We have identified several peptides from peptide elution studies that have binding characteristics to T1D associated MHC genes, DR3, DR4, DQ2, DQ8 and DQ6 (0602). The molecular modeling studies have identified the side chain characteristics if the peptides derived from GAD-65, Insulin that fit into the groove of the susceptible and protective HLA associated with T1D.
We have also identified peptides from peptide microarray studies that come from Immune mediators and cell death proteins to which antibodies are identified in T1D patients and not in controls. We are evaluating whether these peptides identify patients with T1D much before they develop disease from DiPiS cohort. A muiltiplex assay is under development using these peptides to use as a screening assay for the detection and prediction of T1D in newborn cohorts.
The group is also pursuing genetic studies in largest collection of T1D families for the maternal-fetal interaction while the fetus is still in the womb. We are testing the hypothesis that autoimmunity in the newborn develops much before the baby is born.