The insulin gene in type 1 diabetes

IUBMB Life. 2005 Jul;57(7):463-8. doi: 10.1080/15216540500163301.


Insulin is a key autoantigen in the autoimmune process leading to the development of type 1 diabetes. Recent studies in both humans and mice have shown that variation in the expression of the insulin gene, in the thymus rather than the pancreas, contributes to disease susceptibility by affecting self-tolerance to insulin. These findings have brought about a paradigm-shift in our understanding of self-tolerance and autoimmunity to molecules with tissue-restricted expression, which are often the target of autoimmune disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / biosynthesis
  • Insulin / genetics*
  • Thymus Gland / physiology


  • Insulin