Proinsulin C-peptide is an autoantigen in people with type 1 diabetes
Publication Year 2018-10-16, Volume 115, Issue #42, Page 10732-10737
Journal Title
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publication Type
Journal Article
Type 1 diabetes (T1D) is an autoimmune disease in which insulin-producing beta cells, found within the islets of Langerhans in the pancreas, are destroyed by islet-infiltrating T cells. Identifying the antigenic targets of beta-cell reactive T cells is critical to gain insight into the pathogenesis of T1D and develop antigen-specific immunotherapies. Several lines of evidence indicate that insulin is an important target of T cells in T1D. Because many human islet-infiltrating CD4(+) T cells recognize C-peptide-derived epitopes, we hypothesized that full-length C-peptide (PI33-63), the peptide excised from proinsulin as it is converted to insulin, is a target of CD4(+) T cells in people with T1D. CD4(+) T cell responses to full-length C-peptide were detected in the blood of: 14 of 23 (>60%) people with recent-onset T1D, 2 of 15 (>13%) people with long-standing T1D, and 1 of 13 (<8%) HLA-matched people without T1D. C-peptide-specific CD4(+) T cell clones, isolated from six people with T1D, recognized epitopes from the entire 31 amino acids of C-peptide. Eighty-six percent (19 of 22) of the C-peptide-specific clones were restricted by HLA-DQ8, HLA-DQ2, HLA-DQ8trans, or HLA-DQ2trans, HLA alleles strongly associated with risk of T1D. We also found that full-length C-peptide was a much more potent agonist of some CD4(+) T cell clones than an 18mer peptide encompassing the cognate epitope. Collectively, our findings indicate that proinsulin C-peptide is a key target of autoreactive CD4(+) T cells in T1D. Hence, full-length C-peptide is a promising candidate for antigen-specific immunotherapy in T1D.
WEHI Research Division(s)
Population Health And Immunity
PubMed ID
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Creation Date: 2018-11-21 01:39:58
Last Modified: 2018-11-21 01:41:08
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