Type 1 diabetes affects more than 1.25 million people in the United States and the annual incidence is increasing at an alarming rate of 3-4%. The emotional and financial burden of the disease is overwhelming and we currently have no way to predict or prevent new cases. As we gain a better understanding of the pathophysiological processes in the pancreas and the downstream effects of hyperglycemia (and periodic hypoglycemia during treatment), more robust biomarker assays are needed to improve the reproducibility of research findings and to translate those findings to clinical care. One technology that can provide robust, transferable assays for the measurement of proteins is liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. By directly detecting the analyte of interest, assays that use mass spectrometry detection can have better specificity than immunoassays and when paired with enrichment strategies, they can also be very sensitive. As we have demonstrated previously, it is straightforward to harmonize the results of mass spectrometric assays, which is significantly more difficult for immunoassays in general. This proposal aims to generate and validate novel transferable protein assays that harness the power of mass spectrometry. Whenever possible, assays will be multiplexed and if affinity reagents are required, they will be widely distributed through the Iowa Hybridoma Bank. Chromatographic data from method development (particularly peptide selection, which will use narrow-window data-independent acquisition rather than relying on algorithms or data-dependent acquisition methods) as well as chromatographic data from method validation will be distributed via Panorama, Chorus, and Passport, as will detailed standard operating procedures. As requested in RFA DK-17-019, five of the assays produced will target c-peptide, insulin, glucagon, glycated soluble CD59, and somatostatin/prosomatostain. Our Target Prioritization Committee will help identify the most important proteins to add to this list and focus our development efforts.
Type 1 diabetes research focuses on predicting who will get the disease, preventing disease in those at risk, and reducing the chances of heart attacks, amputations, blindness, and kidney disease in people who survive with the disease. Unfortunately, many of the blood tests that are used to investigate or treat type 1 diabetes are not reproducible in other laboratories, or they give very different results compared with assays made by other companies. This project aims to make new blood tests that researchers and clinical laboratories can easily recreate at their own institutions, which will make research findings more reproducible and will help facilitate their translation into patient care.