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Cell Death Dis. 2016 May 5;7:e2216. doi: 10.1038/cddis.2016.119.

SP6616 as a new Kv2.1 channel inhibitor efficiently promotes β-cell survival involving both PKC/Erk1/2 and CaM/PI3K/Akt signaling pathways.

Zhou TT1,2, Quan LL3, Chen LP1,2, Du T1,2, Sun KX1, Zhang JC3, Yu L1,2, Li Y1,2, Wan P3, Chen LL1,2, Jiang BH1,2, Hu LH1,2, Chen J1,2, Shen X1,2.

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CAS Key Laboratory of Receptor Research, 3th Department of Pharmacology, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China.
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Shanghai Normal University, Shanghai, China.


Kv2.1 as a voltage-gated potassium (Kv) channel subunit has a pivotal role in the regulation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) and pancreatic β-cell apoptosis, and is believed to be a promising target for anti-diabetic drug discovery, although the mechanism underlying the Kv2.1-mediated β-cell apoptosis is obscure. Here, the small molecular compound, ethyl 5-(3-ethoxy-4-methoxyphenyl)-2-(4-hydroxy-3-methoxybenzylidene)-7-methyl-3-oxo-2,3-dihydro-5H-[1,3]thiazolo[3,2-a]pyrimidine-6-carboxylate (SP6616) was discovered to be a new Kv2.1 inhibitor. It was effective in both promoting GSIS and protecting β cells from apoptosis. Evaluation of SP6616 on either high-fat diet combined with streptozocin-induced type 2 diabetic mice or db/db mice further verified its efficacy in the amelioration of β-cell dysfunction and glucose homeostasis. SP6616 treatment efficiently increased serum insulin level, restored β-cell mass, decreased fasting blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin levels, and improved oral glucose tolerance. Mechanism study indicated that the promotion of SP6616 on β-cell survival was tightly linked to its regulation against both protein kinases C (PKC)/extracellular-regulated protein kinases 1/2 (Erk1/2) and calmodulin(CaM)/phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase(PI3K)/serine/threonine-specific protein kinase (Akt) signaling pathways. To our knowledge, this may be the first report on the underlying pathway responsible for the Kv2.1-mediated β-cell protection. In addition, our study has also highlighted the potential of SP6616 in the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

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