Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Cloning, characterization, and autoimmune recognition of rat islet glutamic acid decarboxylase in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

PMID 1924335


A 64-kDa islet protein is a major autoantigen in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM). Autoantibodies against the 64-kDa protein were recently shown to immunoprecipitate glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD; L-glutamate 1-carboxy-lyase, EC from brain and from islets. We present evidence that the autoantisera also recognize a hydrophilic islet protein of approximately 67 kDa in addition to the amphiphilic 64-kDa form. We have isolated a full-length rat islet GAD cDNA encoding a hydrophilic 67-kDa protein, which appears to be identical to rat brain 67-kDa GAD. A partial sequence of human insulinoma 67-kDa GAD was identical to human brain 67-kDa GAD. Allelic variations were observed in rat as well as in human 67-kDa GAD sequences. The expressed rat islet 67-kDa GAD protein is functional and is immunoprecipitated by IDDM sera; it comigrates electrophoretically with the 67-kDa islet autoantigen. The hydrophilic 67-kDa form of GAD in islets is an additional autoantigen in IDDM and is recognized by a different subset of autoantibodies than the 64-kDa autoantigen. Thus, mammalian cell lines expressing functionally active, recombinant GAD may become important tools to study the nature and the role of GAD autoreactivity in IDDM.