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Posts Tagged ‘insulin and glucagon’


Pancreatic Islets

Writer and Curator: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP 

Part I. Endocrine Pancreas

The eclipse and rehabilitation of JJR Macleod, Scotland’s insulin laureate

Bliss, M
Journal of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh  2013;  43(4): 1-8

John JR Macleod (1876-1935,) an Aberdonian Scot who had emigrated to North America, shared the 1923 Nobel Prize with Frederick Banting for their discovery of insulin at the University of Toronto in 1921-22. Macleod finished his career as Regius Professor of Physiology at the University of Aberdeen from 1928 to 1935.Macleod’s posthumous reputation was deeply tarnished by the campaigns against him carried out by his fellow laureate, Banting, and by Banting’s student assistant during the insulin research, Charles Best. Banting’s denigration of Macleod was based on their almost total personality conflict; Best’s was based on a hunger for personal recognition. New research indicates how scarred both men were in their obsessions.The rehabilitation of Macleod’s reputation, begun in 1982 with my book, The Discovery of Insulin, has continued in both scholarly and popular circles. By 2012, the ninetieth anniversary of the discovery of insulin, it had become complete both at the University of Toronto and in Canada.

Almost famous: E. Clark Noble, the common thread in the discovery of insulin and vinblastine

Wright Jr., J.R.
CMAJ 2002; 167 (12), pp. 1391-1396

CLARK NOBLE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST members of the University of Toronto insulin team and came within a coin toss of replacing Charles Best as Frederick Banting’s assistant during the summer of 1921. Noble performed important early studies helping to characterize insulin’s action, and he co-authored many of the original papers describing insulin. Because mass production of insulin from livestock pancreata had proved elusive throughout 1922, J.J.R. Macleod hired Noble during the summer of 1923 to help him test and develop a new method for producing commercial quantities of insulin that Macleod believed would revolutionize insulin production. However, commercial production of insulin from fish proved impractical and was dropped by 1924, as methods to produce large quantities of mammalian insulin had improved very rapidly. Noble later played a small but critical role in the most important Canadian contribution to cancer chemotherapy research: the discovery of vinca alkaloids by his brother Robert Laing Noble. Although one might expect that a physician involved in 2 of Canada’s most important medical discoveries during the 20th century must be famous, such was not Clark Noble’s fate. He died without so much as an obituary in CMAJ.

The Pathophysiology of Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease

Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP, Reviewer and Curator
and Aviva Lev-Ari, PhD, RN, Curator

https://pharmaceuticalintelligence.com/2014/01/15/pathophysiological-effects-of-diabetes-on-ischemic-cardiovascular-disease-and-on-chronic-obstructive-pulmonary-disease-copd/

This is a multipart article that develops the pathological effects of type-2 diabetes in the progression of a systemic inflammatory disease with a development of neuropathy, and fully developing into cardiovascular disease.  It also identifies a systemic relationship to the development of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In medical school we were taught that syphilis is the great masquerader. The more we learn about diabetes, we learn about its generalized systemic effects.

Part 1. Role of Autonomic Cardiovascular Neuropathy in Pathogenesis

This article is an abstract only of a related publication of the pathogenesis of autonomic neuropathy in diabetics leading to ischemic heart disease.

The role of autonomic cardiovascular neuropathy in pathogenesis of ischemic heart disease in patients with diabetes mellitus

Subjects: Medicine (General), Medicine, Medicine (General), Health Sciences
Authors: Popović-Pejičić Snježana, Todorović-Đilas Ljiljana, Pantelinac Pavle
Publisher: Društvo lekara Vojvodine Srpskog lekarskog društva
Publication: Medicinski Pregled 2006; 59(3-4): Pp 118-123 (2006)
http://dx.doi.org/10.2298/MPNS0604118P

http://www.doiserbia.nb.rs/img/doi/0025-8105/2006/0025-81050604118P.pdf

Keywords: diabetes mellitus, autonomic nervous system diseases, heart diseases, myocardial ischemia, comorbidity

Introduction. Diabetes is strongly associated with macrovascular complications, among which ischemic heart disease is the major cause of mortality. Autonomic neuropathy increases the risk of complications, which calls for an early diagnosis. The aim of this study was to determine both presence and extent of cardiac autonomic neuropathy, in regard to the type of diabetes mellitus, as well as its correlation with coronary disease and major cardiovascular risk factors. Material and methods. We have examined 90 subjects, classified into three groups, with 30 patients each: those with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes and control group of healthy subjects. All patients underwent cardiovascular tests (Valsalva maneuver, deep breathing test, response to standing, blood pressure response to standing sustained, handgrip test), electrocardiogram, treadmill exercise test and filled out a questionnaire referring to major cardiovascular risk factors: smoking, obesity, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. Results. Our results showed that cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy was more frequent in type 2 diabetes, manifesting as autonomic neuropathy. In patients with autonomic neuropathy, regardless of the type of diabetes, the treadmill test was positive, i.e. strongly correlating with coronary disease. In regard to coronary disease risk factors, the most frequent correlation was found for obesity and hypertension. Discussion.  Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy is considered to be the principal cause of arteriosclerosis and coronary disease. Our results showed that the occurrence of cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy increases the risk of coronary disease due to dysfunction of autonomic nervous system. Conclusions. Cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy is a common complication of diabetes that significantly correlates with coronary disease. Early diagnosis of cardiovascular autonomic neuropathy points to increased cardiovascular risk, providing a basis for preventive and therapeutic measures.

Part 2. a longitudinal cohort study of the cardiovascular experience of individuals at high risk for diabetes

Protocol for ADDITION-PRO: a longitudinal cohort study of the cardiovascular experience of individuals at high risk for diabetes recruited from Danish primary care

Subjects: Public aspects of medicine, Medicine, Public Health, Health Sciences
Authors: Johansen Nanna B, Hansen Anne-Louise S, Jensen Troels M, Philipsen Annelotte, Rasmussen Signe S, Jørgensen Marit E, Simmons Rebecca K, Lauritzen Torsten, Sandbæk Annelli, Witte Daniel R
Publisher: BioMed Central Date of publication: 2012 December
Published in: BMC Public Health 2012; 12(1): 1078
ISSN(s): 1471-2458   Added to DOAJ: 2013-03-12 http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-1078 http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12/1078

Keywords: Diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Primary care, Complications, Microvascular, Impaired fasting glucose, Impaired glucose intolerance, Aortic stiffness, Physical activity, Body composition.

Background: Screening programmes for type 2 diabetes inevitably find more individuals at high risk for diabetes than people with undiagnosed prevalent disease. While well established guidelines for the treatment of diabetes exist, less is known about treatment or prevention strategies for individuals found at high risk following screening. In order to make better use of the opportunities for primary prevention of diabetes and its complications among this high risk group, it is important to quantify diabetes progression rates and to examine the development of early markers of cardiovascular disease and microvascular diabetic complications. We also require a better understanding of the mechanisms that underlie and drive early changes in cardiometabolic physiology. The ADDITION-PRO study was designed to address these issues among individuals at different levels of diabetes risk recruited from Danish primary care. Methods/Design: ADDITION-PRO is a population-based, longitudinal cohort study of individuals at high risk for diabetes. 16,136 eligible individuals were identified at high risk following participation in a stepwise screening programme in Danish general practice between 2001 and 2006. All individuals with impaired glucose regulation at screening, those who developed diabetes following screening, and a random sub-sample of those at lower levels of diabetes risk were invited to attend a follow-up health assessment in 2009–2011 (n = 4,188), of whom 2,082 (50%) attended. The health assessment included detailed measurement of anthropometry, body composition, biochemistry, physical activity and cardiovascular risk factors including aortic stiffness and central blood pressure. All ADDITION-PRO participants are being followed for incident cardiovascular disease and death. Discussion: The ADDITION-PRO study is designed to increase understanding of cardiovascular risk and its underlying mechanisms among individuals at high risk of diabetes. Key features of this study include (i) a carefully characterised cohort at different levels of diabetes risk; (ii) detailed measurement of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors; (iii) objective measurement of physical activity behaviour; and (iv) long-term follow-up of hard clinical outcomes including mortality and cardiovascular disease. Results will inform policy recommendations concerning cardiovascular risk reduction and treatment among individuals at high risk for diabetes. The detailed phenotyping of this cohort will also allow a number of research questions concerning early changes in cardiometabolic physiology to be addressed.

Part 3.  Clinical significance of cardiovascular dysmetabolic syndrome

This third part is a description of a longitudinal cohort study of individuals at high-risk for diabetes.  Unlike the SSA study, the study is not focused on protein-energy malnutrition. This study also addresses the issue of diabetes insulin resistance leading to cardiovascular dysmetabolic syndrome.

Subjects: Diseases of the circulatory (Cardiovascular) system, Specialties of internal medicine, Internal medicine, Medicine, Cardiovascular, Medicine (General), Health Sciences
Authors: Deedwania Prakash C
Publisher: BioMed Central Date of publication: 2002 January
Published in: Trials 2002; 3: 1(2)
ISSN(s): 1468-6708
Added to DOAJ: 2004-06-03
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1468-6708-3-2
Full text: http://cvm.controlled-trials.com/content/3/1/2

Keywords: cardiovascular dysmetabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease, diabetes mellitus, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance

Although diabetes mellitus is predominantly a metabolic disorder, recent data suggest that it is as much a vascular disorder. Cardiovascular complications are the leading cause of death and disability in patients with diabetes mellitus. A number of recent reports have emphasized that many patients already have atherosclerosis in progression by the time they are diagnosed with clinical evidence of diabetes mellitus. The increased risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular complications in diabetic patients is related to the frequently associated dyslipidemia, hypertension, hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, and endothelial dysfunction.

The evolving knowledge regarding the variety of metabolic, hormonal, and hemodynamic abnormalities in patients with diabetes mellitus has led to efforts designed for early identification of individuals at risk of subsequent disease. It has been suggested that insulin resistance, the key abnormality in type II diabetes, often precedes clinical features of diabetes by 5–6 years.

Careful attention to the criteria described for the cardiovascular dysmetabolic syndrome should help identify those at risk at an early stage. The application of nonpharmacologic as well as newer emerging pharmacologic therapies can have beneficial effects in individuals with cardiovascular dysmetabolic syndrome and/or diabetes mellitus by improving insulin sensitivity and related abnormalities. Early identification and implementation of appropriate therapeutic strategies would be necessary to contain the emerging new epidemic of cardiovascular disease related to diabetes.

Part 4.   Waist circumference a good indicator of future risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease

Subjects: Public aspects of medicine, Medicine, Public Health, Health Sciences Authors: Siren Reijo, Eriksson Johan G, Vanhanen Hannu
Publisher: BioMed Central Date of publication: 2012 August
Published in: BMC Public Health 2012; 12: 1(631)
ISSN(s): 1471-2458
Added to DOAJ: 2013-03-12
http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1471-2458-12-631
http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2458/12/631

Keywords: Waist circumference, Type 2 diabetes, Cardiovascular disease, Middle-aged men.

Background: Abdominal obesity is a more important risk factor than overall obesity in predicting the development of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. From a preventive and public health point of view it is crucial that risk factors are identified at an early stage, in order to change and modify behaviour and lifestyle in high risk individuals. Methods: Data from a community based study was used to assess the risk for type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and prevalence of metabolic syndrome in middle-aged men. In order to identify those with increased risk for type 2 diabetes and/or cardiovascular disease sensitivity and specificity analysis were performed, including calculation of positive and negative predictive values, and corresponding 95% CI for eleven different cut-off points, with 1 cm intervals (92 to 102 cm), for waist circumference. Results: A waist circumference ≥94 cm in middle-aged men, identified those with increased risk for type 2 diabetes and/or for cardiovascular disease with a sensitivity of 84.4% (95% CI 76.4% to 90.0%), and a specificity of 78.2% (95% CI 68.4% to 85.5%). The positive predictive value was 82.9% (95% CI 74.8% to 88.8%), and negative predictive value 80.0%, respectively (95% CI 70.3% to 87.1%). Conclusions: Measurement of waist circumference in middle-aged men is a reliable test to identify individuals at increased risk for type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This measurement should be used more frequently in daily practice in primary care in order to identify individuals at risk and when planning health counselling and interventions.

Part 5.  Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and glucose metabolism: a bitter sweet symphony

Subjects: Diseases of the circulatory (Cardiovascular) system, Specialties of internal medicine, Internal medicine, Medicine, Cardiovascular, Medicine (General), Health Sciences
Authors: Mirrakhimov Aibek E
Publisher: BioMed Central
Date of publication: Oct 2012
ISSN(s): 1475-2840
ADDED to DOAJ: 2013-03-12
Published in: Cardiovascular Diabetology 2012; 11(1):132
Journal Language(s): English Country of publication: United Kingdom
http://dx.doi.org:/10.1186/1475-2840-11-132
Full text: http://www.cardiab.com/content/11/1/132

Keywords: COPD, Dysglycemia, Insulin resistance, Obesity, Metabolic syndrome, Diabetes mellitus endothelial dysfunction, Vasculopathy

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus are common and underdiagnosed medical conditions. It was predicted that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease will be the third leading cause of death worldwide by 2020. The healthcare burden of this disease is even greater if we consider the significant impact of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on the cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may be considered as a novel risk factor for new onset type 2 diabetes mellitus via multiple pathophysiological alterations such as: inflammation and oxidative stress, insulin resistance, weight gain and alterations in metabolism of adipokines.

On the other hand, diabetes may act as an independent factor, negatively affecting pulmonary structure and function. Diabetes is associated with an increased risk of pulmonary infections, disease exacerbations and worsened COPD outcomes. On the top of that, coexistent OSA may increase the risk for type 2 DM in some individuals.

The current scientific data necessitate a greater outlook on chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may be viewed as a risk factor for the new onset type 2 diabetes mellitus. Conversely, both types of diabetes mellitus should be viewed as strong contributing factors for the development of obstructive lung disease. Such approach can potentially improve the outcomes and medical control for both conditions, and, thus, decrease the healthcare burden of these major medical problems.

The Economic Costs of Diabetes: Is It Time for a New Treatment Paradigm?

Commentary: William H. Herman
Diabetes Care Apr 2013; 36: 775-776

In a series of rigorous and exhaustive descriptive cost analyses conducted over the past decade, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) has documented an inexorable increase in the cost of diabetes in the U.S. and its detrimental impact on productivity. For the 2012 study, the ADA estimated that there were 22.3 million Americans diagnosed with diabetes. These patients incurred $306 billion in direct medical costs, more than 1 of 5 dollars spent on medical care in the U.S. The direct medical costs attributed to diabetes, that is, the costs of medical care for people with diabetes in excess of those that would be expected in the absence of diabetes, were $176 billion or approximately 1 of 8 dollars spent on medical care in the U.S. Americans with diagnosed diabetes have annual medical expenditures that are $7,900 or approximately 2.3 times higher than they would be in the absence of diabetes ($13,700 vs. $5,800). Americans with diabetes also incur $69 billion in costs related to absenteeism, reduced productivity while at work or at home, diabetes-related disability, and premature mortality. The increasing economic burden of diabetes is due in large part to the increase in the number of people with diagnosed diabetes.

Randomized controlled clinical trials have demonstrated that intensive glycemic management can delay the onset of microvascular, neuropathic, and cardiovascular complications in people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes, and that the benefits of early intensive treatment persist over time. Randomized controlled clinical trials have also demonstrated that blood pressure management (target blood pressure 135/80 mmHg) and lipid management using statin medications can delay or prevent the development of adverse cardiovascular outcomes.

The growing economic and societal burden of diabetes as documented by the ADA in this issue of Diabetes Care highlights the urgent need to implement interventions to delay the development of type 2 diabetes. Both intensive lifestyle and pharmacologic interventions are proven effective and cost-effective. Health policy should support their implementation.

Complimentary societal interventions to delay the onset of type 2 diabetes include school-based health promotion programs and interventions that address advertising, food availability and price, the built and workplace environment, and even tax policy. In addition, early aggressive management of glycemia and cardiovascular risk factors must be implemented for persons diagnosed with diabetes. Increasing access to care, including self management education and nutritional counseling, and ensuring access to necessary treatments and supplies are critical, especially in light of the proven value of early intensive treatment in preventing chronic complications. The cost estimates provided by the ADA from 2002, 2007, and 2012 show that the economic and societal burden of diabetes is growing in the U.S. This trend underscores the importance of prevention and interventions to mitigate the complications of diabetes.

