Genetic control of insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM) is mainly dependent on HLA genes in the major histocompatibility complex (MHC). The participation of TAP1 and TAP2 genes, located in the MHC region and coding for antigenic peptide transporters, was investigated in 116 IDDM patients and 98 normal controls using oligotyping after DNA amplification. The TAP2-B allele had a dominant protective effect, additive to that of the DR2 haplotype but antagonist to the susceptibility associated with the DR3 and/or DR4 haplotypes. The TAP2-A allele, in the homozygous state, had a predisposing effect. TAP1 allelic distribution did not differ among IDDM patients and controls. These data argue in favour of the role of peptide transporter gene in diabetogenesis.