The related tyrosine phosphatase-like proteins, islet cell antigen 512 (ICA512) and phosphatase homologue in granules of insulinoma (phogrin), are major targets of autoantibodies in patients with type 1 diabetes. In the current study, we have examined the overlapping specificities and antigenic epitopes of autoantibodies to ICA512 and phogrin and determined whether intramolecular epitope spreading occurs during the development of diabetic autoimmunity. ICA512 autoantibodies and phogrin autoantibodies were detected in 65-70% (n = 110) of patients with new-onset type 1 diabetes and 60-65% (n = 42) of prediabetic relatives of patients with type 1 diabetes. Of the sera, 10% reacted with ICA512 but not phogrin, whereas only 1% of sera reacted with phogrin but not ICA512. The binding of phogrin autoantibodies in 88 dual (ICA512 and phogrin) autoantibody-positive sera could be completely blocked by excess recombinant ICA512, whereas the blocking of ICA512 autoantibodies with recombinant phogrin was only partial (mean inhibition of 58.9 +/- 3.7%, mean +/- SE). Binding and competition analysis using multiple chimeric ICA512/phogrin constructs demonstrated that a major unique epitope for ICA512 autoantibodies is localized to amino acids 762-887. A conformational epitope associated with the carboxy-terminal 31 amino acids of ICA512 was recognized by one-third of sera, and a minor epitope is located on amino acids 601-762 of ICA512. The major epitopes for phogrin-selective autoantibodies were localized to amino acids 640-922 of phogrin. Sequential serum samples were analyzed in 22 relatives who expressed ICA512/phogrin autoantibodies. Intramolecular epitope spreading was found for 5 of 13 relatives who have progressed to type 1 diabetes. Among nine relatives who have remained nondiabetic, three demonstrated a decrease in the number of epitopes recognized. These studies highlight the complexity of autoantibody recognition of ICA512/phogrin and are consistent with the hypothesis that ICA512/phogrin may be recognized as a consequence of beta-cell destruction.

This content is only available via PDF.