Insulin regulates carboxypeptidase E by modulating translation initiation scaffolding protein eIF4G1 in pancreatic β cells

Liew, C.W., Assmann, A., Templin, A.T., (…), Urano, F., Kulkarni, R.N
2014 Proc National Academy of Sciences  USA  111 (22), pp. E2319-E2328

Insulin resistance, hyperinsulinemia, and hyperproinsulinemia occur early in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes (T2D). Elevated levels of proinsulin and proinsulin intermediates are markers of β-cell dysfunction and are strongly associated with development of T2D in humans. However, the mechanism(s) underlying β-cell dysfunction leading to hyperproinsulinemia is poorly understood. Here, we show that disruption of insulin receptor (IR) expression in β cells has a direct impact on the expression of the convertase enzyme carboxypeptidase E (CPE) by inhibition of the eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4 gamma 1 translation initiation complex scaffolding protein that is mediated by the key transcription factors pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 and sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1, together leading to poor proinsulin processing. Reexpression of IR or restoring CPE expression each independently reverses the phenotype. Our results reveal the identity of key players that establish a previously unknown link between insulin signaling, translation initiation, and proinsulin processing, and provide previously unidentified mechanistic insight into the development of hyperproinsulinemia in insulin-resistant states.

Disruption of growth factor receptor-binding protein 10 in the pancreas enhances β-cell proliferation and protects mice from streptozotocin-induced β-cell apoptosis

Zhang, J., Zhang, N., Liu, M., (…), Lu, X.-Y., Liu, F.
2014 Environmental Science and Technology 48 (9), pp. 5179-5186

It has been reported that organotin compounds such as triphenyltin or tributyltin (TBT) induce diabetes and insulin resistance. However, histopathological effects of organotin compounds on the Islets of Langerhans and exocrine pancreas are still unclear. In the present study, male KM mice were orally administered with TBT (0.5, 5, and 50 µg/kg) once every 3 days. The fasting plasma glucose levels significantly elevated, and the levels of serum insulin or glucagon decreased in the animals treated with TBT for 60 days. In animals treated for 45 days, the number of apoptotic cells in the islets and exocrine pancreas was elevated in a dose-dependent manner. The percentage of proliferating (PCNA-positive) cells was decreased in the islets, while it was increased in exocrine acinar cells. Immunohistochemistry analysis showed that estrogen receptor (ER) and androgen receptor (AR) were present in vascular endothelium, ductal cells, and islet cells, but absent from pancreatic exocrine cells. TBT exposure decreased the production of estradiol and triiodothyronine and elevated the concentration of testosterone, and resulted in a decrease of ERβ expression and an elevation of AR in the pancreas measured by Western blotting. The results suggested that TBT inhibited the proliferation and induced the apoptosis of islet cells via multipathways, causing a decrease of relative islet area in the animals treated for 60 days, which could result in a disruption of glucose homeostasis. The different presence of ERs and AR between the islets and exocrine pancreas might be one of reasons causing different effects on cell proliferation

Pancreatic alpha-cell dysfunction contributes to the disruption of glucose homeostasis and compensatory insulin hypersecretion in glucocorticoid-treated rats

Rafacho, A., Gonçalves-Neto, L.M., Santos-Silva, J.C., (…), Nadal, A., Quesada, I.
2014 Journal of Biological Chemistry 289 (9), pp. 6028-604

In α-cells, syntaxin (Syn)-1A interacts with SUR1 to inhibit ATP-sensitive potassium channels (KATP channels). PIP2 binds the Kir6.2 subunit to open KATP channels. PIP2 also modifies Syn-1A clustering in plasma membrane (PM) that may alter Syn-1A actions on PM proteins like SUR1. Here, we assessed whether the actions of PIP 2 on activating KATP channels is contributed by sequestering Syn-1A from binding SUR1. In vitro binding showed that PIP 2 dose-dependently disrupted Syn-1A·SUR1 complexes, corroborated by an in vivo Forster resonance energy transfer assay showing disruption of SUR1-(-EGFP)/Syn-1A(-mCherry) interaction along with increased Syn-1A cluster formation. Electrophysiological studies of rat α-cells, INS-1, and SUR1/Kir6.2-expressing HEK293 cells showed that PIP2 dose-dependent activation of KATP currents was uniformly reduced by Syn-1A. To unequivocally distinguish between PIP2 actions on Syn-1A and Kir6.2, we employed several strategies. First, we showed that PIP 2-insensitive Syn-1A-5RK/A mutant complex with SUR1 could not be disrupted by PIP2, consequently reducing PIP2 activation of KATP channels. Next, Syn-1A·SUR1 complex modulation of KATP channels could be observed at a physiologically low PIP 2 concentration that did not disrupt the Syn-1A·SUR1 complex, compared with higher PIP2 concentrations acting directly on Kir6.2. These effects were specific to PIP2 and not observed with physiologic concentrations of other phospholipids. Finally, depleting endogenous PIP 2 with polyphosphoinositide phosphatase synaptojanin-1, known to disperse Syn-1A clusters, freed Syn-1A from Syn-1A clusters to bind SUR1, causing inhibition of KATP channels that could no longer be further inhibited by exogenous Syn-1A. These results taken together indicate that PIP2 affects islet β-cell KATP channels not only by its actions on Kir6.2 but also by sequestering Syn-1A to modulate Syn-1A availability and its interactions with SUR1 on PM.

Aging and sleep deprivation induce the unfolded protein response in the pancreas: Implications for metabolism

Naidoo, N., Davis, J.G., Zhu, J., (…), Agarwal, B., Baur, J.A.
2014 Aging Cell 13 (1), pp. 131-141

Sleep disruption has detrimental effects on glucose metabolism through pathways that remain poorly defined. Although numerous studies have examined the consequences of sleep deprivation (SD) in the brain, few have directly tested its effects on peripheral organs. We examined several tissues in mice for induction of the unfolded protein response (UPR) following acute SD. In young animals, we found a robust induction of BiP in the pancreas, indicating an active UPR. At baseline, pancreata from aged animals exhibited a marked increase in a pro-apoptotic transcription factor, CHOP, that was amplified by SD, whereas BiP induction was not observed, suggesting a maladaptive response to cellular stress with age. Acute SD increased plasma glucose levels in both young and old animals. However, this change was not overtly related to stress in the pancreatic beta cells, as plasma insulin levels were not lower following acute SD. Accordingly, animals subjected to acute SD remained tolerant to a glucose challenge. In a chronic SD experiment, young mice were found to be sensitized to insulin and have improved glycemic control, whereas aged animals became hyperglycemic and failed to maintain appropriate plasma insulin concentrations. Our results show that both age and SD cooperate to induce the UPR in pancreatic tissue. While changes in insulin secretion are unlikely to play a major role in the acute effects of SD, CHOP induction in pancreatic tissues suggests that chronic SD may contribute to the loss or dysfunction of endocrine cells and that these effects may be exacerbated by normal aging

Bayesian total internal reflection fluorescence correlation spectroscopy reveals hIAPP-induced plasma membrane domain organization in live cells

Guo, S.-M., Bag, N., Mishra, A., Wohland, T., Bathe, M.
2014 Biophysical Journal 106 (1), pp. 190-200

Amyloid fibril deposition of human islet amyloid polypeptide (hIAPP) in pancreatic islet cells is implicated in the pathogenesis of type II diabetes. A growing number of studies suggest that small peptide aggregates are cytotoxic via their interaction with the plasma membrane, which leads to membrane permeabilization or disruption. A recent study using imaging total internal reflection-fluorescence correlation spectroscopy (ITIR-FCS) showed that monomeric hIAPP induced the formation of cellular plasma membrane microdomains containing dense lipids, in addition to the modulation of membrane fluidity. However, the spatial organization of microdomains and their temporal evolution were only partially characterized due to limitations in the conventional analysis and interpretation of imaging FCS datasets. Here, we apply a previously developed Bayesian analysis procedure to ITIR-FCS data to resolve hIAPP-induced microdomain spatial organization and temporal dynamics. Our analysis enables the visualization of the temporal evolution of multiple diffusing species in the spatially heterogeneous cell membrane, lending support to the carpet model for the association mode of hIAPP aggregates with the plasma membrane. The presented Bayesian analysis procedure provides an automated and general approach to unbiased model-based interpretation of imaging FCS data, with broad applicability to resolving the heterogeneous spatial-temporal organization of biological membrane systems.

SMAD2 disruption in mouse pancreatic beta cells leads to islet hyperplasia and impaired insulin secretion due to the attenuation of ATP-sensitive K + channel activity

Nomura, M., Zhu, H.-L., Wang, L., (…), Takayanagi, R., Teramoto, N.
2014 Diabetologia 57 (1), pp. 157-166

Aims/hypothesis: The TGF-β superfamily of ligands provides important signals for the development of pancreas islets. However, it is not yet known whether the TGF-β family signalling pathway is required for essential islet functions in the adult pancreas. Methods: To identify distinct roles for the downstream components of the canonical TGF-β signalling pathway, a Cre-loxP system was used to disrupt SMAD2, an intracellular transducer of TGF-β signals, in pancreatic beta cells (i.e. Smad2-β- knockout [KO] mice). The activity of ATP-sensitive K+ channels (KATP channels) was recorded in mutant beta cells using patch-clamp techniques. Results: The Smad2-β-KO mice exhibited defective insulin secretion in response to glucose and overt diabetes. Interestingly, disruption of SMAD2 in β-cells was associated with a striking islet hyperplasia and increased pancreatic insulin content, together with defective glucose-responsive insulin secretion. The activity of KATP channels was decreased in mutant β-cells. Conclusions/interpretation: These results suggest that in the adult pancreas, TGF-β signalling through SMAD2 is crucial for not only the determination of beta cell mass but also the maintenance of defining features of mature pancreatic beta cells, and that this involves modulation of KATP channel activity.

Disruption of protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B expression in the pancreas affects β-cell function

Liu, S., Xi, Y., Bettaieb, A., (…), Kulkarni, R.N., Haj, F.G.
2014 Endocrinology 155 (9), pp. 3329-3338

Protein-tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B) is a physiological regulator of glucose homeostasis and energy balance. However, the role of PTP1B in pancreatic endocrine function remains largely unknown. To investigate the metabolic role of pancreatic PTP1B, we generated mice with pancreas PTP1B deletion (panc-PTP1B KO). Mice were fed regular chow or a high-fat diet, and metabolic parameters, insulin secretion and glucose tolerance were determined. On regular chow, panc-PTP1B KO and control mice exhibited comparable glucose tolerance whereas aged panc-PTP1B KO exhibited mild glucose intolerance. Furthermore, high-fat feeding promoted earlier impairment of glucose tolerance and attenuated glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in panc-PTP1B KO mice. The secretory defect in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was recapitulated in primary islets ex vivo, suggesting that the effects were likely cell-autonomous. At the molecular level, PTP1B deficiency in vivo enhanced basal and glucose-stimulated tyrosyl phosphorylation of EphA5 in islets. Consistently, PTP1B overexpression in the glucose-responsive MIN6 β-cell line attenuated EphA5 tyrosyl phosphorylation, and substrate trapping identified EphA5 as a PTP1B substrate. In summary, these studies identify a novel role forPTP1Bin pancreatic endocrine function.

Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching reveals regulation and distribution of connexin36 gap junction coupling within mouse islets of Langerhans

Farnsworth, N.L., Hemmati, A., Pozzoli, M., Benninger, R.K.P.
2014 Journal of Physiology 592 (20), pp. 4431-4446

Key points: Gap junctions provide electrical coupling that is critical to the function of pancreatic islets. Disruptions to connexin36 (Cx36) have been suggested to occur in diabetes. No accurate and non-invasive technique has yet been established to quantify changes in Cx36 gap junction coupling in the intact islet. This study developed fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) as a non-invasive technique for quantifying Cx36 gap junction coupling in living islets. The study identified treatments that modulate gap junction coupling, confirmed that the cellular distribution of coupling throughout the islet is highly heterogeneous and confirmed that β-cells and β-cells do not form functional Cx36 gap junctions. This technique will enable future studies to examine the regulation of Cx36 gap junction coupling and its disruption in diabetes, and to uncover potential novel therapeutic targets associated with gap junction coupling. The pancreatic islets are central to the maintenance of glucose homeostasis through insulin secretion. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion is tightly linked to electrical activity in β-cells within the islet. Gap junctions, composed of connexin36 (Cx36), form intercellular channels between β-cells, synchronizing electrical activity and insulin secretion. Loss of gap junction coupling leads to altered insulin secretion dynamics and disrupted glucose homeostasis. Gap junction coupling is known to be disrupted in mouse models of pre-diabetes. Although approaches to measure gap junction coupling have been devised, they either lack cell specificity, suitable quantification of coupling or spatial resolution, or are invasive. The purpose of this study was to develop fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) as a technique to accurately and robustly measure gap junction coupling in the islet. The cationic dye Rhodamine 123 was used with FRAP to quantify dye diffusion between islet β-cells as a measure of Cx36 gap junction coupling. Measurements in islets with reduced Cx36 verified the accuracy of this technique in distinguishing between distinct levels of gap junction coupling. Analysis of individual cells revealed that the distribution of coupling across the islet is highly heterogeneous. Analysis of several modulators of gap junction coupling revealed glucose- and cAMP-dependent  modulation of gap junction coupling in islets. Finally, FRAP was used to determine cell population specific coupling, where no functional gap junction coupling was observed between β-cells and β-cells in the islet. The results of this study show FRAP to be a robust technique which provides the cellular resolution to quantify the distribution and regulation of Cx36 gap junction coupling in specific cell populations within the islet. Future studies utilizing this technique may elucidate the role of gap junction coupling in the progression of diabetes and identify mechanisms of gap junction regulation for potential therapies.

Glucocorticoid treatment and endocrine pancreas function: Implications for glucose homeostasis, insulin resistance and diabetes

Rafacho, A., Ortsäter, H., Nadal, A., Quesada, I.
2014 Journal of Endocrinology 223 (3), pp. R49-R62

Glucocorticoids (GCs) are broadly prescribed for numerous pathological conditions because of their anti-inflammatory, antiallergic and immunosuppressive effects, among other actions. Nevertheless, GCs can produce undesired diabetogenic side effects through interactions with the regulation of glucose homeostasis. Under conditions of excess and/or long-term treatment, GCs can induce peripheral insulin resistance (IR) by impairing insulin signalling, which results in reduced glucose disposal and augmented endogenous glucose production. In addition, GCs can promote abdominal obesity, elevate plasma fatty acids and triglycerides, and suppress osteocalcin synthesis in bone tissue. In response to GC-induced peripheral IR and in an attempt to maintain normoglycaemia, pancreatic β-cells undergo several morphofunctional adaptations that result in hyperinsulinaemia. Failure of β-cells to compensate for this situation favours glucose homeostasis disruption, which can result in hyperglycaemia, particularly in susceptible individuals. GC treatment does not only alter pancreatic β-cell function but also affect them by their actions that can lead to hyperglucagonaemia, further contributing to glucose homeostasis imbalance and hyperglycaemia. In addition, the release of other islet hormones, such as somatostatin, amylin and ghrelin, is also affected by GC administration. These undesired GC actions merit further consideration for the design of improved GC therapies without diabetogenic effects. In summary, in this review, we consider the implication of GC treatment on peripheral IR, islet function and glucose homeostasis.

β-Cell failure in type 2 diabetes: Postulated mechanisms and prospects for prevention and treatment

Halban, P.A., Polonsky, K.S., Bowden, D.W., (…), Sussel, L., Weir, G.C.
2014 Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 99 (6), pp. 1983-1992

OBJECTIVE: This article examines the foundation of β-cell failure in type 2 diabetes (T2D) and suggests areas for future research on the underlying mechanisms that may lead to improved prevention and treatment. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: A group of experts participated in a conference on 14-16 October 2013 cosponsored by the Endocrine Society and the American Diabetes Association. A writing group prepared this summary and recommendations. RESULTS: The writing group based this article on conference presentations, discussion, and debate. Topics covered include genetic predisposition, foundations of β-cell failure, natural history of β-cell failure, and impact of therapeutic interventions. CONCLUSIONS: β-Cell failure is central to the development and progression of T2D. It antedates and predicts diabetes onset and progression, is in part genetically determined, and often can be identified with accuracy even though current tests are cumbersome and not well standardized. Multiple pathways underlie decreased β-cell function and mass, some of which may be shared and may also be a consequence of processes that initially caused dysfunction. Goals for future research include to 1) impact the natural history of β-cell failure; 2) identify and characterize genetic loci for T2D; 3) target β-cell signaling, metabolic, and genetic pathways to improve function/mass; 4) develop alternative sources of β-cells for cell-based therapy; 5) focus on metabolic environment to provide indirect benefit to β-cells; 6) improve understanding of the physiology of responses to bypass surgery; and 7) identify circulating factors and neuronal circuits underlying the axis of communication between the brain and β-cells.

