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Cell Death Differ. 2009 Nov;16(11):1539-50. doi: 10.1038/cdd.2009.99. Epub 2009 Jul 24.

Signaling by IL-1beta+IFN-gamma and ER stress converge on DP5/Hrk activation: a novel mechanism for pancreatic beta-cell apoptosis.

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Laboratory of Experimental Medicine, Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Route de Lennik 808, 1070 Brussels, Belgium.


Chronic inflammation and pro-inflammatory cytokines are important mediators of pancreatic beta-cell destruction in type 1 diabetes (T1D). We presently show that the cytokines IL-1beta+IFN-gamma and different ER stressors activate the Bcl-2 homology 3 (BH3)-only member death protein 5 (DP5)/harakiri (Hrk) resulting in beta-cell apoptosis. Chemical ER stress-induced DP5 upregulation is JNK/c-Jun-dependent. DP5 activation by cytokines also involves JNK/c-Jun phosphorylation and is antagonized by JunB. Interestingly, cytokine-inducted DP5 expression precedes ER stress: mitochondrial release of cytochrome c and ER stress are actually a consequence of enhanced DP5 activation by cytokine-mediated nitric oxide formation. Our findings show that DP5 is central for beta-cell apoptosis after different stimuli, and that it can act up- and downstream of ER stress. These observations contribute to solve two important questions, namely the mechanism by which IL-1beta+IFN-gamma induce beta-cell death and the nature of the downstream signals by which ER stress 'convinces' beta-cells to trigger apoptosis.

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