Identification of spliced peptides in pancreatic islets uncovers errors leading to false assignments

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Proteasomal spliced peptides (PSPs) have been identified in the class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC) peptidomes of several tumors and have emerged as novel neoantigens that can stimulate highly specific T cells. Much debate has surrounded the percentage of PSPs in the immunopeptidome; reported numbers have ranged from <1–5% to 12–45%. Recently, our laboratory demonstrated in nonobese diabetic (NOD) mice that hybrid insulin peptides (HIPs), a special class of spliced peptides, are formed during insulin granule degradation in crinosomes of the pancreatic β cells and that modified peptides comprised a significant source of false positive HIP assignments. Herein, this study is extended to crinosomes isolated from other mouse strains and to two recent MHC class I studies, to see if modified peptides explained discrepancies in reported percentages of PSPs. This analysis revealed that both MHC-I peptidomes contained many spectra erroneously assigned as PSPs. While many false positive PSPs did arise from modified peptides, others arose from probable data processing errors. Thus, the reported numbers of PSPs in the literature are likely elevated due to errors associated with data processing and analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2000176
Issue number7-8
StatePublished - Apr 2021


  • hybrid insulin peptides
  • immunopeptidomics
  • spliced peptides


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