Identification of a major humoral epitope in Slc30A8 (ZnT8)

Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2008 Dec;1150:252-5. doi: 10.1196/annals.1447.028.


The human zinc transporter Slc30A8 (ZnT8) is a major target of humoral autoimmunity in human type 1A diabetes. However, despite extensive conservation, the majority of human autoimmune sera fail to recognize the murine ortholog. Moreover, Slc30A8 appears not to be a significant target of humoral autoimmunity in the NOD mouse. We therefore "humanized" the murine protein by site-directed mutagenesis. Only conversion of Q324 to arginine (equivalent to R325 in the human protein) partially restored reactivity to a pool of sera selected for high titers to the human probe. Additionally, the reciprocal mutation (human R325 to Q) abolished reactivity for 38/103 (36.9%) of ZnT8(+) sera. We conclude that the C-terminal domain of human ZnT8 contains at least two discrete epitopes, one of which is critically dependent upon the arginine residue at position 325.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation / immunology
  • Arginine / chemistry
  • Autoantibodies / immunology
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cation Transport Proteins / chemistry
  • Cation Transport Proteins / genetics
  • Cation Transport Proteins / immunology*
  • Epitope Mapping*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Mutagenesis, Site-Directed
  • Protein Structure, Tertiary / genetics
  • Zinc Transporter 8


  • Autoantibodies
  • Cation Transport Proteins
  • SLC30A8 protein, human
  • Slc30a8 protein, mouse
  • Zinc Transporter 8
  • Arginine