-positive and type 1 diabetic subjects were to ppIAPP(9-17). Other peptides recognized by type 1 diabetic or antibody-positive subjects included GFAP(143-151), IGRP(152-160), and GFAP(214-222). These data implicate peptides of ppIAPP, GFAP, and IGRP as CTL epitopes for a heterogenous CD8(+) T-cell response in type 1 subjects and antibody-positive relatives.

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