Relationships between major epitopes of the IA-2 autoantigen in Type 1 diabetes: Implications for determinant spreading.
McLaughlin KA., Richardson CC., Williams S., Bonifacio E., Morgan D., Feltbower RG., Powell M., Rees Smith B., Furmaniak J., Christie MR.
Diversification of autoimmunity to islet autoantigens is critical for progression to Type 1 diabetes. B-cells participate in diversification by modifying antigen processing, thereby influencing which peptides are presented to T-cells. In Type 1 diabetes, JM antibodies are associated with T-cell responses to PTP domain peptides. We investigated whether this is the consequence of close structural alignment of JM and PTP domain determinants on IA-2. Fab fragments of IA-2 antibodies with epitopes mapped to the JM domain blocked IA-2 binding of antibodies that recognise epitopes in the IA-2 PTP domain. Peptides from both the JM and PTP domains were protected from degradation during proteolysis of JM antibody:IA-2 complexes and included those representing major T-cell determinants in Type 1 diabetes. The results demonstrate close structural relationships between JM and PTP domain epitopes on IA-2. Stabilisation of PTP domain peptides during proteolysis in JM-specific B-cells may explain determinant spreading in IA-2 autoimmunity.