Carbonyl Post-Translational Modification Associated with Early Onset Type 1 Diabetes Autoimmunity
Inflammation and oxidative stress in pancreatic islets amplify the appearance of various post-translational modifications (PTMs) to self-proteins. Herein, we identified a select group of carbonylated islet proteins arising before the onset of hyperglycemia in non-obese diabetic mice. Of interest, we identified carbonyl modification of the prolyl-4-hydroxylase beta subunit (P4Hb) that is responsible for proinsulin folding and trafficking as an autoantigen in both human and murine type 1 diabetes. We found the carbonylated P4Hb is amplified in stressed islets coincident with decreased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and altered proinsulin to insulin ratios. Autoantibodies against P4Hb were detected in prediabetic NOD mice and in early human type 1 diabetes prior to the onset of anti-insulin autoimmunity. Moreover, we identify autoreactive CD4+ T cell responses toward carbonyl-P4Hb epitopes in the circulation of patients with type 1 diabetes. Our studies provide mechanistic insight into the pathways of proinsulin metabolism and in creating autoantigenic forms of insulin in type 1 diabetes.