Role of MAP Kinases in the Life and Death of Beta-cells

University dissertation from Uppsala : Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis

Abstract: The development of diabetes mellitus depends on the balance between beta-cell proliferation and death. As mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPK) may control this balance, the aim of this study was to investigate the events leading to MAPK activation in beta-cells and the consequences of these events. Overexpression of the SH2-domain containing adaptor protein Shb resulted in the assembly and activation of multiunit complex consisting of at least Shb, IRS-1, IRS-2, FAK and PI3K. Consequently, the phosphorylation of Akt was enhanced under basal conditions in Shb overexpression cells. This was paralleled by an attenuated activation of the MAP kinases ERK1/2. Thus, Shb-induced alterations in the IRS-1/PI3K/Akt/ERK pathway might explain the increased proliferation and apoptosis of beta-cells overexpressing Shb.The importance of the MAP kinase p38 in nitric oxide- and cytokine-induced beta-cell death was also investigated. Knock-down of p38 expression resulted in a lowered cell death rate in response to a nitric oxide donor. In transient transfections MKK3 over-expression resulted in increased p38 phosphorylation in RIN-5AH cells. In addition, a short-term MKK3 expression resulted in increased cytokine-induced cell death. A nitric oxide synthase inhibitor abolished the MKK3-potentiating effect on cytokine-induced cell death and inhibitors of phosphatases enhanced MKK3-stimulated p38 phosphorylation. Finally, as the dominant negative mutant of MKK3 did not affect cytokine-induced p38 phosphorylation, and as wild type MKK3 did not influence p38 autophosphorylation, it may be that p38 is activated by MKK3/6-independent pathways in response to cytokines and nitric oxide.In further support for an MKK3/6-indepedent mechanism, the adaptor protein TAB1 significantly increased the cytokine- and nitric oxide-stimulated phosphorylation of p38. The TAB1-mediated activation of p38 was paralleled by a compensatory inhibition of ERK and JNK. In summary, p38 MAPK, activated mainly by TAB1, promotes, at least in part, beta-cell death in response to cytokines or nitric oxide.

  This dissertation MIGHT be available in PDF-format. Check this page to see if it is available for download.