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Endocrinology. 2001 Jan;142(1):299-307.

Inhibition of protein synthesis sequentially impairs distinct steps of stimulus-secretion coupling in pancreatic beta cells.

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Unité d'Endocrinologie et Métabolisme, University of Louvain Faculty of Medicine, B-1200 Brussels, Belgium.


Proteins with a short half-life are potential sites of pancreatic ss cell dysfunction under pathophysiological conditions. In this study, mouse islets were used to establish which step in the regulation of insulin secretion is most sensitive to inhibition of protein synthesis by 10 microM cycloheximide (CHX). Although islet protein synthesis was inhibited approximately 95% after 1 h, the inhibition of insulin secretion was delayed and progressive. After long (18-20 h) CHX-treatment, the strong (80%) inhibition of glucose-, tolbutamide-, and K(+)-induced insulin secretion was not due to lower insulin stores, to any marked impairment of glucose metabolism or to altered function of K(+)-ATP channels (total K(+)-ATP currents were however decreased). It was partly caused by a decreased Ca(2+) influx (whole-cell Ca(2+) current) resulting in a smaller rise in cytosolic Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)). The situation was very different after short (2-5 h) CHX-treatment. Insulin secretion was 50-60% inhibited although islet glucose metabolism was unaffected and stimulus-induced [Ca(2+)](i) rise was not (2 h) or only marginally (5 h) decreased. The efficiency of Ca(2+) on secretion was thus impaired. The inhibition of insulin secretion by 15 h of CHX treatment was more slowly reversible (>4 h) than that of protein synthesis. This reversibility of secretion was largely attributable to recovery of a normal Ca(2+) efficiency. In conclusion, inhibition of protein synthesis in islets inhibits insulin secretion in two stages: a rapid decrease in the efficiency of Ca(2+) on exocytosis, followed by a decrease in the Ca(2+) signal mediated by a slower loss of functional Ca(2+) channels. Glucose metabolism and the regulation of K(+)-ATP channels are more resistant. Proteins with a short half-life appear to be important to ensure optimal Ca(2+) effects on exocytosis, and are the potential Achille's heel of stimulus-secretion coupling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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