Marcia Goldfarb featured by ACS

By Robert Stevenson, Counselor to the AES.

As the AES Electrophoresis Society goes through one more generational change, it is significant to note that our elders are still doing very significant research. A case in point popped up on my screen from the Press Room of the ACS recently. Each week, the ACS selects four papers published in ACS journals to abstract and distribute to the lay press. Often these leads are picked up in the Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio, etc.

Dr. Marcia Goldfarb used gel electrophoresis to trace early exposure of infants to bovine milk to increases risk of type-1 diabetes. This disease is attributed to autoimmune response suppressing expression of glycodelin which allows proliferation of autoreactive T cells. The sera of all five juveniles with type-1 diabetes had antibodies to β-lactoglobulin 34 kDa dimer plus 17 and 16 kDa monomer doublet. Antibodies to the 16 kDa isoform were not detected in the small cohort of disease-free controls. It is known that some food antigens can easily pass through the neonatal intentional wall. Apparently, β lactoglobulin from bovine milk passes through the intestinal wall, and generates antibodies that cross reacts with glycodelin, triggering T cell proliferation. Glycodelin and b lactoglobulin have high sequence homology, and none with islet-cell proteins.

Readers desiring more information should study her paper in Journal of Proteome Research 2008, 7, 2165-2167 2165, Published on Web 04/15/2008 or email to

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