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Diabetes. 2008 Apr;57(4):938-44. doi: 10.2337/db07-0715. Epub 2008 Jan 2.

Thioredoxin-interacting protein: a critical link between glucose toxicity and beta-cell apoptosis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI 53792, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

In diabetes, glucose toxicity affects different organ systems, including pancreatic islets where it leads to beta-cell apoptosis, but the mechanisms are not fully understood. Recently, we identified thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) as a proapoptotic beta-cell factor that is induced by glucose, raising the possibility that TXNIP may play a role in beta-cell glucose toxicity.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

To assess the effects of glucose on TXNIP expression and apoptosis and define the role of TXNIP, we used INS-1 beta-cells; primary mouse islets; obese, diabetic BTBR.ob mice; and a unique mouse model of TXNIP deficiency (HcB-19) that harbors a natural nonsense mutation in the TXNIP gene.

RESULTS:

Incubation of INS-1 cells at 25 mmol/l glucose for 24 h led to an 18-fold increase in TXNIP protein, as assessed by immunoblotting. This was accompanied by increased apoptosis, as demonstrated by a 12-fold induction of cleaved caspase-3. Overexpression of TXNIP revealed that TXNIP induces the intrinsic mitochondrial pathway of apoptosis. Islets of diabetic BTBR.ob mice also demonstrated increased TXNIP and apoptosis as did isolated wild-type islets incubated at high glucose. In contrast, TXNIP-deficient HcB-19 islets were protected against glucose-induced apoptosis as measured by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling and caspase-3, indicating that TXNIP is a required causal link between glucose toxicity and beta-cell death.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings shed new light onto the molecular mechanisms of beta-cell glucose toxicity and apoptosis, demonstrate that TXNIP induction plays a critical role in this vicious cycle, and suggest that inhibition of TXNIP may represent a novel approach to reduce glucotoxic beta-cell loss.

Comment in

PMID:
18171713
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3618659
Free PMC Article

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