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FEBS Lett. 2006 Apr 17;580(9):2311-6. Epub 2006 Mar 24.

Heat shock protein 60 modified with O-linked N-acetylglucosamine is involved in pancreatic beta-cell death under hyperglycemic conditions.

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Department of Biology, Yonsei University, 134 Shinchon-dong, Seodaemun-gu, Seoul 120-749, Republic of Korea.


The objective of this study was to identify proteins modified with O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) in pancreatic beta-cells and to understand their roles in cell death under hyperglycemic conditions. Here we report that heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) is modified with O-GlcNAc. Levels of O-GlcNAcylated HSP60 increased twofold in response to hyperglycemic conditions. HSP60 is a chaperonin known to bind to Bax in the cytoplasm under normoglycemic conditions. Under hyperglycemic conditions, Bax detached from O-GlcNAcylated HSP60 and translocated to mitochondria. Hyperglycemic conditions were also associated with cytochrome c release, caspase-3 activation, and cell death, suggesting that elevated O-GlcNAcylation of HSP60 interferes with HSP60-Bax interactions, leading to pancreatic beta-cell death.

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