Metabolic effects of sleep disruption, links to obesity and diabetes

Nedeltcheva, A.V., Scheer, F.A.J.L
2014 Current Opinion in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Obesity 21 (4), pp. 293-298

Purpose of Review: To highlight the adverse metabolic effects of sleep disruption and to open ground for research aimed at preventive measures. This area of research is especially relevant given the increasing prevalence of voluntary sleep curtailment, sleep disorders, diabetes, and obesity. Recent Findings: Epidemiological studies have established an association between decreased self-reported sleep duration and an increased incidence of type 2 diabetes (T2D), obesity, and cardiovascular disease. Experimental laboratory studies have demonstrated that decreasing either the amount or quality of sleep decreases insulin sensitivity and decreases glucose tolerance. Experimental sleep restriction also causes physiological and behavioral changes that promote a positive energy balance. Although sleep restriction increases energy expenditure because of increased wakefulness, it can lead to a disproportionate increase in food intake, decrease in physical activity, and weight gain. SUMMARY: Sleep disruption has detrimental effects on metabolic health. These insights may help in the development of new preventive and therapeutic approaches against obesity and T2D based on increasing the quality and/or quantity of sleep. Video abstract http://links.lww.com/COE/A6.

Impaired proteostasis: Role in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus

Jaisson, S., Gillery, P.
2014 Diabetologia 57 (8), pp. 1517-1527

In living organisms, proteins are regularly exposed to ‘molecular ageing’, which corresponds to a set of non-enzymatic modifications that progressively cause irreversible damage to proteins. This phenomenon is greatly amplified under pathological conditions, such as diabetes mellitus. For their survival and optimal functioning, cells have to maintain protein homeostasis, also called ‘proteostasis’. This process acts to maintain a high proportion of functional and undamaged proteins. Different mechanisms are involved in proteostasis, among them degradation systems (the main intracellular proteolytic systems being proteasome and lysosomes), folding systems (including molecular chaperones), and enzymatic mechanisms of protein repair. There is growing evidence that the disruption of proteostasis may constitute a determining event in pathophysiology. The aim of this review is to demonstrate how such a dysregulation may be involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus and in the onset of its long-term complications.

Influence of miRNA in insulin signaling pathway and insulin resistance: Micro-molecules with a major role in type-2 diabetes

Chakraborty, C., Doss, C.G.P., Bandyopadhyay, S., Agoramoorthy, G.
2014 Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: RNA 5 (5), pp. 697-712

The prevalence of type-2 diabetes (T2D) is increasing significantly throughout the globe since the last decade. This heterogeneous and multifactorial disease, also known as insulin resistance, is caused by the disruption of the insulin signaling pathway. In this review, we discuss the existence of various miRNAs involved in regulating the main protein cascades in the insulin signaling pathway that affect insulin resistance. The influence of miRNAs (miR-7, miR-124α, miR-9, miR-96, miR-15α/β, miR-34α, miR-195, miR-376, miR-103, miR-107, and miR-146) in insulin secretion and beta (β) cell development has been well discussed. Here, we highlight the role of miRNAs in different significant protein cascades within the insulin signaling pathway such as miR-320, miR-383, miR-181β with IGF-1, and its receptor (IGF1R); miR-128α, miR-96, miR-126 with insulin receptor substrate (IRS) proteins; miR-29, miR-384-5p, miR-1 with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K); miR-143, miR-145, miR-29, miR-383, miR-33α/β miR-21 with AKT/protein kinase B (PKB) and miR-133α/β, miR-223, miR-143 with glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4). Insulin resistance, obesity, and hyperlipidemia (high lipid levels in the blood) have a strong connection with T2D and several miRNAs influence these clinical outcomes such as miR-143, miR-103, and miR-107, miR-29α, and miR-27β. We also corroborate from previous evidence how these interactions are related to insulin resistance and T2D. The insights highlighted in this review will provide a better understanding on the impact of miRNA in the insulin signaling pathway and insulin resistance-associated diagnostics and therapeutics for T2D

Genetic disruption of sod1 gene causes glucose intolerance and impairs β-cell function

Muscogiuri, G., Salmon, A.B., Aguayo-Mazzucato, C., (…), Van Remmen, H., Musi, N.
2013 Diabetes 62 (12), pp. 4201-4207

Oxidative stress has been associated with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. However, it is not clear whether oxidative damage is a cause or a consequence of the metabolic abnormalities present in diabetic subjects. The goal of this study was to determine whether inducing oxidative damage through genetic ablation of superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) leads to abnormalities in glucose homeostasis. We studied SOD1-null mice and wild-type (WT) littermates. Glucose tolerance was evaluated with intraperitoneal glucose tolerance tests. Peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity was quantitated with the euglycemic-hyperinsulinemic clamp. β-Cell function was determined with the hyperglycemic clamp and morphometric analysis of pancreatic islets. Genetic ablation of SOD1 caused glucose intolerance, which was associated with reduced in vivo β-cell insulin secretion and decreased b-cell volume. Peripheral and hepatic insulin sensitivity were not significantly altered in SOD1-null mice. High-fat diet caused glucose intolerance in WT mice but did not further worsen the glucose intolerance observed in standard chow-fed SOD1-null mice. Our findings suggest that oxidative stress per se does not play a major role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and demonstrate that oxidative stress caused by SOD1 ablation leads to glucose intolerance secondary to β-cell dysfunction.

VHL-mediated disruption of Sox9 activity compromises β-cell identity and results in diabetes mellitus

Puri, S., Akiyama, H., Hebrok, M.
2013 Genes and Development 27 (23), pp. 2563-2575

Precise functioning of the pancreatic β cell is paramount to whole-body glucose homeostasis, and β-cell dysfunction contributes significantly to diabetes mellitus. Using transgenic mouse models, we demonstrate that deletion of the von Hippel-Lindau (Vhlh) gene (encoding an E3 ubiquitin ligase implicated in, among other functions, oxygen sensing in pancreatic β cells) is deleterious to canonical β-cell gene expression. This triggers erroneous expression of factors normally active in progenitor cells, including effectors of the Notch, Wnt, and Hedgehog signaling cascades. Significantly, an up-regulation of the transcription factor Sox9, normally excluded from functional β cells, occurs upon deletion of Vhlh. Sox9 plays important roles during pancreas development but does not have a described role in the adult β cell. β-Cell-specific ectopic expression of Sox9 results in diabetes mellitus from similar perturbations in β-cell identity. These findings reveal that assaults on the β cell that impact the differentiation state of the cell have clear implications toward our understanding of diabetes mellitus

Second generation antipsychotic-induced type 2 diabetes: A role for the muscarinic M3 receptor

Weston-Green, K., Huang, X.-F., Deng, C.
2013 CNS Drugs 27 (12), pp. 1069-1080

Second generation antipsychotics (SGAs) are widely prescribed to treat various disorders, most notably schizophrenia and bipolar disorder; however, SGAs can cause abnormal glucose metabolism that can lead to insulin-resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus side-effects by largely unknown mechanisms. This review explores the potential candidature of the acetylcholine (ACh) muscarinic M3 receptor (M3R) as a prime mechanistic and possible therapeutic target of interest in SGA-induced insulin dysregulation. Studies have identified that SGA binding affinity to the M3R is a predictor of diabetes risk; indeed, olanzapine and clozapine, SGAs with the highest clinical incidence of diabetes side-effects, are potent M3R antagonists. Pancreatic M3Rs regulate the glucose-stimulated cholinergic pathway of insulin secretion; their activation on β-cells stimulates insulin secretion, while M3R blockade decreases insulin secretion. Genetic modification of M3Rs causes robust alterations in insulin levels and glucose tolerance in mice. Olanzapine alters M3R density in discrete nuclei of the hypothalamus and caudal brainstem, regions that regulate glucose homeostasis and insulin secretion through vagal innervation of the pancreas. Furthermore, studies have demonstrated a dynamic sensitivity of hypothalamic and brainstem M3Rs to altered glucometabolic status of the body. Therefore, the M3R is in a prime position to influence glucose homeostasis through direct effects on pancreatic β-cells and by potentially altering signaling in the hypothalamus and brainstem. SGA-induced insulin dysregulation may be partly due to blockade of central and peripheral M3Rs, causing an initial disruption to insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis that can progressively lead to insulin resistance and diabetes during chronic treatment.

Islet amyloid polypeptide toxicity and membrane interactions

Cao, P., Abedini, A., Wang, H., (…), Schmidt, A.M., Raleigh, D.P.
2013 Proc National Academy of Sciences USA  110 (48), pp. 19279-19284

Islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) is responsible for amyloid formation in type 2 diabetes and contributes to the failure of islet cell transplants, however the mechanisms of IAPP-induced cytotoxicity are not known. Interactions with model anionic membranes are known to catalyze IAPP amyloid formation in vitro. Human IAPP damages anionic membranes, promoting vesicle leakage, but the features that control IAPP-membrane interactions and the connection with cellular toxicity are not clear. Kinetic studies with wild type IAPP and IAPP mutants demonstrate that membrane leakage is induced by prefibrillar IAPP species and continues over the course of amyloid formation, correlating additional membrane disruption with fibril growth.  Analyses of a set of designed mutants reveal that membrane leakage does not require the formation of α-sheet or α-helical structures.  A His-18 to Arg substitution enhances leakage, whereas replacement of all of the aromatic residues via a triple leucine mutant has no effect. Biophysical measurements in conjunction with cytotoxicity studies show that nonamyloidogenic rat IAPP is as effective as human IAPP at disrupting standard anionic model membranes under conditions where rat IAPP does not induce cellular toxicity. Similar results are obtained with more complex model membranes, including ternary systems that contain cholesterol and are capable of forming lipid rafts. A designed point mutant, I26P-IAPP; a designed double mutant, G24P, I26P-IAPP; a double N-methylated variant; and pramlintide, a US Food and Drug Administration-approved IAPP variant all induce membrane leakage, but are not cytotoxic, showing that there is no one-to-one relationship between disruption of model membranes and induction of cellular toxicity.

Diabetes and beta cell function: From mechanisms to evaluation and clinical implications

Cernea, S., Dobreanu, M.
2013 Biochemia Medica 23 (3), pp. 266-280

Diabetes is a complex, heterogeneous condition that has beta cell dysfunction at its core. Many factors (e.g. hyperglycemia/glucotoxicity, lipotoxicity, autoimmunity, inflammation, adipokines, islet amyloid, incretins and insulin resistance) influence the function of pancreatic beta cells. Chronic hyperglycemia may result in detrimental effects on insulin synthesis/secretion, cell survival and insulin sensitivity through multiple mechanisms: gradual loss of insulin gene expression and other beta-cell specific genes; chronic endoplasmic reticulum stress and oxidative stress; changes in mitochondrial number, morphology and function; disruption in calcium homeostasis. In the presence of hyperglycemia, prolonged exposure to increased free fatty acids result in accumulation of toxic metabolites in the cells (“lipotoxicity”), finally causing decreased insulin gene expression and impairment of insulin secretion. The rest of the factors/mechanisms which impact on the course of the disease are also discusses in detail. The correct assessment of beta cell function requires a concomitant quantification of insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity, because the two variables are closely interrelated. In order to better understand the fundamental pathogenetic mechanisms that contribute to disease development in a certain individual with diabetes, additional markers could be used, apart from those that evaluate beta cell function. The aim of the paper was to overview the relevant mechanisms/factors that influence beta cell function and to discuss the available methods of its assessment. In addition, clinical considerations are made regarding the therapeutical options that have potential protective effects on beta cell function/mass by targeting various underlying factors and mechanisms with a role in disease progression.

The PACAP-regulated gene selenoprotein T is abundantly expressed in mouse and human β-cells and its targeted inactivation impairs glucose tolerance

Prevost, G., Arabo, A., Jian, L., (…), Pattou, F., Anouar, Y
2013 Endocrinology 154 (10), pp. 3796-3806

Selenoproteins are involved in the regulation of redox status, which affects several cellular processes, including cell survival and homeostasis. Considerable interest has arisen recently concerning the role of selenoproteins in the regulation of glucose metabolism. Here, we found that selenoprotein T (SelT), a new thioredoxin-like protein of the endoplasmic reticulum, is present at high levels in human and mouse pancreas as revealed by immunofluorescence and quantitative PCR. Confocal immunohistochemistry studies revealed that SelT is mostly confined to insulin- and somatostatin-producing cells in mouse and human islets. To elucidate the role of SelT in β-cells, we generated, using a Cre-Lox strategy, a conditional pancreatic β-cell SelT-knockout C57BL/6J mice (SelT-insKO) in which SelT gene disruption is under the control of the rat insulin promoter Cre gene. Glucose administration revealed that male SelT-insKO mice display impaired glucose tolerance. Although insulin sensitivity was not modified in the mutant mice, the ratio of glucose to insulin was significantly higher in the SelT-insKO mice compared with wild-type littermates, pointing to a deficit in insulin production/secretion in mutant mice. In addition, morphometric analysis showed that islets from SelT-insKO mice were smaller and that their number was significantly increased compared with islets from their wild-type littermates. Finally, we found that SelT is up-regulated by pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) in β-pancreatic cells and that SelT could act by facilitating a feed-forward mechanism to potentiate insulin secretion induced by the neuropeptide. Our findings are the first to show that the PACAP-regulated SelT is localized in pancreatic α- and β-cells and is involved in the control of glucose homeostasis

SIRT1 deacetylates FOXA2 and is critical for Pdx1 transcription and β-cell formation

Wang, R.-H., Xu, X., Kim, H.-S., Xiao, Z., Deng, C.-X.
2013 International Journal of Biological Sciences 9 (9), pp. 934-946

Pancreas duodenum homeobox 1 (PDX1) is essential for pancreas development and β-cell formation; however more studies are needed to clearly illustrate the precise mechanism regarding spatiotemporal regulation of Pdx1 expression during β-cell formation and development. Here, we demonstrate that SIRT1, FOXA2 and a number of proteins form a protein complex on the promoter of the Pdx1 gene. SIRT1 and PDX1 are expressed in the same set of cells during β-cell differentiation and maturation. Pancreas-specific disruption of SIRT1 diminished PDX1 expression and impaired islet development. Consequently, SIRT1 mutant mice develop progressive hyperglycemia, glucose intolerance, and insulin insufficiency, which directly correlate with the extent of SIRT1 deletion. We further show that SIRT1 interacts with and deacetylates FOXA2 on the promoter of the Pdx1gene, and positively regulates its transcription. These results uncover an essential role of SIRT1 in β-cell formation by maintaining expression of PDX1 and its downstream genes, and identify pancreas-specific SIRT1 mutant mice as a relevant model for studying insulin insufficiency.

NOX, NOX who is there? The contribution of NADPH oxidase one to beta cell dysfunction

Taylor-Fishwick, D.A.
2013 Frontiers in Endocrinology 4 (APR), Article 40

Predictions of diabetes prevalence over the next decades warrant the aggressive discovery of new approaches to stop or reverse loss of functional beta cell mass. Beta cells are recognized to have a relatively high sensitivity to reactive oxygen species (ROS) and become dysfunctional under oxidative stress conditions. New discoveries have identified NADPH oxidases in beta cells as contributors to elevated cellular ROS. Reviewed are recent reports that evidence a role for NADPH oxidase-1 (NOX-1) in β-cell dysfunction. NOX-1 is stimulated by inflammatory cytokines that are elevated in diabetes. First, regulation of cytokine-stimulated NOX-1 expression has been linked to inflammatory lipid mediators derived from 12-lipoxygenase activity. For the first time in beta cells these data integrate distinct pathways associated with beta cell dysfunction. Second, regulation of NOX-1 in
β-cells involves feed-forward control linked to elevated ROS and Src-kinase activation. This potentially results in unbridled ROS generation and identifies candidate targets for pharmacologic intervention. Third, consideration is provided of new, first-in-class, selective inhibitors of NOX-1. These compounds could have an important role in assessing a disruption of NOX-1/ROS signaling as a new approach to preserve and protect beta cell mass in diabetes.

Retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein in pancreatic progenitors controls α- and β-cell fate

Cai, E.P., Wu, X., Schroer, S.A., (…), Zacksenhaus, E., Woo, M.
2013 Proc National Academy of Sciences USA 110 (36), pp. 14723-14728

Pancreatic endocrine cells expand rapidly during embryogenesis by neogenesis and proliferation, but during adulthood, islet cells have a very slow turnover. Disruption of murine retinoblastoma tumor suppressor protein (Rb) in mature pancreatic β-cells has a limited effect on cell proliferation. Here we show that deletion of Rb during embryogenesis in islet progenitors leads to an increase in the neurogenin 3-expressing precursor cell population, which persists in the postnatal period and is associated with increased β-cell mass in adults. In contrast, Rb-deficient islet precursors, through repression of the cell fate factor aristaless related homeobox, result in decreased β-cell mass. The opposing effect on survival of Rb-deficient β- and β-cells was a result of opposing effects on p53 in these cell types. As a consequence, loss of Rb in islet precursors led to a reduced α- to β-cell ratio, leading to improved glucose homeostasis and protection against diabetes.

