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A novel autoantigen in type 1 diabetes has been found!

13. November 2018

A team of INNODIA investigators of KULeuven has identified a modified form of the protein GRP78 as a novel autoantigen in human type 1 diabetes. They demonstrate that the modified protein is produced by the insulin-producing beta cells when exposed to inflammation. The immune system of patients with type 1 diabetes preferentially recognizes this modified form and responds more vigorously to it compared to the immune system of healthy controls. The investigators hypothesize that this more vigorous response can contribute to the destruction of the insulin-producing cells, aggravating the course of the disease. The identification of new autoantigens in type 1 diabetes is highly relevant to better understand this heterogeneous disease and may lead to the discovery of new biomarkers for earlier diagnosis and disease interventions, especially in the view of more personalized therapies.

The complete article can be found on PubMed: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30348823