The 37/40-kilodalton autoantigen in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus is the putative tyrosine phosphatase IA-2

Nadia Passini, J. Doug Larigan, Stefano Genovese, Ettore Appella, Francesco Sinigaglia, Lars Rogge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Major targets for autoantibodies associated with the development of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) include tryptic fragments with a molecular mass of 37 kDa and/or 40 kDa of a pancreatic islet cell antigen of unknown identity. The assay identifying autoantibodies against the 37/40-kDa antigen in human sera is based on the immunoprecipitation of 35S-labeled rat insulinoma cell proteins with sera from IDDM patients, followed by limited trypsin digestion of the immunoprecipitated material. To identify cDNA clones coding for the 37/40-kDa antigen, we have screened a cDNA expression library from rat insulinoma cells with a serum from an IDDM patient that precipitated the 37/40-kDa antigen in our assay. Among the cDNA products that reacted with the IDDM serum, we identified one cDNA clone whose open reading frame encodes a protein with a predicted mass of 105 kDa that we termed 'ICA105' for 105-kDa islet cell antibody. The deduced amino acid sequence has high homology to a recently cloned putative tyrosine phosphatase IA-2 from human and mouse cDNA libraries. Translation of the cDNA in vitro results in a polypeptide with the expected molecular mass of 105 kDa. The evidence that ICA105 is indeed the precursor of the 37/40-kDa tryptic fragments is based on the following three results: (i) Sera from IDDM patients containing autoantibodies to the 37/40-kDa antigen precipitate the in vitro translated polypeptide, whereas sera from healthy subjects as well as sera from IDDM patients not reactive with the 37/40-kDa antigen do not precipitate the cDNA product. (ii) Immunoprecipitation of the in vitro translated protein with sera containing autoantibodies to the 37/40-kDa antigen followed by limited trypsin digestion of the precipitated proteins results in a 40-kDa polypeptide. (iii) The protein derived from our cDNA but not from an unrelated control cDNA clone can block immunoprecipitation of the 37/40-kDa antigen from a labeled rat insulinoma cell extract. The availability of the cloned 37/40-kDa antigen should facilitate the identification of individuals at risk of IDDM with increased accuracy. Furthermore, the identification of the 37/40-kDa antigen as the putative tyrosine phosphatase IA-2 is of relevance in elucidating the role of this antigen in the development of IDDM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9412-9416
Number of pages5
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - Sep 26 1995


  • antigens
  • autoantibodies
  • expression cloning
  • islet cell antibodies
  • prediction of type I diabetes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General
  • Genetics


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