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Diabetes. 2009 Jun;58(6):1283-91. doi: 10.2337/db08-1510. Epub 2009 Mar 31.

PTPN2, a candidate gene for type 1 diabetes, modulates interferon-gamma-induced pancreatic beta-cell apoptosis.

Author information

1
Laboratory of Experimental Medicine, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Brussels, Belgium. fmoore@ulb.ac.be.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes has a strong genetic component. Genome-wide association scans recently identified novel susceptibility genes including the phosphatases PTPN22 and PTPN2. We hypothesized that PTPN2 plays a direct role in beta-cell demise and assessed PTPN2 expression in human islets and rat primary and clonal beta-cells, besides evaluating its role in cytokine-induced signaling and beta-cell apoptosis.

RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS:

PTPN2 mRNA and protein expression was evaluated by real-time PCR and Western blot. Small interfering (si)RNAs were used to inhibit the expression of PTPN2 and downstream STAT1 in beta-cells, allowing the assessment of cell death after cytokine treatment.

RESULTS:

PTPN2 mRNA and protein are expressed in human islets and rat beta-cells and upregulated by cytokines. Transfection with PTPN2 siRNAs inhibited basal- and cytokine-induced PTPN2 expression in rat beta-cells and dispersed human islets cells. Decreased PTPN2 expression exacerbated interleukin (IL)-1beta + interferon (IFN)-gamma-induced beta-cell apoptosis and turned IFN-gamma alone into a proapoptotic signal. Inhibition of PTPN2 amplified IFN-gamma-induced STAT1 phosphorylation, whereas double knockdown of both PTPN2 and STAT1 protected beta-cells against cytokine-induced apoptosis, suggesting that STAT1 hyperactivation is responsible for the aggravation of cytokine-induced beta-cell death in PTPN2-deficient cells.

CONCLUSIONS:

We identified a functional role for the type 1 diabetes candidate gene PTPN2 in modulating IFN-gamma signal transduction at the beta-cell level. PTPN2 regulates cytokine-induced apoptosis and may thereby contribute to the pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes.

PMID:
19336676
PMCID:
PMC2682688
DOI:
10.2337/db08-1510
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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