Two subsets of HLA-DQA1 alleles mark phenotypic variation in levels of insulin autoantibodies in first degree relatives at risk for insulin- dependent diabetes

A. Pugliese, T. Bugawan, R. Moromisato, Z. L. Awdeh, C. A. Alper, R. A. Jackson, H. A. Erlich, G. S. Eisenbarth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

42 Scopus citations

Abstract

Levels of insulin autoantibodies (IAA) vary among different first degree relatives of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus patients, suggesting genetic regulation. We previously reported elevated IAA among DR4-positive at risk relatives. In this study, 72/82 at risk relatives were IAA positive, of whom 75% (54/72) carried DR4 versus 20% (2/10) of IAA-negative relatives (P = 0.0004). However, 69% (18/26) of DR4-negative relatives were IAA positive. Since DR4 did not account for all IAA positivity, we analyzed DQA1 and DQB1 alleles. Homozygosity for DQA1 alleles deriving from the evolutionary lineage 4 (*0401, *0501, *0601) was associated with low IAA levels, while lineage 1-3 alleles (*0101, *0102, *0103, *0201, *0301) correlated with higher levels. Most (93%, 65/70) relatives with lineage 1-3 alleles were IAA positive (mean = 360±63 SEM nU/ml). Only 7/12 relatives homozygous for lineage 4 alleles were IAA-positive, with lower levels than relatives with lineage 1-3 alleles (mean = 55±15 SEM nU/ml, P < 0.0001; 7/12 vs 65/70, P = 0.004). The amino acid sequences of lineage 1-3 alleles uniquely share glutamic acid (E) and phenylalanine (F) at positions 40 and 51 (EF alleles). Lineage 4 alleles have glycine (G) and leucine (L) at those positions (GL alleles). 90% (65/72) of IAA-positive relatives had an EF allele, while only 75% (54/72) had DR4 (P = 0.01). Homozygosity for GL alleles (often DQA1 *0501 on DR3 haplotypes) correlated with little or no humoral response to insulin. Thus, HLA-DQB1 GL alleles, or other genes on haplotypes (e.g., DR3) that carry these DQA1 alleles, may confer recessive low responsiveness to insulin.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2447-2452
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Investigation
Volume93
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 1994

Keywords

  • Autoimmunity
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • HLA class II antigens
  • HLA-DQA1 antigens
  • Insulin autoantibodies
  • Insulin-dependent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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