Statin therapy and new-onset diabetes: Molecular mechanisms and clinical relevance

Banach, M., Malodobra-Mazur, M., Gluba, A., (…), Rysz, J., Dobrzyn, A.
2013 Current Pharmaceutical Design 19 (27), pp. 4904-4912

Despite positive effects on the plasma lipid profile and vascular events, statin use is associated with various side effects. Among these, statins might cause a disruption of a number of regulatory pathways including insulin signaling. This may affect insulin sensitivity, pancreatic beta-cell function and adipokine secretion. The statin-associated risk of new-onset diabetes (NOD) appears to be a dose-dependent class effect. It still remains unclear whether statin treatment is associated with increased risk of NOD in the general population or if there are groups of individuals at particular risk. However, according to the available data it seems that cardiovascular (CV) benefits in high-risk individuals strongly favor statin therapy since it outweighs other risks. Whether statins should be used for primary prevention among patients with a relatively low baseline CV risk is still questionable, however the results of primary prevention trials have shown reductions in mortality in this population. Thus, there is a need for randomized, placebo-controlled statin studies with carefully selected groups of patients and NOD as a key end point in order to resolve queries concerning this issue.

Basement membrane extract preserves islet viability and activity in vitro by up-regulating α3 integrin and its signal

Miao, G., Zhao, Y., Li, Y., (…), Li, J., Wei, J
2013 Pancreas 42 (6), pp. 971-976

OBJECTIVE: Survival of transplanted islets is limited partly because of the disruption of the islet basement membrane (BM) occurring during isolation. We hypothesized that the embedment of BM extract (BME) could induce a viable cell mass and prolong islet functionality before transplantation. METHODS: A special reconstituted BME that solidifies into a gel at 37 C was used to embed isolated islets in this study. The strategy was used to re-establish the interaction between the islets and peri-islet BM. RESULTS: Islets embedded in BME showed lower caspase-3 levels and higher Akt activity than those in suspension. Moreover, we found for the first time that the expression of β3 integrin and focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and FAK activity was up-regulated in islets after BME embedment. The reverse effect was observed on islet apoptosis when islets rescued from a 24-hour suspension culture were embedded in BME for the next 24 hours. In addition, expression of pancreatic duodenal homeobox factor-1 and phospho-extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 was partially preserved, suggesting the positive effect of BME on islet development. CONCLUSIONS: These results indicate that BME embedment of islets can up-regulate the expression of β3 integrin and its signal transduction, which may improve islet viability.

Involvement of the Clock Gene Rev-erb alpha in the Regulation of Glucagon Secretion in Pancreatic Alpha-Cells

Vieira, E., Marroquí, L., Figueroa, A.C., (…), Gomis, R., Quesada, I.
2013 PLoS ONE 8 (7), e6993

Disruption of pancreatic clock genes impairs pancreatic β-cell function, leading to the onset of diabetes. Despite the importance of pancreatic α-cells in the regulation of glucose homeostasis and in diabetes pathophysiology, nothing is known about the role of clock genes in these cells. Here, we identify the clock gene Rev-erbα as a new intracellular regulator of glucagon secretion. Rev-erbα down-regulation by siRNA (60-70% inhibition) in alphaTC1-9 cells inhibited low-glucose induced glucagon secretion (p<0.05) and led to a decrease in key genes of the exocytotic machinery. The Rev-erbα agonist GSK4112 increased glucagon secretion (1.6 fold) and intracellular calcium signals in αTC1-9 cells and mouse primary alpha-cells, whereas the Rev-erbα  antagonist SR8278 produced the opposite effect. At 0.5 mM glucose, alphaTC1-9 cells exhibited intrinsic circadian Rev-erbα expression oscillations that were inhibited by 11 mM glucose. In mouse primary alpha-cells, glucose induced similar effects (p<0.001). High glucose inhibited key genes controlled by AMPK such as Nampt, Sirt1 and PGC-1 alpha in alphaTC1-9 cells (p<0.05). AMPK activation by metformin completely reversed the inhibitory effect of glucose on Nampt-Sirt1-PGC-1 alpha and Rev-erb alpha. Nampt inhibition decreased Sirt1, PGC-1 alpha and Rev-erb alpha mRNA expression (p<0.01) and glucagon release (p<0.05). These findings identify Rev-erb alpha as a new intracellular regulator of glucagon secretion via AMPK/Nampt/Sirt1 pathway.

Bmal1 and β-cell clock are required for adaptation to circadian disruption, and their loss of function leads to oxidative stress- induced β-cell failure in mice

Lee, J., Moulik, M., Fang, Z., (…), Moore, D.D., Yechoor, V.K.
2013 Molecular and Cellular Biology 33 (11), pp. 2327-2338

Circadian disruption has deleterious effects on metabolism. Global deletion of Bmal1, a core clock gene, results in β-cell dysfunction and diabetes. But  it is unknown if this is due to loss of cell-autonomous function of Bmal1 in β cells. To address this, we generated mice with β-cell clock disruption by deleting Bmal1 in β cells (β-Bmal1-/-).  β-Bmal1-/- mice develop diabetes due to loss of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). This loss of GSIS is due to the accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and consequent mitochondrial uncoupling, as it is fully rescued by scavenging of the ROS or by inhibition of uncoupling protein 2. The expression of the master antioxidant regulatory factor Nrf2 (nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2) and its targets, Sesn2, Prdx3, Gclc, and Gclm, was decreased in β-Bmal1-/- islets, which may contribute to the observed increase in ROS accumulation. In addition, by chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments, we show that Nrf2 is a direct transcriptional target of Bmal1. Interestingly, simulation of shift work-induced circadian misalignment in mice recapitulates many of the defects seen in Bmal1-deficient islets.

Thus, the cell-autonomous function of Bmal1 is required for normal β-cell function by mitigating oxidative stress and serves to preserve β-cell function in the face of circadian misalignment.

A common landscape for membraneactive peptides

Last, N.B., Schlamadinger, D.E., Miranker, A.D.
2013 Protein Science 22 (7), pp. 870-882

Three families of membrane-active peptides are commonly found in nature and are classified according to their initial apparent activity. Antimicrobial peptides are ancient components of the innate immune system and typically act by disruption of microbial membranes leading to cell death. Amyloid peptides contribute to the pathology of diverse diseases from Alzheimer’s to type II diabetes. Preamyloid states of these peptides can act as toxins by binding to and permeabilizing cellular membranes. Cell-penetrating peptides are natural or engineered short sequences that can spontaneously translocate across a membrane. Despite these differences in classification, many similarities in sequence, structure, and activity suggest that peptides from all three classes act through a small, common set of physical principles. Namely, these peptides alter the Brownian properties of phospholipid bilayers, enhancing the sampling of intrinsic fluctuations that include membrane defects. A complete energy landscape for such systems can be described by the innate membrane properties, differential partition, and the associated kinetics of peptides dividing between surface and defect regions of the bilayer. The goal of this review is to argue that the activities of these membrane-active families of peptides simply represent different facets of what is a shared energy landscape.

Membrane disordering is not sufficient for membrane permeabilization by islet amyloid polypeptide: Studies of IAPP(20-29) fragments

Brender, J.R., Heyl, D.L., Samisetti, S., (…), Pesaru, R.R., Ramamoorthy, A.
2013 Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics 15 (23), pp. 8908-8915

A key factor in the development of type II diabetes is the loss of insulin-producing beta-cells. Human islet amyloid polypeptide protein (human-IAPP) is believed to play a crucial role in this process by forming small aggregates that exhibit toxicity by disrupting the cell membrane. The actual mechanism of membrane disruption is complex and appears to involve an early component before fiber formation and a later component associated with fiber formation on the membrane. By comparing the peptide-lipid interactions derived from solid-state NMR experiments of two IAPP fragments that cause membrane disordering to IAPP derived peptides known to cause significant early membrane permeabilization, we show here that membrane disordering is not likely to be sufficient by itself to cause the early membrane permeabilization observed by IAPP, and may play a lesser role in IAPP membrane disruption than expected.
Downregulation of Fas activity rescues early onset of diabetes in c-KitWv/+ mice

Feng, Z.-C., Riopel, M., Li, J., Donnelly, L., Wang, R.
2013 American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism 304 (6), pp. E557-E565

c-Kit and its ligand stem cell factor (SCF) are important for β-cell survival and maturation; meanwhile, interactions between the Fas receptor (Fas) and Fas ligand are capable of triggering β-cell apoptosis. Disruption of c-Kit signaling leads to severe loss of β-cell mass and function with upregulation of Fas expression in c-KitWv/++ mouse islets, suggesting that there is a critical balance between c-Kit and Fas activation in β-cells. In the present study, we investigated the interrelationship between c-Kit and Fas activation that mediates β-cell survival and function. We generated double mutant, c-KitWv/++;Faslpr/lpr (Wv-/-), mice to study the physiological and functional role of Fas with respect to β-cell function in c-KitWv/++ mice. Isolated islets from these mice and the INS-1 cell line were used. We observed that islets in c-KitWv/++ mice showed a significant increase in β-cell apoptosis along with upregulated p53 and Fas expression. These results were verified in vitro in INS-1 cells treated with SCF or c-Kit siRNA combined with a p53 inhibitor and Fas siRNA. In vivo, Wv-/- mice displayed improved β-cell function, with significantly enhanced insulin secretion and increased β-cell mass and proliferation compared with Wv+/+ mice. This improvement was associated with downregulation of the Fas-mediated caspase-dependent apoptotic pathway and upregulation of the cFlip/NF-?B pathway. These findings demonstrate that a balance between the c-Kit and Fas signaling pathways is critical in the regulation of β-cell survival and function.
Study Suggests Genetic Susceptibility to T2D May Have Shifted with Human Migration

May 24, 2013  By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The apparent genetic risk for type 2 diabetes seems to vary between human populations from different parts of the world, new research suggests, with populations in Africa and East Asia showing particularly pronounced differences in T2D susceptibility.

A pair of papers appearing online — both led by investigators at Stanford University — outline the approaches and analyses used to reach that conclusion.

For the first study, published in PLOS Genetics, researchers trolled through data on more than 1,000 individuals from around the world who’d been genotyped for the Human Genome Diversity Panel project. Patterns in that data revealed geography or population-related differentiation in the genetic risk associated with certain diseases.

“We demonstrated that differences in genetic risk for multiple diseases go well beyond what is expected by genetic drift,” the study authors noted. “In addition, using a human population phylogenetic tree allowed us to elucidate a substructure of worldwide relationships.”

In the East Asian population, for instance, the team saw diminished genetic risk for both T2D and pancreatic cancer. On the other hand, individuals of African ancestry appeared to be more apt to carry T2D risk alleles, results of the analysis suggest, pointing to possible migration-related shifts in genetic susceptibility to T2D.

For their PLOS Genetics analysis, the researchers used data for 1,043 individuals genotyped for the HGDP to delve into the genetic risk associated with more than 100 diseases, including T2D.

Because the individuals hailed from 51 different populations around the world, the group was able to get a glimpse at relationships between these genetic risk contributors and human migration and population patterns.

From that data, investigators saw at least 11 conditions for which risk variant profiles differed across human populations, researchers reported, including ulcerative colitis, bladder cancer, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease.

For T2D, that genetic differentiation appeared to correspond with population patterns stemming from human migrations out of Africa and into other parts of the world. For instance, the analysis indicated that genetic risk for T2D dips in East Asian populations but tends to be elevated in populations from Africa — particularly the Mandinka population, which appeared to be at highest genetic risk of T2D.

“East Asians definitely get diabetes,” Stanford University’s Atul Butte, senior author on the study, said in a statement.

Nevertheless, he added, it’s possible that there are population-specific differences in the risk alleles and genetic pathways involved, potentially producing somewhat distinct forms of the disease.

Those involved in the study noted that additional, follow-up research is needed, including whole-genome sequencing analysis, which can offer a look at larger structural variants contributing to disease risk in different populations, for instance.

But if findings from the current analysis hold in future studies, that may ultimately prompt a shift in researchers’ understanding of T2D and the factors contributing to it.

“Other fields of medicine have undergone a radical rethinking in disease taxonomy,” Butte said in a statement, “but this has not happened yet for diabetes, one of the world’s public health menaces.”

“If these are separate diseases at a molecular level, we need to try to understand that,” he added.

A related study in the journal Diabetes Care, also by Stanford’s Butte and his colleagues, touched on the consequences of such genetic differences. That work highlighted apparent clinical differences in T2D-related traits — particularly in insulin resistance and insulin response — in African, East Asian, and Caucasian populations.

More generally, Butte and his colleagues put together a so-called “Genetic Risk World Map” to tie together the information generated from their study of disease risk genetics in the context of human migration. The resource is available online through a Stanford website.
Use of pioglitazone in the treatment of diabetes: effect on cardiovascular risk

Authors: Zou C, Hu H
Published Date: 25 July 2013; 9: 429 – 433
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S34421

Pioglitazone and other thiazolidinediones (TZDs) initially showed great promise as unique receptor-mediated oral therapy for type 2 diabetes, but a host of serious side effects, primarily cardiovascular, have limited their utility. It is crucial at this point to perform a risk–benefit analysis to determine what role pioglitazone should play in our current treatment of type 2 diabetes and where the future of this class of drugs is headed. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the present literature. Clinical data currently available indicate that pioglitazone is an effective and generally well-tolerated treatment option for use in patients with type 2 diabetes. Pioglitazone can still reduce adverse cardiovascular risk.

Glucophage, Glucophage XR

In a US double-blind clinical study of GLUCOPHAGE in patients with type 2 diabetes, a total of 141 patients received GLUCOPHAGE therapy (up to 2550 mg per day) and 145 patients received placebo. Adverse reactions reported in greater than 5% of the GLUCOPHAGE patients, and that were more common in GLUCOPHAGE- than placebo-treated patients are reported.

The following adverse reactions were reported in ≥ 1.0% to ≤ 5.0% of GLUCOPHAGE patients and were more commonly reported with GLUCOPHAGE than placebo:

abnormal stools, – myalgia, – lightheaded, – dyspnea,

the following adverse reactions were reported in ≥ 1.0% to ≤ 5.0% of GLUCOPHAGE XR patients and were more commonly reported with GLUCOPHAGE XR than placebo

dizziness, – More common

Metabolic side effects have included lactic acidosis, which is a potentially fatal metabolic complication. The incidence of lactic acidosis has been about 1.5 cases per 10,000 patient years. The risk of lactic acidosis has been particularly high in patients with underlying renal insufficiency. Cases of lactic acidosis occurring in patients with normal renal function have been rarely reported.

  • Signs and symptoms of severe acidosis may include bradycardia  (lactic acidosis)
  • lactic acid concentration, serum electrolytes, blood pH

High-Fructose Corn Syrup Linked to Diabetes

By Brenda Goodman, MA   WebMD Health News
Reviewed By Louise Chang, MD

In a study published in the journal Global Health, researchers compared the average availability of high-fructose corn syrup to rates of diabetes in 43 countries.

About half the countries in the study had little or no high-fructose corn syrup in their food supply. In the other 20 countries, high-fructose corn syrup in foods ranged from about a pound a year per person in Germany to about 55 pounds each year per person in the United States.

The researchers found that countries using high-fructose corn syrup had rates of diabetes that were about 20% higher than countries that didn’t mix the sweetener into foods. Those differences remained even after researchers took into account data for differences in body size, population, and wealth.

But couldn’t that mean that people in countries that used more high-fructose corn syrup were just eating more sugar or more total calories?

The researchers say no: There were no overall differences in total sugars or total calories between countries that did and didn’t use high-fructose corn syrup, suggesting that there’s an independent relationship between high-fructose corn syrup and diabetes.

“It raises a lot of questions about fructose,” says researcher Michael I. Goran, PhD, co-director of the Diabetes and Obesity Research Institute at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California, in Los Angeles. Although the study found an association, it doesn’t establish a cause/effect relationship.
Genetic association of ADIPOQ gene variants with type 2 diabetes, obesity and serum adiponectin levels in south Indian population.

