BACKGROUND We sought to identify novel islet-cell autoantigens to better understand the pathogenesis, prediction, and immunotherapy of type 1 diabetes. MATERIALS AND METHODS Macaque and human islet cDNA libraries expressed in mammalian cells were screened with human diabetes sera. A positive clone was sequenced directly and after 5' rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE). Northern blotting and in situ hybridization revealed the tissue distribution of the corresponding protein. Antigen, expressed by in vitro translation, and tryptic peptides were analyzed by SDS-PAGE. For the immunoprecipitations, 183 diabetic, 60 prediabetic, and 91 control sera were used. Truncated antigens were used in immunoprecipitations for epitope mapping. Recombinant antigen expressed in transfected fibroblasts was used in competition assays. RESULTS Sequencing yielded an 111-kDa, 1,013 amino acid, transmembrane protein (M1851) containing consensus protein tyrosine phosphatase (PTPase) sequence. M1851 was 77% identical in the intracellular domain, but only 31% identical extracellularly, to the islet-cell autoantigen ICA512. mRNA localized to brain, prostate, pancreatic islets, and adrenal medulla. After limited trypsinization, the in vitro translated antigen was 37 kDa. M1851 was recognized by 47% of prediabetes sera, 31% of new diabetes sera, but only 1% of healthy controls. Only 1/73 sera binding M1851 failed to bind ICA512, whereas 42/114 binding ICA512 did not bind M1851. M1851 reactivity was not fully displaced by ICA512 in 24/49 sera. Removing the C-terminal 27, 80, or 160 amino acids of M1851 decreased reactivity by 70%, 90%, and 100%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS This new islet-cell PTPase is likely to be the precursor to the 37-kDa tryptic fragment antigen. It is structurally related to ICA512 but has distinct diabetes autoantibody epitopes located at the C terminus.