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Åke Lernmark

Principal investigator

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Cellular and subcellular localization of an M(r) 64,000 protein autoantigen in insulin-dependent diabetes


  • M. R. Christie
  • D. G. Pipeleers
  • A. Lernmark
  • S. Baekkeskov

Summary, in English

Antibodies to an M(r) 64,000 protein from human or rat islets have been detected at high frequency in newly diagnosed insulin-dependent diabetic patients. In this study, we show that the antigenic and amphiphilic properties of the rat islet M(r) 64,000 protein resemble that of the human protein. We have analyzed the expression of the M(r) 64,000 protein in populations of pancreatic β and non-β cells and in selected rat tissues by immunoprecipitation of [35S]methionine-radiolabeled proteins with sera from diabetic patients or from healthy control individuals. When islet cell populations enriched in β or non-β cells were tested for the expression of the M(r) 64,000 antigen, the protein was primarily observed in the β cells. On analyzing preparations of islets, liver, kidney, thyroid, adrenal, pituitary, spleen, and thymus, the protein could only be detected in islets. The protein was also characterized in terms of its subcellular localization by Percoll density gradient centrifugation and was recovered in a fraction enriched in the plasma membrane marker, 5'-nucleotidase. These results are consistent with a β cell-restricted plasma membrane expression of the protein and support the hypothesis that this protein is a target antigen of β cell-specific autoimmunity in insulin-dependent diabetes.

Publishing year







Journal of Biological Chemistry





Document type

Journal article






  • ISSN: 0021-9258