Ramya K; Ayyappa KA; Ghosh S; Mohan V; Radha V
Gene 2013 Dec 15;532(2):253-62    (ISSN: 1879-0038)

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the genetic association of eight variants of the adiponectin gene with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), obesity and serum adiponectin level in the south Indian population. METHODS: The study comprised of 1100 normal glucose tolerant (NGT) and 1100 type 2 diabetic, unrelated subjects randomly selected from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study (CURES), in southern India. Fasting serum adiponectin
levels were measured by radioimmunoassay. The variants were screened by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. Linkage disequilibrium was estimated from the estimates of haplotype frequencies. RESULTS: Of the 8 variants, four SNPs namely, +276 G/T (rs1501299), -4522 C/T (rs822393), -11365 C/G (rs266729), and +712 G/A (rs3774261) were significantly associated with T2DM in our study population. The -3971 A/G (rs822396) and -11391 G/A (rs17300539) SNPs’ association with T2DM diabetes was mediated through obesity (where  the association with  type 2 diabetes was lost after adjusting for BMI). There was an independent
association of +276 G/T (rs1501299) and -3971 A/G (rs822396) SNPs with generalized obesity and +349 A/G (rs2241767) with central obesity. Four SNPs, -3971 A/G (rs822396), +276 G/T (rs1501299), -4522 C/T (rs822393) and Y111H T/C (rs17366743) were significantly associated with hypoadiponectinemia. The haplotypes GCCATGAAT and AGCGTGGGT conferred lower risk of T2DM in this south Indian population. CONCLUSION: The adiponectin gene variants and haplotype contribute to the genetic risk towards the development of type 2 diabetes, obesity and hypoadiponectinemia in the south Indianpopulation. [ 2013.].

Association of family history of type 2 diabetes mellitus with markers of endothelial dysfunction in South Indian population.

Dhananjayan R; Malati T; Brindha G; Kutala VK
Indian J Biochem Biophys 2013 Apr;50(2):93-8    (ISSN: 0301-1208)

Studies indicate that risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D) or cardiovascular disease is detectable in childhood, though these disorders may not emerge until adulthood. This study was aimed to assess the markers of endothelial dysfunction in patients with the family history of T2D from South Indian population. A total of 450 subjects were included in the study comprising Group I (n = 200) of T2D, Group II (n = 200) of age- and sex-matched healthy controls, Group III (n = 25) of children of T2D patients and Group IV (n = 25) of children of healthy controls. Results showed that intimal medial thickening (IMT) was significantly higher in T2D patients, compared with control subjects with no family history of diabetes. The fasting plasma glucose, glycated hemoglobin, serum total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL-cholesterol, apolipoprotein B (ApoB) and high-sensitive C-reactive protein (hsCRP) levels were significantly increased, whereas HDL-cholesterol and serum nitrite levels were significantly decreased in T2D patients. However, children of T2D patients who were not diabetic did not show significant increase in the IMT, as compared to those of healthy controls. In conclusion, the present study demonstrate that IMT was significantly higher in the T2D patients and increased with age and family history. The increased levels of lipids, hsCRP, IMT and decreased nitrite levels might contribute to the risk of endothelial dysfunction in patients with T2D. However, further studies are warranted with other biomarkers of endothelial dysfunction in T2D patients with increased sample size.

Hemoglobin A1c variability as an independent correlate of cardiovascular disease in patients with type 2 diabetes: a cross-sectional analysis of the renal insufficiency and cardiovascular events (RIACE) Italian multicenter study.

Penno G; Solini A; Zoppini G; Orsi E; Fondelli C; Zerbini G; Morano S; and
Renal Insufficiency and Cardiovascular Events (RIACE) Study Group.
Cardiovasc Diabetol 2013;12:98    (ISSN: 1475-2840)

BACKGROUND: Previous reports have clearly indicated a significant relationship between hemoglobin (Hb) A1c change from one visit to the next and microvascular complications, especially nephropathy (albuminuria and albuminuric chronic kidney disease, CKD). In contrast, data on macrovascular disease are less clear. This study was aimed at examining the association of HbA1c variability with cardiovascular disease (CVD) in the large cohort of subjects with type 2 diabetes from the Renal Insufficiency and Cardiovascular Events (RIACE) Italian Multicenter Study. METHODS: Serial (3-5) HbA1c values obtained during the 2-year period preceding recruitment, including that obtained at the enrolment, were available from 8,290 subjects from 9 centers (out of 15,773 patients from 19 centers). Average HbA1c and HbA1c variability were calculated as the intra-individual mean (HbA1c-MEAN) and standard deviation (HbA1c-SD), respectively, of 4.52 0.76 values. Prevalent CVD, total and by vascular bed, was assessed from medical history by recording previous documented major acute events. Diabetic retinopathy (DR) was assessed by dilated fundoscopy. CKD was defined based on albuminuria, as measured by immunonephelometry or immunoturbidimetry, and estimated glomerular filtration rate, as calculated from serum creatinine. RESULTS: HbA1c-MEAN, but not HbA1c-SD, was significantly higher (P <0.0001) in subjects with history of any CVD (n. 2,133, 25.7%) than in those without CVD (n. 6,157, 74.3%). Median and interquartile range were 7.78 (7.04-8.56) and 7.49 (6.81-8.31), respectively, for HbA1c-MEAN, and 0.47 (0.29-0.75) and 0.46 (0.28-0.73), respectively, for HbA1c-SD. Logistic regression analyses showed that HbA1c-MEAN, but not HbA1c-SD (and independent of it), was a significant correlate of any CVD. Similar findings were observed in subjects with versus those without any coronary or cerebrovascular event or myocardial infarction. Conversely, none of these measures were associated with stroke, whereas both correlated with any lower limb vascular event and HbA1c-SD alone with ulceration/gangrene. All these associations were independent of known CVD risk factors and microvascular complications (DR and CKD). CONCLUSIONS: In patients with type 2 diabetes, HbA1c variability has not a major impact on macrovascular complications, at variance with average HbA1c, an opposite finding as compared with microvascular disease, and particularly nephropathy. TRIAL REGISTRATION: ClinicalTrials.Gov NCT00715481.

Genetic association of adiponectin gene polymorphisms (+45T/G and +10211T/G) with type 2 diabetes in North Indians.

Saxena M; Srivastava N; Banerjee M
Diabetes Metab Syndr 2012 Apr-Jun;6(2):65-9    (ISSN: 1878-0334)

Adiponectin (ADIPOQ) is an abundant protein hormone which belongs to a family of so-called adipokines. It is expressed mostly by adipocytes and is an important regulator of lipid and glucose metabolism. It was shown that decreased serum adiponectin concentration indicated insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2DM) with the risk of cardiovascular complications. The fact that adiponectin is an insulin-sensitizing hormone with anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-atherogenic properties, we proposed to study the association of ADIPOQ gene polymorphisms in subjects with T2DM. DNA was isolated from venous blood samples, quantified and subjected to Polymerase Chain Reaction-Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) using suitable primers and restriction endonucleases. Adiponectin levels were measured in serum using ELISA. The genotypic, allelic and carriage rate frequencies distribution in patients and controls were analyzed by PSAW software (ver. 17.0). Odd ratios (OR) with 95% confidence interval (CI) were determined to describe the strength of association by logistic regression model. Out of the two polymorphisms studied, +10211T/G showed significant association (P=0.042), the ‘G’ allele association being highly significant (P=0.022). Further analysis showed that individuals with ‘GG’ haplotype were at increased risk of T2DM up to 15.5 times [P=0.015, OR (95% CI); 15.558 (1.690-143.174)]. The present study showed that the ‘G’ allele of ADIPOQ gene (+10211T/G) plays a prominent role with respect to T2DM susceptibility in North-Indian population. [Copyright 2012 Diabetes India. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.].

Association of RAGE gene polymorphism with vascular complications in Indian type 2 diabetes mellitus patients [In Process Citation]

Tripathi AK; Chawla D; Bansal S; Banerjee BD; Madhu SV; Kalra OP
Diabetes Res Clin Pract 2014 Mar;103(3):474-81    (ISSN: 1872-8227)

AIMS: The study was designed to evaluate the association of -374T/A and -429T/C polymorphism in the promoter region and Gly82Ser polymorphism in exon 3 region of RAGE gene with diabetic vascular complications in Indian population. METHODS: We screened 603 subjects which includes 176 healthy controls, 140 type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) subjects without any vascular complications (DM), 152 T2DM subjects with microvascular complications (DM-micro) and 135 T2DM subjects with macrovascular complications (DM-macro) for -374T/A, -429T/C and Gly82Ser polymorphisms of RAGE gene. DNA isolated from the enrolled subjects were genotyped by PCR-RFLP. Logistic regression analysis was used to evaluate the association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). RESULTS: The -429 T/C and Gly82Ser RAGE polymorphisms were found to be significantly associated with the development of macrovascular and microvascular complications, respectively, in T2DM subjects while -374A allele showed reduced risk towards the development of macrovascular complications. Further, -429T/C, -374T/A and Gly82Ser haplotype analysis revealed association of CTG haplotype with development of macrovascular complications while haplotype TAG was observed to be significantly protective towards development of macrovascular complications in T2DM subjects (OR=0.617, p=0.0202). CONCLUSIONS: Our data indicates significant association of RAGE SNPs and haplotypes with vascular complications in North Indian T2DM subjects.
Clinical profile and complications of childhood- and adolescent-onset type 2 diabetes seen at a diabetes center in south India.

Amutha A; Datta M; Unnikrishnan R; Anjana RM; Mohan V
Diabetes Technol Ther 2012 Jun;14(6):497-504    (ISSN: 1557-8593)

OBJECTIVE: This study describes the clinical characteristics of childhood- and adolescent-onset type 2 diabetes mellitus (CAT2DM) seen at a diabetes center in southern India. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Between January 1992 and December 2009, 368 CAT2DM patients were registered. Anthropometric measurements were done using standardized techniques. Biochemical investigations included C-peptide measurements and glutamic acid decarboxylase antibody assay wherever feasible. Retinopathy was diagnosed by retinal photography; microalbuminuria, if urinary albumin excretion was between 30 and 299vmg/1/4g of creatinine; nephropathy, if urinary albumin excretion was (yen)300vmg/1/4g; and neuropathy, if vibration perception threshold on biothesiometry was (yen)20vV. RESULTS: The proportion of CAT2DM patients, expressed as percentage of total patients registered at our center, rose from 0.01% in 1992 to 0.35% in 2009 (P <0.001). Among the 368 cases of CAT2DM, 96 (26%) were diagnosed before the age of 15 years. The mean age at first visit and age at diagnosis of the CAT2DM subjects were 22.29.7 and 16.12.5 years, respectively. Using World Health Organization growth reference charts, 56% of boys and 50.4% of girls were > 85(th) percentile of body mass index for age. Prevalence rates of retinopathy, microalbuminuria, nephropathy, and neuropathy were 26.7%, 14.7%, 8.4%, and 14.2%, respectively. Regression analysis revealed female gender, body mass index > 85(th) percentile, parental history of diabetes, serum cholesterol, and blood pressure to be associated with earlier age at onset of CAT2DM. CONCLUSIONS: CAT2DM appears to be increasing in urban India, and the prevalence of microvascular complications is high. Female predominance is seen at younger ages.

Variants of the adiponectin gene and diabetic microvascular complications in patients with type 2 diabetes.

Choe EY; Wang HJ; Kwon O; Kim KJ; Kim BS; Lee BW; Ahn CW;  et al.
Metabolism 2013 May;62(5):677-85    (ISSN: 1532-8600)

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to examine the association between common polymorphisms of the adiponectin gene (ADIPOQ) and microvascular complications in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: Rs2241766 and rs1501299 of ADIPOQ were genotyped in 708 patients with T2DM. Fundus photography, nerve conducting velocity, and urine analysis were performed to check for the presence of microvascular complications including diabetic nephropathy, retinopathy and neuropathy. RESULTS: The prevalence of diabetic nephropathy tended to be different according to rs2241766 genotype (p=0.057) and the GG genotype of rs2241766 was associated with diabetic nephropathy [urine albumin/creatinine ratio (UACR) greater than 30 mg/g] after adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, duration of diabetes, HDL-cholesterol, smoking status, and blood pressure (odds ratio=1.96; 95% confidence interval=1.01-3.82, p=0.049). Also, the G allele of rs2241766 demonstrated a trend to be associated with an increase in UACR (p=0.087). Rs2241766 genotype was not associated with diabetic retinopathy (p=0.955) and neuropathy (p=0.104) or any diabetic microvascular complications (p=0.104). There was no significant association between the rs1501299 genotype of ADIPOQ and the prevalence of diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy or any diabetic microvascular complications even after adjustment. CONCLUSION: These data suggest that the GG genotype at rs2241766 is implicated in the pathogenesis of risk for diabetic nephropathy defined as UACR greater than 30 mg/day in patients with T2DM. [Copyright 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.].

The prevalence of presarcopenia in Asian Indian individuals with and without type 2 diabetes.

Anbalagan VP; Venkataraman V; Pradeepa R; Deepa M; Anjana RM; Mohan V
Diabetes Technol Ther 2013 Sep;15(9):768-75    (ISSN: 1557-8593)

OBJECTIVE: This study compared the skeletal muscle mass and prevalence of presarcopenia between Asian Indian individuals with and without type 2 diabetes. SUBJECTS AND METHODS: Participants with type 2 diabetes (n=76) and age- and sex-matched controls without diabetes (n=76) were drawn from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiological Study (CURES), which was carried out on a representative sample of Chennai City in South India. Skeletal muscle mass was estimated by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and skeletal muscle mass index (SMI) was calculated by dividing the appendicular skeletal muscle mass by the square of the individual’s height in meters and expressed as kg/m. Presarcopenia was defined as an SMI of 7.26 kg/m2 for males and  5.5 kg/m2 for females. Biochemical and anthropometric measurements were done using standardized procedures. RESULTS: The 152 participants included 68 women (44.7%). Mean age was 449 years (range, 28-67 years), and the mean body mass index (BMI) was 25.73.8 kg/m2. The prevalence rates of presarcopenia among individuals with and without diabetes were 39.5% and 15.8%, respectively (P=0.001). The mean SMI values were significantly lower in those with diabetes (6.841.02 kg/m2 compared with participants without diabetes (7.281.01 kg/m2) (P=0.009). SMI showed a positive correlation with BMI and waist circumference but a negative correlation with age, fasting plasma glucose, glycated hemoglobin, and low-density lipoprotien cholesterol in the total study population. Logistic regression analysis showed that diabetes was independently associated with presarcopenia (P=0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence of presarcopenia is higher among Asian Indian subjects with type 2 diabetes compared with age- and sex-matched participants without diabetes.

Increased risk of type 2 diabetes with ascending social class in urban South Indians is explained by obesity: The Chennai urban rural epidemiology study (CURES-116).

Skar M; Villumsen AB; Christensen DL; Petersen JH; Deepa M; Anjana RM; et al.
Indian J Endocrinol Metab 2013 Nov;17(6):1084-9    (ISSN: 2230-8210)

AIM: The aim of this study is to determine the factors responsible for differences in the prevalence of diabetes mellitus (DM) in subjects of different social class in an urban South Indian population. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Analyses were based on the cross-sectional data from the Chennai Urban Rural Epidemiology Study of 1989 individuals, aged (yen)20 years. Entered in the analyses were information obtained by self-report on (1) household income; (2) family history of diabetes; (3) physical activity; (4) smoking status; (5) alcohol consumption. Biochemical, clinical and anthropometrical measurements were performed and included in the analyses. Social class was classified based on income as low (Rs. <2000) intermediate (Rs. 2000-5000`) and high (Rs. 5000-20000). RESULTS: The prevalence rates of DM were 12.0%, 18.4% and 21.7% in low, intermediate and high social class, respectively (P < 0.001). A significant increase in the risk of diabetes was found with ascending social class (Intermediate class: Odds ratio [OR], 1.7 [confidence interval [CI], 1.2-2.3]; High class: OR, 2.0 [CI-1.4-2.9]). The multivariable adjusted logistic regression analysis revealed that the effect of social class on the risk of diabetes remained significant (P = 0.016) when age, family history of diabetesand blood pressure were included. However, with the inclusion of abdominal obesity in the model, the significant effect of social class disappeared (P = 0.087). CONCLUSION: An increased prevalence of DM was found in the higher social class in this urban South Indian population, which is explained by obesity.

Prevalence of inflammatory markers (high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, nuclear factor-(ordM)B, and adiponectin) in Indian patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with and without macrovascular complications.

