Type I diabetes is an autoimmune disease caused by a selective destruction of beta cells. We have demostrated that in humans the postulated autoantigens are not restricted to beta cells since they are also present in alfa and delta cells. A possible explanation for the specificity of this attack is differential antigen processing, i.e. beta cells could process and present endogenous antigens in such a way that they will make them unique to the beta cells; the most likely effectors of beta cell destruction are CD8+ T cells which recognize processed antigens with HLA class I molecules. Peptides derived from the degradation of cytoplasmic proteins bind to MHC class I in the Endoplasmic Reticulum (ER) and are transported to the cell surface where they are accessible to lymphocytes; two recently characterized genes (Tap-1 and Tap-2) code for transporter proteins which mediate the translocatio
|Effective start/end date||20/05/94 → 20/05/97|
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