Discovery of Phosphorylated Peripherin as a Major Humoral Autoantigen in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Todd M. Doran, Jumpei Morimoto, Scott Simanski, Eric J. Koesema, Lorraine F. Clark, Kevin Pels, Sydney L. Stoops, Alberto Pugliese, Jay S Skyler, Thomas Kodadek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Summary A major goal in understanding autoimmune diseases is to define the antigens that elicit a self-destructive immune response, but this is a difficult endeavor. In an effort to discover autoantigens associated with type 1 diabetes (T1D), we used epitope surrogate technology that screens combinatorial libraries of synthetic molecules for compounds that could recognize disease-linked autoantibodies and enrich them from serum. Autoantibodies from one patient revealed a highly phosphorylated form of peripherin, a neuroendocrine filament protein, as a candidate T1D antigen. Peripherin antibodies were detected in 72% of donor patient sera. Further analysis revealed that the T1D-associated antibodies only recognized a dimeric conformation of peripherin. These data explain why peripherin was dismissed as an important T1D antigen previously. The discovery of this novel autoantigen would not have been possible using standard methods, such as hybridizing serum antibodies to recombinant protein arrays, highlighting the power of epitope surrogate technology for probing the mechanism of autoimmune diseases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)618-628
Number of pages11
JournalCell Chemical Biology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 19 2016


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Drug Discovery
  • Pharmacology

Cite this

Doran, T. M., Morimoto, J., Simanski, S., Koesema, E. J., Clark, L. F., Pels, K., Stoops, S. L., Pugliese, A., Skyler, J. S., & Kodadek, T. (2016). Discovery of Phosphorylated Peripherin as a Major Humoral Autoantigen in Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus. Cell Chemical Biology, 23(5), 618-628.