Misra DP; Das S; Sahu PK
Metab Syndr Relat Disord 2012 Jun;10(3):209-13    (ISSN: 1557-8518)

BACKGROUND: Atherosclerosis is more prevalent in subjects with diabetes mellitus. Recent evidence suggests that diabetic atherosclerosis is not simply a disease of hyperlipidemia, but is also an inflammatory disorder. Our aim was to study the prevalence of inflammatory markers such as high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP), adiponectin, and nuclear factor-(ordM)B (NF-(ordM)B) expression, in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in Indian patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) with and without macrovascular disease (MVD). METHODS: A total of 29 consecutive cases of T2DM with proven MVD (group A), 28 matched cases without MVD (group B), and 14 healthy controls (group C) were evaluated for the clinical parameters fasting blood glucose (FBG), 2-h postprandial blood glucose (PPBG), glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c), lipid profile, and the above-mentioned inflammatory markers. RESULTS: Diabetic subjects with T2DM had higher hsCRP and NF-(ordM)B expression and lower values of adiponectin compared to healthy controls. Group A had significantly higher serum hsCRP than group B (P=0.0001) despite comparable values of BMI, FBG, 2-h PPBG, HbA1c, and lipid parameters. Group A had significantly higher serum hsCRP and NF-(ordM)B expression and significantly lower levels of adiponectin than group C (P=0.0001, 0.007, and 0.02, respectively). In Group A, serum adiponectin negatively correlated with NF-(ordM)B expression. In Group B, adiponectin values correlated negatively with both FBG and 2-h PPBG. CONCLUSIONS: Indian subjects with T2DM with or without MVD had higher hsCRP and lower adiponectin values as compared to healthy controls, whereas hsCRP was significantly higher in those with MVD, suggesting that our patients with T2DM were in a proinflammatory state.

Adiponectin G276T gene polymorphism is associated with cardiovascular disease in Japanese patients with type 2 diabetes.

Katakami N; Kaneto H; Matsuoka TA; Takahara M; Maeda N; Shimizu I; et al.
Atherosclerosis 2012 Feb;220(2):437-42    (ISSN: 1879-1484)

OBJECTIVE: Adiponectin has anti-atherogenic properties and reduced serum adiponectin levels are associated with cardiovascular disease (CVD). In this study, we examined the relationship between CVD and adiponectin (ADIPOQ) gene G276T polymorphism that is associated with serum adiponectin level in a large cohort of type 2 diabetic patients. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: We enrolled 2637 Japanese type 2 diabetic subjects (males, 61.1%; age, 54.97.9 years old), determined their genotypes regarding ADIPOQ G276T polymorphisms, and evaluated the association between this polymorphism and the prevalence of CVD (myocardial infarction and/or cerebral infarction). RESULTS: The prevalence of CVD tended to be higher as the number of G alleles increased [GG (9.5%), GT (6.8%), TT (5.6%), p value for trend=0.0059] and was significantly higher in the subjects with GG genotype compared to those with GT or TT genotype (9.5% vs. 6.6%, p=0.0060). Multiple logistic regression analyses revealed that the number of G alleles (Odds ratio (OR)=1.49 with 95%CI 1.09-2.05, p=0.0125) and GG genotype (OR=1.66 with 95%CI 1.13-2.43, p=0.0098) were significantly associated with CVD even after adjustment for conventional risk factors. Interestingly, the presence of obesity further and significantly increased the risk of CVD in the subjects with GG genotype (OR=1.67 with 95%CI 1.14-2.44, p=0.0090) but not in the subjects with TT or GT genotype (OR=1.17 with 95%CI 0.73-1.89, NS). CONCLUSIONS: It is likely that the G allele of the ADIPOQ G276T polymorphism is a susceptibility allele for CVD in Japanese type 2 diabetic patients, especially when they accompany obesity. [Copyright 2011 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.].

A comprehensive investigation of variants in genes encoding adiponectin (ADIPOQ) and its receptors (ADIPOR1/R2), and their association with serum adiponectin, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance and the metabolic syndrome.

Peters KE; Beilby J; Cadby G; Warrington NM; Bruce DG; Davis WA; et al.
BMC Med Genet 2013;14:15    (ISSN: 1471-2350)

BACKGROUND: Low levels of serum adiponectin have been linked to central obesity, insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Variants in ADIPOQ, the gene encoding adiponectin, have been shown to influence serum adiponectin concentration, and along with variants in theadiponectin receptors (ADIPOR1 and ADIPOR2) have been implicated in metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. This study aimed to comprehensively investigate the association of common variants in ADIPOQ, ADIPOR1 and ADIPOR2 with serum adiponectin and insulin resistance syndromes in a large cohort of European-Australian individuals. METHODS: Sixty-four tagging single nucleotide polymorphisms in ADIPOQ, ADIPOR1 and ADIPOR2 were genotyped in two general population cohorts consisting of 2,355 subjects, and one cohort of 967 subjects with type 2 diabetes. The association of tagSNPs with outcomes were evaluated using linear or logistic modelling. Meta-analysis of the three cohorts was performed by random-effects modelling. RESULTS: Meta-analysis revealed nine genotyped tagSNPs in ADIPOQ significantly associated with serum adiponectinacross all cohorts after adjustment for age, gender and BMI, including rs10937273, rs12637534, rs1648707, rs16861209, rs822395, rs17366568, rs3774261, rs6444175 and rs17373414. The results of haplotype-based analyses were also consistent. Overall, the variants in the ADIPOQ gene explained <5% of the variance in serum adiponectin concentration. None of the ADIPOR1/R2 tagSNPs were associated with serum adiponectin. There was no association between any of the genetic variants and insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome. A multi-SNP genotypic risk score for ADIPOQ alleles revealed an association with 3 independent SNPs, rs12637534, rs16861209, rs17366568 and type 2 diabetes after adjusting foradiponectin levels (OR=0.86, 95% CI=(0.75, 0.99), P=0.0134). CONCLUSIONS: Genetic variation in ADIPOQ, but not its receptors, was associated with altered serum adiponectin. However, genetic variation in ADIPOQ and its receptors does not appear to contribute to the risk of insulin resistance or metabolic syndrome but did for type 2
diabetes in a European-Australian population.
Autophagy: Protection Against T2D?

By Salynn Boyles, Contributing Writer,
MedPage Today  Published: Jul 27, 2014 | Updated: Jul 28, 2014

The cellular regulatory system known as autophagy appeared to play a key role in preventing type 2 diabetes by protecting insulin-secreting beta cells from the accumulation of toxic amylin oligomers, researchers reported.

Findings from three independent research teams, published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation, suggested autophagy boosting therapies could prove to be a novel approach for type 2 diabetes prevention.

Autophagy — derived from the Greek words for “self” (auto) and “to eat” (phagein) — describes the controlled disposal of damaged organelles within the cell. This cell-cleaning process is increasingly being recognized as a potential protective mechanism against many diseases, including Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Earlier studies found autophagy to be important for normal beta-cell functionand autophage activity to be increased in beta cells from patients with type 2 diabetes.

The studies provide new insight into how beta cells are normally protected against amylin (IAPP) toxic oligomers, wrote Dhananjay Gupta, PhD, and Jack L. Leahy, MD, of the University of Vermont in Burlington in an accompanying editorial.

Action Points:

  • Autophagy appeared to play a key role in preventing type 2 diabetes by protecting insulin-secreting beta cells from the accumulation of toxic amylin oligomers.
  • Note that the studies suggest that autophagy — controlled disposal of damaged organelles within the cell — boosting therapies could prove to be a novel approach for type 2 diabetes prevention.

Autophagy – continued

IAPP: Co-Expressed With Insulin

Type 2 diabetes is characterized by loss of beta-cell, beta-cell dysfunction, and increased beta-cell apoptosis. Islet pathology in type 2 diabetes is also characterized by accumulation of extracellular islet amyloid derived from islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP).

“IAPP is a 37-amino acid protein co-expressed and secreted by pancreatic [beta cells] along with insulin,” wrote Peter Butler, MD, from the University of California Los Angeles, and colleagues. “While the extracellular islet amyloid is relatively inert, intracellular membrane-permeant toxic oligomers of IAPP that form within [beta cells in type 2 diabetes] are thought to induce [beta-cell dysfunction and apoptosis].”

In contrast to the human form of IAPP (h-IAPP), which forms toxic membrane-permeant oligomers, the rodent form of IAPP (r-IAPP) is nonamyloidogenic and nontoxic due to proline substitutions. Transgenic expression of h-IAPP in [beta cells] of rodents may lead to development of diabetes as a consequence of [beta-cell] apoptosis and formation of intracellular IAPP oligomers comparable to those found in humans with type 2 diabetes.

In earlier in vitro studies, the authors reported that enhancement of autophagy was protective while attenuated lysosomal degradation rendered beta cells more vulnerable to h-IAPP-induced apoptosis.

In the current study, the researchers determined that beta-cell IAPP content is regulated by autophagy through p62-dependent lysosomal degradation.

“Induction of high levels of human IAPP in mouse [beta cells] resulted in accumulation of this amyloidogenic protein as relatively inert fibrils with cytosolic p62-positive inclusions, which temporarily averts formation of toxic oligomers,” they wrote.

Mice hemizygous for transgenic expression of human IAPP did not develop diabetes. But the loss of beta cell-specific autophagy in the mice induced diabetes as a result of the accumulation of toxic human IAPP oligomers and loss of beta-cell mass, the researchers noted.

“In human IAPP-expressing mice that lack [beta-cell] autophagy, increased oxidative damage and loss of an antioxidant-protective pathway appeared to contribute to increased [beta- cell] apoptosis,” they wrote. “These findings indicate that autophagy/lysosomal degradation defends [beta cells] against proteotoxicity induced by oligomerization-prone human IAPP.”

‘Enhance the Toxic Potential of h-IAPP’

In a separate study, Yoshio Fujitani, PhD, of Juntendo University, Tokyo, and colleagues, examined the pathogenic role of human-IAPP and its relation to autophagy in h-IAPP-knock-in mice.

In animals fed a standard diet, h-IAPP had no toxic effects on beta-cell function. However, h-IAPP-knock-in mice did not exhibit a high-fat diet-induced compensatory increase in beta-cell mass, which was due to limited beta-cell proliferation and enhanced beta-cell apoptosis, the researchers wrote.

Expression of h-IAPP in mice with a beta-cell-specific autophagy defect resulted in substantial deterioration of glucose tolerance and dispersed cytoplasmic expression of p62-associated toxic oligomers, which were otherwise sequestrated within p62-positive inclusions.

“Together, our results indicate that increased insulin resistance in combination with reduced autophagy may enhance the toxic potential of h-IAPP and enhance [beta-cell] dysfunction and progression of type 2 diabetes,” the researchers noted.

Autophagy Enhancers

In the third paper, Myung-Shik Lee, MD, PhD, of the Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine in Seoul, and colleagues, studied transgenic mice with beta cell-specific expression of h-IAPP to evaluate the contribution of autophagy in type 2 diabetes-associated accumulation of h-IAPP.

In mice with beta-cell-specific expression of h-IAPP, a deficiency in autophagy resulted in development of overt diabetes, which was not observed in mice expressing h-IAPP alone or lacking autophagy alone. Lack of autophagy in h-IAPP-expressing animals also resulted in h-IAPP oligomer and amyloid accumulation in pancreatic islets, leading to increased death and decreased mass of beta cells.

“Expression of h-IAPP in purified monkey islet cells or a murine [beta cell] line resulted in pro-h-IAPP dimer formation, while dimer formation was absent or reduced dramatically in cells expressing either nonamyloidogenic mouse-IAPP or nonfibrillar mutant h-IAPP,” the researchers wrote. “In autophagy-deficient cells, accumulation of pro-h-IAPP dimers increased markedly, and pro-h-IAPP trimers were detected in the detergent-insoluble fraction.”

Enhancement of autophagy also improved the metabolic profile of h-IAPP-expressing mice fed a high-fat diet.

“These results suggest that autophagy promotes clearance of amyloidogenic h-IAPP, autophagy deficiency exacerbates pathogenesis of human [type 2 diabetes], and autophagy enhancers have therapeutic potential for islet amyloid accumulation-associated human [type 2 diabetes],” the researchers concluded.

Building on Previous Work

Gupta and Leahy noted that all three research teams generated human IAPP-expressing mice with a beta-cell-specific deficiency of the autophagy indicator ATG7, and all three found that autophagy-dependent packaging of monomeric or unprocessed IAPP dimers or trimers into p62-associated vacuoles allowed autophagosomes to dispose of these molecules, keeping them nontoxic.

Each team showed the activity of this detoxification system to be increased when a high-fat diet was fed to the mice with hyperexpression of h-IAPP.

The studies build on previous work and the findings that don’t discern – “how and when during the course of type 2 diabetes development this autophagy-dependent detoxification system might be overcome, allowing toxic IAPP oligomers to form.”

“There are many additional mechanisms that have been proposed for [beta-cell] dysfunction and death in type 2 diabetes, including ER stress, oxidative stress, and autoimmune damage, all of which have been linked to IAPP toxicity,” they wrote. “While it is tempting to try and connect the dots through a single, unified mechanism, all of these proposed pathways of [beta-cell] dysfunction have been recapitulated and extensively studied in rodent models of diabetogenic systems, such as high-fat feeding and partial pancreatectomy, or through genetic modification.”

Given the absence of rodent IAPP oligomerization, these mechanisms of reduced beta-cell function clearly do not require IAPP activation, they noted.

These papers have implications for the study of target therapies for type 2 diabetes based on the common link to T2D and IAPP oligomerization.

“Patients with type 2 diabetes have an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease, suggesting a common pathogenesis,” they wrote. Disordered neuronal autophagy, described in Alzheimer’s, with alteration in the clearance of amyloidogenic proteins may be a tie between these two diseases

They concluded that acceptance of the hypothesis that IAPP oligomer formation and subsequent plaque development are a major cause of type 2 diabetes will require a better understanding of

  • when this mechanism is activated and
  • what modulates its destructive potential.

“These current studies may shift the focus away from

  • the biology of how IAPP oligomers cause [beta cell] destruction
  • to probing for defects within the protective system against the formation of toxic IAPP oligomers,” they wrote.

Part 2. Pancreatic Islet Cell Dysfunction
N-terminal fragment of probrain natriuretic peptide is associated with diabetes microvascular complications in type 2 diabetes

Kumiko Hamano, Ikue Nakadaira, Jun Suzuki, Megumi Gonai
Vascular Health and Risk Management 2014:10 585–589
http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S67753

Aim/introduction: Circulating levels of N-terminal fragment of probrain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) are established as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease and mortality in patients with diabetes, as well as in the general population. We sought to examine the possibility of NT-proBNP as a biomarker of microvascular complications in patients with type 2 diabetes.  Materials and methods: In total, 277 outpatients with type 2 diabetes were consecutively enrolled as a hospital cohort. Two hundred and seventeen of these patients (132 males; mean age, 63.4 years) were designated as cases with any of the diabetic complications (retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy, ischemic heart disease, strokes, peripheral artery disease), and 60 (42 males; mean age, 54.1 years) were set as controls without clinical evidence of diabetic complications. Diabetic complications were evaluated by medical record and routine laboratory examinations. NT-proBNP was measured and investigated with regard to the associations with diabetic complications. Results: Mean NT-proBNP levels were significantly higher in patients with any of the diabetic complications (59 versus 33 pg/mL; P,0.0001). In logistic regression analysis, NT-proBNP levels .79 pg/mL, which was the highest tertile, were independently associated with a 5.04 fold increased risk of all complications (P,0.0051) compared to the lowest tertile (NT-proBNP levels ,31 pg/mL). Odd ratios of cardiovascular disease and nephropathy, neuropathy, and retinopathy were 9.33, 6.23, 6.6 and 13.78 respectively, in patients with NT-proBNP values in the highest tertile (.79 pg/mL), independently of age, sex, duration of diabetes or other risk factors, such as body mass index or hemoglobin A1c. In addition, NT-proBNP levels were associated with surrogate markers of atherosclerosis, such as brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity (r=0.449, P,0.0001) and left ventricular hypertrophy (r=0.212, P,0.001). Conclusion: In this hospital-based cohort of type 2 diabetes, the NT-proBNP levels were associated with systemic atherosclerosis and comorbid diabetic microvascular as well as macrovascular complications. It is useful to stratify high-risk diabetic patients by measuring NT-proBNP and to start comprehensive care for preventing the progression of diabetic complications. It is necessary to elucidate the underlying mechanism for the progression of diabetic complications represented by an elevation of NT-proBNP and to demonstrate the ability of NT-proBNP as a predictive global biomarker for diabetic complications in Japanese type 2 diabetic patients.
How are patients with type 2 diabetes and renal disease monitored and managed? Insights from the observational OREDIA study

Alfred Penfornis, J F Blicklé, B Fiquet, S Quéré, S Dejager
Vascular Health and Risk Management 2014:10 341–352
http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S60312

Background and aim: Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is frequent in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), and therapeutic management of diabetes is more challenging in patients with renal impairment (RI). The place of metformin is of particular interest since most scientific societies now recommend using half the dosage in moderate RI and abstaining from use in severe RI, while the classic contraindication with RI has not been removed from the label. This study aimed to assess the therapeutic management, in particular the use of metformin, of T2DM patients with CKD in real life. Methods: This was a French cross-sectional observational study: 3,704 patients with T2DM diagnosed for over 1 year and pharmacologically treated were recruited in two cohorts (two-thirds were considered to have renal disease [CKD patients] and one-third were not [non-CKD patients]) by 968 physicians (81% general practitioners) in 2012. Results: CKD versus non-CKD patients were significantly older with longer diabetes history, more diabetic complications, and less strict glycemic control (mean glycated hemoglobin [HbA1c] 7.5% versus 7.1%; 25% of CKD patients had HbA1c $8% versus 15% of non-CKD patients). Fifteen percent of CKD patients had severe RI, and 66% moderate RI. Therapeutic management of T2DM was clearly distinct in CKD, with less use of metformin (62% versus 86%) but at similar mean daily doses (∼2 g/d). Of patients with severe RI, 33% were still treated with metformin, at similar doses. For other oral anti-diabetics, a distinct pattern of use was seen across renal function (RF): use of sulfonylureas (32%, 31%, and 20% in normal RF, moderate RI, and severe RI, respectively) and DPP4-i (dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitors) (41%, 36%, and 25%, respectively) decreased with RF, while that of glinides increased (8%, 14%, and 18%, respectively). CKD patients were more frequently treated with insulin (40% versus 16% of non-CKD patients), and use of insulin increased with deterioration of RF (19%, 39%, and 61% of patients with normal RF, moderate RI, and severe RI, respectively). Treatment was modified at the end of the study-visit in 34% of CKD patients, primarily to stop or reduce metformin. However, metformin was stopped in only 40% of the severe RI patients.   Conclusion: Despite a fairly good detection of CKD in patients with T2DM, RI was insufficiently taken into account for adjusting anti-diabetic treatment.

