Reduced display of conformational epitopes in the N-terminal truncated GAD65 isoform: relevance for people with stiff person syndrome or DQ8/8-positive Type 1 diabetes mellitus

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aims: To investigate whether the N-terminal truncated glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65) isoform is as well recognized by people with stiff person syndrome as it is by people with Type 1 diabetes, and whether conformational GAD65 antibody epitopes are displayed properly by the isoform. Methods: GAD65 antibody-positive healthy individuals (n=13), people with stiff-person syndrome (n=15) and children with new-onset Type 1 diabetes (n=654) were analysed to determine binding to full-length GAD65 and the N-terminal truncated GAD65 isoform in each of these settings. GAD65 autoantibody epitope specificity was correlated with binding ratios of full-length GAD65/N-terminal truncated GAD65. Results: The N-terminal truncated GAD65 isoform was significantly less recognized in GAD65Ab-positive people with stiff-person syndrome (P=0.002) and in healthy individuals (P=0.0001) than in people with Type 1 diabetes. Moreover, at least two specific conformational GAD65Ab epitopes were not, or were only partially, presented by the N-terminal truncated GAD65 isoform compared to full-length GAD65. Finally, an N-terminal conformational GAD65Ab epitope was significantly less recognized in DQ8/8 positive individuals with Type 1 diabetes (P=0.02). Conclusions: In people with stiff person syndrome preferred binding to the full-length GAD65 isoform over the N-terminal truncated molecule was observed. This binding characteristic is probably attributable to reduced presentation of two conformational epitopes by the N-terminal truncated molecule. These findings support the notion of disease-specific GAD65Ab epitope specificities and emphasize the need to evaluate the applicability of novel assays for different medical conditions.


External organisations
  • University of Washington
  • Skåne University Hospital
  • Ystad Hospital
  • Central Hospital Kristianstad
  • Helsingborg Hospital
  • Umeå University
  • Ängelholm Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1375-1383
Number of pages9
JournalDiabetic Medicine
Issue number11
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Nov
Publication categoryResearch