Efficacy and safety of insulin glargine added to a fixed-dose combination of metformin and a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 inhibitor: results of the GOLD observational study

Jochen Seufert, Katrin Pegelow, Peter Bramlage
Vascular Health and Risk Management 2013:9 711–717
http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S54362

Background: For patients with type 2 diabetes who are uncontrolled on a combination of two oral antidiabetic agents, addition of the long-acting basal insulin glargine is a well established treatment option. However, data on the efficacy and safety of a combination of metformin, a dipeptidyl peptidase-4 (DPP-4) inhibitor, and insulin glargine are limited in real-world settings. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze blood glucose control, rates of hypoglycemia and body weight in a large cohort of patients with type 2 diabetes treated with this combination therapy in real practice. Methods: This noninterventional, multicenter, prospective, observational trial with a follow-up of 20 weeks enrolled insulin-naïve patients who had been on a stable fixed dose of metformin and a DPP-4 inhibitor for at least 3 months, and had a glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) between 7.5% and 10%. Patients were selected at the investigators’ discretion for initiation of insulin glargine at baseline. A total of 1,483 patients were included, of whom 1,262 were considered to be the efficacy set. Primary efficacy parameters were HbA1c and fasting plasma glucose. Secondary outcome measures included achievement of glycemic targets, body weight, rates of hypoglycemia, and other safety parameters, as well as resource consumption. Results: Upon initiation of insulin glargine, mean HbA1c decreased from 8.51% to 7.36% (−1.15%±0.91%; 95% confidence interval [CI] −1.20 to −1.10). An HbA1c level ,6.5% was achieved in 8.2% of patients and a level ,7.0% in 31.5%. Mean fasting plasma glucose decreased from 174±47 mg/dL to 127±31 mg/dL (−47.3±44.1 mg/dL; 95% CI −49.8 to −44.8). In 11.9% of patients, a fasting plasma glucose level ,100 mg/dL was achieved. Bodyweight decreased on average by 0.98±3.90 kg (95% CI 1.19–0.76). Hypoglycemia (blood glucose #70 mg/dL) was observed in 29 patients (2.30%), of whom six (0.48%) had nocturnal hypoglycemia and four (0.32%) had documented severe events (blood glucose ,56 mg/dL). Conclusion: The results of this observational study show that insulin glargine, when added to a fixed-dose combination of metformin and a DPP-4 inhibitor, resulted in a significant and clinically relevant improvement of glycemic control. Importantly, this intervention did not interfere with the action of the DPP-4 inhibitors, resulting in neutral effects on weight and low rates of hypoglycemia. We conclude that this treatment intensification approach may be useful, efficient, and safe in daily clinical practice for patients with type 2 diabetes.

Long-term insulin glargine therapy in type 2 diabetes mellitus: a focus on cardiovascular outcomes

Joshua J Joseph, Thomas W Donner
Vascular Health and Risk Management 2015:11 107–116
http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S50286

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of mortality in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Hyperinsulinemia is associated with increased cardiovascular risk, but the effects of exogenous insulin on cardiovascular disease progression have been less well studied. Insulin has been shown to have both cardioprotective and atherosclerosis-promoting effects in laboratory animal studies. Long-term clinical trials using insulin to attain improved diabetes control in younger type 1 and type 2 diabetes patients have shown improved cardiovascular outcomes. Shorter trials of intensive diabetes control with high insulin use in higher risk patients with type 2 diabetes have shown either no cardiovascular benefit or increased all cause and cardiovascular mortality. Glargine insulin is a basal insulin analog widely used to treat patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This review focuses on the effects of glargine on cardiovascular outcomes. Glargine lowers triglycerides, leads to a modest weight gain, causes less hypoglycemia when compared with intermediate-acting insulin, and has a neutral effect on blood pressure. The Outcome Reduction With Initial Glargine Intervention (ORIGIN trial), a 6.2 year dedicated cardiovascular outcomes trial of glargine demonstrated no increased cardiovascular risk.

Visceral obesity is not an independent risk factor of mortality in subjects over 65 years

Frédérique Thomas, Bruno Pannier, Athanase Benetos, Ulrich M Vischer
Vascular Health and Risk Management 2013:9 739–745
http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S49922

The aim of the study was to determine the role of obesity evaluated by body mass index (BMI), waist circumference (WC), and their combined effect on all-cause mortality according to age and related risk factors. This study included 119,090 subjects (79,325 men and 39,765 women), aged from 17 years to 85 years, who had a general health checkup at the Centre d’Investigations Préventives et Cliniques, Paris, France. The mean follow-up was 5.6±2.4 years. The prevalence of obesity, defined by WC and BMI categories, was determined according to age groups (< 55, 55–65, > 65 years). All-cause mortality according to obesity and age was determined using Cox regression analysis, adjusted for related risk factors and previous cardiovascular events.
For the entire population, WC adjusted for BMI, an index of central obesity, was strongly associated with mortality, even after adjustment for hypertension, dyslipidemia, and diabetes. The prevalence of obesity increased with age, notably when defined by WC. Nonetheless, the association between WC adjusted for BMI and mortality was not observed in subjects .65 years old (hazard ratio [HR] =1.010, P=NS) but was found in subjects  < 55 (HR =1.030,
P < 0.0001) and 55–65 years old (HR =1.023, P,0.05). By contrast, hypertension
(HR =1.31, P < 0.05), previous cardiovascular events (HR =1.98, P < 0.05), and smoking (HR =1.33, P < 0.05) remained associated with mortality even after
age 65.
In conclusion, WC adjusted for BMI is strongly and independently associated with all-cause mortality before 65 years of age, after taking into account the associated risk factors. This relationship disappears in subjects
> 65 years of age, suggesting a differential impact of visceral fat deposition according to age.

Insulin degludec/insulin aspart combination for the treatment of type 1 and type 2 diabetes

Angela Dardano, Cristina Bianchi, Stefano Del Prato, Roberto Miccoli
Vascular Health and Risk Management 2014:10 465–475
http://dx.doi.org/10.2147/VHRM.S40097

Glycemic control remains the major therapeutic objective to prevent or delay the onset and progression of complications related to diabetes mellitus. Insulin therapy represents a cornerstone in the treatment of diabetes and has been used widely for achieving glycemic goals. Nevertheless, a large portion of the population with diabetes does not meet the internationally agreed glycemic targets. Moreover, insulin treatment, especially if intensive, may be associated with emergency room visits and hospitalization due to hypoglycemic events. Therefore, fear of hypoglycemia or hypoglycemic events represents the main barriers to the attainment of glycemic targets. The burden associated with multiple daily injections also remains a significant obstacle to initiating and maintaining insulin therapy. The most attractive insulin treatment approach should meet the patients’ preference, rather than demanding patients to change or adapt their lifestyle. Insulin degludec/insulin aspart (IDegAsp) is a new combination, formulated with ultra-long-acting insulin degludec and rapid-acting insulin aspart, with peculiar pharmacological features, clinical efficacy, safety, and tolerability. IDegAsp provides similar, noninferior glycemic control to a standard basal–bolus regimen in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus, with additional benefits of significantly lower episodes of hypoglycemia (particularly nocturnal) and fewer daily insulin injections. Moreover, although treatment strategy and patients’ viewpoint are different in type 1 and type 2 diabetes, trial results suggest that IDegAsp may be an appropriate and reasonable option for initiating insulin therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes inadequately controlled on maximal doses of conventional oral agents. This paper will discuss the role of IDegAsp combination as a novel treatment option in diabetic patients.

UCP2 Regulates the Glucagon Response to Fasting and Starvation

Emma M. Allister, Christine A. Robson-Doucette, Kacey J. Prentice, et al.
Diabetes  Feb 22, 2013; p 1-11.  http://dx.doi.org:/10.2337/db12-0981
http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.2337/db12-0981/-/DC1

Glucagon is important for maintaining euglycemia during fasting/starvation, and abnormal glucagon secretion is associated with type 1 and type 2 diabetes; however, the mechanisms of hypoglycemia-induced glucagon secretion are poorly understood. We previously demonstrated that global deletion of mitochondrial uncoupling protein 2 (UCP22/2) in mice impaired glucagon secretion from isolated islets. Therefore, UCP2 may contribute to the regulation of hypoglycemia-induced glucagon secretion, which is supported by our current finding that UCP2 expression is increased in nutrient-deprived murine and human islets. Further to this, we created a-cell–specific UCP2 knockout (UCP2AKO) mice, which we used to demonstrate that blood glucose recovery in response to hypoglycemia is impaired owing to attenuated glucagon secretion. UCP2-deleted a-cells have higher levels of intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS), due to enhanced  mitochondrial coupling, which translated into defective stimulus/secretion coupling. The effects of UCP2 deletion were mimicked by the UCP2 inhibitor genipin on both murine and human islets and also by application of exogenous ROS, confirming that changes in oxidative status and electrical activity directly reduce glucagon secretion. Therefore, a-cell UCP2 deletion perturbs the fasting/hypoglycemic glucagon response and shows that UCP2 is necessary for normal a-cell glucose sensing and the maintenance of euglycemia.

Main points:

  • UCP2 is efficiently deleted specifically from islet a-cells of UCP2AKO mice.
  • α-Cell UCP2 deletion reduces glucagon secretion in vivo
  • UCP2AKO mice display normal glucose tolerance and GLP-1 secretion
  • α-Cell UCP2 deletion reduces the gluconeogenic response of the liver and switches fatty acid usage during a prolonged fast
  • UCP2 expression is increased after nutrient depletion and glucagon secretion from UCP2AKO islets was impaired.
  • UCP2AKO α-cells display enhanced hyperpolarization of ΔψCm and increased superoxide levels
  • UCP2AKO α-cells have more depolarized plasma membranes and reduced intracellular calcium
  • UCP2 is required for normal glucagon secretion in response to hypoglycemia

Management of Diabetes Mellitus: Could Simultaneous Targeting of Hyperglycemia and Oxidative Stress Be a Better Panacea?

Omotayo O. Erejuwa

Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2012, 13, 2965-2972; http://dx.doi.org:/10.3390/ijms13032965

Oxidative stress is defined as an “imbalance between oxidants and antioxidants in favor of the oxidants, potentially leading to damage”. It is implicated in the pathogenesis and complications of diabetes mellitus. The role of oxidative stress is more definite in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes mellitus than in type 1 diabetes mellitus. In regard to diabetic complications, there is compelling evidence in support of the role of oxidative stress in both types of diabetes mellitus. Evidence suggests that elevated reactive oxygen species (ROS), which causes oxidative stress, accumulate in certain micro milieu or tissues (such as retina and kidney) where they cause damage or toxicity. In diabetes mellitus, oxidative stress is enhanced through various sources such as hyperglycemia, dyslipidemia, hyperinsulinemia, insulin resistance, impaired antioxidant defense network, uncoupling of ROS-generating enzymes, elevated level of leptin and sedentary lifestyle.

A number of mechanisms or pathways by which hyperglycemia, the major contributing factor of increased ROS production, causes tissue damage or diabetic complications have been identified. These include: hyperglycemia-enhanced polyol pathway; hyperglycemia-enhanced formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs); hyperglycemia-activated protein kinase C (PKC) pathway; hyperglycemia-enhanced hexosamine pathway; and hyperglycemia-activated Poly-ADP ribose polymerase (PARP) pathway. These pathways are activated or enhanced by hyperglycemia-driven mitochondrial superoxide overproduction. Even though oxidative stress plays an important role in its pathogenesis and complications, unlike other diseases characterized by oxidative stress, diabetes mellitus is unique. Its cure (restoration of euglycemia, e.g., via pancreas transplants) does not prevent oxidative stress and diabetic complications. This is very important because hyperglycemia exacerbates oxidative stress which is linked to diabetic complications]. Theoretically, restoration of euglycemia should prevent oxidative stress and diabetic complications. However, this is not the case.

The primary aim of the current management of diabetes mellitus is to achieve and/or maintain a glycated hemoglobin level of ≤6.5%. However, recent evidence indicates that intensive treatment of hyperglycemia is characterized by increased weight gain, severe hypoglycemia and higher mortality. Besides, evidence suggests that it is difficult to achieve and/or maintain optimal glycemic control in many diabetic patients; and that the benefits of intensively-treated hyperglycemia are restricted to microvascular complications only. In view of these adverse effects and limitations of intensive treatment of hyperglycemia in preventing diabetic complications, which is linked to oxidative stress, this commentary proposes a hypothesis that “simultaneous targeting of hyperglycemia and oxidative stress” could be more effective than “intensive treatment of hyperglycemia” in the management of diabetes mellitus.

 

The Relationship between Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Metabolic Risk Factors in Type 2 Diabetic Patients

Fatemeh Azizi Soleiman, N Pahlavani, H Rasad, O Sadeghi, MR Gohari
Iranian Journal Of Diabetes And Obesity 2013; 5(4): 151-156

Increased production of free radicals due to the imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants load may reduce antioxidants levels, partial clearing of free radicals, and cause oxidation of lipids, sugars, proteins and nucleic acids which eventually leads to widespread pathological consequences of diabetes. One of the factors that facilitate formation of atherosclerosis in diabetes is oxidative stress.

Objective: Globally, 3-5.2 percent of people suffer from diabetes which is one of the most serious metabolic disorders resulting in an increase in inflammatory biomarkers e.g. interleukin-6, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, and C-reactive protein. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between inflammation, oxidative stress and fasting blood glucose, lipid profile and anthropometric parameters in patients with type 2 diabetes. Material and methods: This study was conducted as a cross sectional study in Tehran through 2009-2010 on 45 men and women aged 35-65 years old with type 2 diabetes. Blood glucose, lipid profile, C-reactive protein, and malonedialdehyde were measured. Independent sample T-test and linear regression analysis were used. Results: Fasting blood glucose, malonedialdehyde, total cholesterol and body mass index were higher in women than in men; but there was no difference between two sexes in other factors. Malonedialdehyde, neither directly or after adjustment for sex was related to fasting blood glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides and anthropometric indices (weight, body mass index, and body fat mass). Conclusion: This study showed that oxidative stress had no relationship with blood glucose, lipid profile, and anthropometric index, but inflammation was related to glycemia, body mass index, and fat mass. Control of inflammation and oxidative stress is necessary for accelerating treatment process and preventing complications due to them.

This study showed that in diabetic patients, oxidative stress which was measured by MDA, was not significantly associated with fasting blood glucose, lipid profile and anthropometric parameters. However, fasting plasma glucose, body mass index and body fat mass were significant predictors of the inflammatory factor, CRP.

Oxidative Stress as an Underlying Contributor in the Development of Chronic Complications in Diabetes Mellitus

Suziy de M. Bandeira, Lucas José S. da Fonseca, Glaucevane da S. Guedes, et al.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2013, 14, 3265-3284; http://dx.doi.doi:/10.3390/ijms14023265

The high prevalence of diabetes mellitus and its increasing incidence worldwide, coupled with several complications observed in its carriers, have become a public health issue of great relevance. Chronic hyperglycemia is the main feature of such a disease, being considered the responsible for the establishment of micro and macrovascular complications observed in diabetes. Several efforts have been directed in order to better comprehend the pathophysiological mechanisms involved in the course of this endocrine disease. Recently, numerous authors have suggested that excess generation of highly reactive oxygen and nitrogen species is a key component in the development of complications invoked by hyperglycemia. Overproduction and/or insufficient removal of these reactive species result in vascular dysfunction, damage to cellular proteins, membrane lipids and nucleic acids, leading different research groups to search for biomarkers which would be capable of a proper and accurate measurement of the oxidative stress (OS) in diabetic patients, especially in the presence of chronic complications.
In the face of this scenario, the present review briefly addresses the role of hyperglycemia in OS, considering basic mechanisms and their effects in diabetes mellitus, describes some of the more commonly used biomarkers of oxidative/nitrosative damage and includes selected examples of studies which evaluated OS biomarkers in patients with diabetes, pointing to the relevance of such biological components in general oxidative stress status of diabetes mellitus carriers.
The role of FOXO1 in βcell failure and type 2 diabetes mellitus

Tadahiro Kitamura
Nat. Rev. Endocrinol. 2013; 9, 615–623
http://dx.doi.org:/10.1038/nrendo.2013.157

Over the past two decades, insulin resistance has been considered essential to the etiology of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). However, insulin resistance does not lead to T2DM unless it is accompanied by pancreatic β‑cell dysfunction, because healthy β cells can compensate for insulin resistance by increasing in number and functional output. Furthermore, β‑cell mass is decreased in patients with diabetes mellitus, suggesting a primary role for β‑cell dysfunction in the pathogenesis of T2DM. The dysfunction of β cells can develop through various mechanisms, including oxidative, endoplasmic reticulum or hypoxic stress, as well as via induction of cytokines; these processes lead to apoptosis, uncontrolled autophagy and failure to proliferate. Transdifferentiation between β cells and α cells occurs under certain pathological conditions, and emerging evidence suggests that β‑cell dedifferentiation or transdifferentiation might account for the reduction in β‑cell mass observed in patients with severe T2DM. FOXO1, a key transcription factor in insulin signaling, is implicated in these mechanisms. This Review discusses advances in our understanding of the contribution of FOXO1 signaling to the development of β‑cell failure in T2DM.

Selective peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor g (PPARg) modulation as a strategy for safer therapeutic PPARg activation

Linda Slanec Higgins and Alex M DePaoli
Am J Clin Nutr 2010;91(suppl):267S–72S.
http://dx.doi.org:/10.3945/ajcn.2009.28449E

Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor c (PPARc) is a clinically validated target for treatment of insulin resistance. PPARc activation by full agonists such as thiazolidinediones has shown potent and durable glucose-lowering activity in patients with type 2 diabetes without the concern for hypoglycemia or gastrointestinal toxicities associated with some other medications used to treat this disease. However, thiazolidinediones are linked to safety and tolerability issues such as weight gain, fluid retention, edema, congestive heart failure, and bone fracture. Distinctive properties of PPARc provide the opportunity for selective modulation of the receptor such that desirable therapeutic effects may be attained without the unwanted effects of full activation. PPARc is a nuclear receptor that forms a complex with coreceptor RXR and a cell type– and cell state– specific array of coregulators to control gene transcription. PPARc affinity for these components, and hence transcriptional response, is determined by the conformational changes induced by ligand binding within a complex pocket with multiple interaction points. This molecular mechanism thereby offers the opportunity for selective modulation. A desirable selective PPARc modulator profile would include high-affinity interaction with the PPARc-binding pocket in a manner that leads to retention of the insulin-sensitizing activity that is characteristic of full agonists as well as mitigation of the effects leading to increased adiposity, fluid retention, congestive heart failure, and bone fracture. Examples of endogenous and synthetic selective PPARc modulator (SPPARM) ligands have been identified. SPPARM drug candidates are being tested clinically and provide support for this strategy.

Predicting response to incretin-based therapy

Sanjay Kalra, Bharti Kalra, Rakesh Sahay, Navneet Agrawal
Research and Reports in Endocrine Disorders 2011:1 11–19
http://dx.doi.org:/10.2147/RRED.S16282

There are two important incretin hormones, glucose-dependent insulin tropic polypeptide (GIP) and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). The biological activities of GLP-1 include stimulation of glucose-dependent insulin secretion and insulin biosynthesis, inhibition of glucagon secretion and gastric emptying, and inhibition of food intake. GLP-1 appears to have a number of additional effects in the gastrointestinal tract and central nervous system. Incretin based therapy includes GLP-1 receptor agonists like human GLP-1 analogs (liraglutide) and exendin-4 based molecules (exenatide), as well as DPP-4 inhibitors like sitagliptin, vildagliptin and saxagliptin. Most of the published studies showed a significant reduction in HbA1c using these drugs. A critical analysis of reported data shows that the response rate in terms of target achievers of these drugs is average. One of the first actions identified for GLP-1 was the glucose-dependent stimulation of insulin secretion from islet cell lines. Following the detection of GLP-1 receptors on islet beta cells, a large body of evidence has accumulated illustrating that GLP-1 exerts multiple actions on various signaling pathways and gene products in the β cell. GLP-1 controls glucose homeostasis through well-defined actions on the islet β cell via stimulation of insulin secretion and preservation and expansion of β cell mass. In summary, there are several factors determining the response rate to incretin therapy. Currently minimal clinical data is available to make a conclusion. Key factors appear to be duration of diabetes, obesity, presence of autonomic neuropathy, resting energy expenditure, plasma glucagon levels and plasma free fatty acid levels. More clinical evidence is required to identify the factors affecting response rate to incretin therapy.

Regulation of Large Conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) Channel β1 Subunit Expression by Muscle RING Finger Protein 1 in Diabetic Vessels

Fu Yi, Huan Wang, Qiang Chai, Xiaoli Wang, et al.
J. Biol. Chem. 2014, 289: 10853-10864
http://dx.doi.org:/10.1074/jbc.M113.520940

Background: Impaired BK channel function in diabetic vessels is associated with decreased BK channel[1]1 subunit (BK-β1) expression. Results: Muscle RING finger protein 1 (MuRF1) physically interacts with BK-β1 and accelerates BK-β1 proteolysis. Conclusion: Increased MuRF1 expression is a novel mechanism underlying diabetic BK channelopathy and vasculopathy. Significance: MuRF1 is a potential therapeutic target of BK channel dysfunction and vascular complications in diabetes.

The large conductance Ca2+-activated K+ (BK) channel, expressed abundantly in vascular smooth muscle cells (SMCs), is a key determinant of vascular tone. BK channel activity is tightly regulated by its accessory β1 subunit (BK-β1). However, BK channel function is impaired in diabetic vessels by increased ubiquitin/proteasome-dependent BK-β1 protein degradation. Muscle RING finger protein 1 (MuRF1), a muscle-specific ubiquitin ligase, is implicated in many cardiac and skeletal muscle diseases. However, the role of MuRF1 in the regulation of vascular BK channel and coronary function has not been examined. In this study, we hypothesized that MuRF1 participated in BK-β1 proteolysis, leading to the down-regulation of BK channel activation and impaired coronary function in diabetes. Combining patch clamp and molecular biological approaches, we found that MuRF1 expression was enhanced, accompanied by reduced BK-β1 expression, in high glucose-cultured human

coronary SMCs and in diabetic vessels. Knockdown of MuRF1 by siRNA in cultured human SMCs attenuated BK-β1 ubiquitination and increased BK-β1 expression, whereas adenoviral expression of MuRF1 in mouse coronary arteries reduced BK-β1 expression and diminished BK channel-mediated vasodilation. Physical interaction between the N terminus of BK-β1 and the coiled-coil domain of MuRF1 was demonstrated by pulldown assay. Moreover, MuRF1 expression was regulated by NF-κB. Most importantly, pharmacological inhibition of proteasome and NF-κB activities preserved BK-β1 expression and BK-channel-mediated coronary vasodilation in diabetic mice. Hence, our results provide the first evidence that the up-regulation of NF-κB-dependent MuRF1 expression is a novel mechanism that leads to BK channelopathy and vasculopathy in diabetes.
The origin of circulating CD36 in type 2 diabetes

MJ Alkhatatbeh, AK Enjeti, S Acharya, RF Thorne, and LF Lincz
Nutrition and Diabetes (2013) 3, e59; http://dx.doi.org:/10.1038/nutd.2013.1

Objective: Elevated plasma levels of the fatty acid transporter, CD36, have been shown to constitute a novel biomarker for type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). We recently reported such circulating CD36 to be entirely associated with cellular microparticles (MPs) and aim here to determine the absolute levels and cellular origin(s) of these CD36 + MPs in persons with T2DM. Design: An ex vivo case-control study was conducted using plasma samples from 33 obese individuals with T2DM (body mass index (BMI) =39.9±6.4 kgm2; age=57±9 years; 18 male:15 female) and age- and gender-matched lean and obese non-T2DM controls (BMI =23.6±1.8 kgm2 and 33.5±5.9 kgm2, respectively). Flow cytometry was used to analyse surface expression of CD36 together with tissue-specific markers: CD41, CD235α, CD14, CD105 and phosphatidyl serine on plasma MPs. An enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay was used to quantify absolute CD36 protein concentrations. Results: CD36 + MP levels were significantly higher in obese people with T2DM (P<0.00001) and were primarily derived from erythrocytes (CD235α + = 35.8±14.6%); although this did not correlate with hemoglobin A1c. By contrast, the main source of CD36 + MPs in non-T2DM individuals was endothelial cells (CD105 + = 40.9±8.3% and 33.9±8.3% for lean and obese controls, respectively). Across the entire cohort, plasma CD36 protein concentration varied from undetectable to 22.9 µgml-1 and was positively correlated with CD36 +MPs measured by flow cytometry (P=0.0006) but only weakly associated with the distribution of controls and T2DM (P=0.021). Multivariate analysis confirmed that plasma CD36 + MP levels were a much better biomarker for diabetes than CD36 protein concentration (P=0.009 vs P=0.398, respectively). Conclusions: Both the levels and cellular profile of CD36 + MPs differ in T2DM compared with controls, suggesting that these specific vesicles could represent distinct biological vectors contributing to the pathology of the disease.
A Novel High-Throughput Assay for Islet Respiration Reveals Uncoupling of Rodent and Human Islets

Jakob D. Wikstrom, Samuel B. Sereda, Linsey Stiles, Alvaro Elorza, et al.
PLoS ONE 7(5): e33023. http://dx.doi.org:/10.1371/journal.pone.0033023

Background: The pancreatic beta cell is unique in its response to nutrient by increased fuel oxidation. Recent studies have demonstrated that oxygen consumption rate (OCR) may be a valuable predictor of islet quality and long term nutrient responsiveness. To date, high-throughput and user-friendly assays for islet respiration are lacking. The aim of this study was to develop such an assay and to examine bioenergetic efficiency of rodent and human islets. Methodology/Principal Findings: The XF24 respirometer platform was adapted to islets by the development of a 24-well plate specifically designed to confine islets. The islet plate generated data with low inter-well variability and enabled stable measurement of oxygen consumption for hours. The F1F0 ATP synthase blocker oligomycin was used to assess uncoupling while rotenone together with myxothiazol/antimycin was used to measure the level of non-mitochondrial respiration. The use of oligomycin in islets was validated by reversing its effect in the presence of the uncoupler FCCP. Respiratory leak averaged to 59% and 49% of basal OCR in islets from C57Bl6/J and FVB/N mice, respectively. In comparison, respiratory leak of INS-1 cells and C2C12 myotubes was measured to 38% and 23% respectively. Islets from a cohort of human donors showed a respiratory leak of 38%, significantly lower than mouse islets. Conclusions/Significance: The assay for islet respiration presented here provides a novel tool that can be used to study islet mitochondrial function in a relatively high-throughput manner. The data obtained in this study shows that rodent islets are less bioenergetically efficient than human islets as well as INS1 cells.

Refeeding and metabolic syndromes: two sides of the same coin

OA Obeid, DH Hachem and JJ Ayoub
Nutrition & Diabetes (2014) 4, e120; http://dx.doi.org:/10.1038/nutd.2014.21

Refeeding syndrome describes the metabolic and clinical changes attributed to aggressive rehabilitation of malnourished subjects. The metabolic changes of refeeding are related to hypophosphatemia, hypokalemia, hypomagnesemia, sodium retention and hyperglycemia, and these are believed to be mainly the result of increased insulin secretion following high carbohydrate intake. In the past few decades, increased consumption of processed food (refined cereals, oils, sugar and sweeteners, and so on) lowered the intake of several macrominerals (mainly phosphorus, potassium and magnesium). This seems to have compromised the postprandial status of these macrominerals, in a manner that mimics low grade refeeding syndrome status. At the pathophysiological level, this condition favored the development of the different components of the metabolic syndrome. Thus, it is reasonable to postulate that metabolic syndrome is the result of long term exposure to a mild refeeding syndrome.

HSP72 protects against obesity-induced insulin resistance

Jason Chung, Anh-Khoi Nguyen, Darren C. Henstridge, Anna G. Holmes, et al.
PNAS  Feb 5, 2008; 105(5): 1739–1744
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0705799105

Patients with type 2 diabetes have reduced gene expression of heat shock protein (HSP) 72, which correlates with reduced insulin sensitivity. Heat therapy, which activates HSP72, improves clinical parameters in these patients. Activation of several inflammatory signaling proteins such as c-jun amino terminal kinase (JNK), inhibitor of B kinase, and tumor necrosis factor-β, can induce insulin resistance, but HSP 72 can block the induction of these molecules in vitro. Accordingly, we examined whether activation of HSP72 can protect against the development of insulin resistance. First, we show that obese, insulin resistant humans have reduced HSP72 protein expression and increased JNK phosphorylation in skeletal muscle. We next used heat shock therapy, transgenic overexpression, and pharmacologic means to overexpress HSP72 either specifically in skeletal muscle or globally in mice. Herein, we show that regardless of the means used to achieve an elevation in HSP72 protein, protection against diet- or obesity induced hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, glucose intolerance, and insulin resistance was observed. This protection was tightly associated with the prevention of JNK phosphorylation. These findings identify an essential role for HSP72 in blocking inflammation and preventing insulin resistance in the context of genetic obesity or high-fat feeding.

pH-responsive modulation of insulin aggregation and structural transformation of the aggregates

Ekaterina Smirnova, I Safenkova, V Stein-Margolina, V Shubin, et al.
Biochimie 109 (2015) 49e59
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biochi.2014.12.006

Over the past two decades, much information has appeared on electrostatically driven molecular mechanisms of protein self-assembly and formation of aggregates of different morphology, varying from soluble amorphous structures to highly-ordered amyloid-like fibrils. Protein aggregation represents a special tool in biomedicine and biotechnology to produce biological materials for a wide range of applications. This has awakened interest in identification of pH-triggered regulators of transformation of aggregation-prone proteins into structures of higher order. The objective of the present study is to elucidate the effects of low-molecular-weight biogenic agents on aggregation and formation of supramolecular structures of human recombinant insulin, as a model therapeutic protein. Using dynamic light scattering, turbidimetry, circular dichroism, fluorescence spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance, we have demonstrated that the amino acid L-arginine (Arg) has the striking potential to influence insulin aggregation propensity. It was shown that modification of the net charge of insulin induced by changes in the pH level of the incubation medium results in dramatic changes in the interaction of the protein with Arg. We have revealed the dual effects of Arg, highly dependent on the pH level of the solution e suppression or acceleration of the aggregation of insulin at pH 7.0 or 8.0, respectively. These effects can be regulated by manipulating the pH of the environment. The results of this study may be of interest for development of appropriate drug formulations and for the more general insight into the functioning of insulin in living systems, as the protein is known to release by exocytosis from pancreatic beta cells in a pH-dependent manner.
Human β-cell proliferation by promoting Wnt signaling

Carol Wilson
Original article Aly, H. et al. A novel strategy to increase the proliferative potential of adult human β-cells while maintaining their differentiated phenotype. PLoS ONE 2013; 8, e66131
Nature Reviews Endocrinology 2013; 9, 502
http://dx.doi.org:/10.1038/nrendo.2013.130

Islet transplantation for patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus typically requires 2–4 donors for one recipient, whereas use of one donor would minimize the risk of immune rejection. Proliferation of adult β cells in vitro could hold the key to providing one donor for one recipient.

“In previous studies, we found that activation of the Wnt/GSK-3/β-catenin pathway by pharmacologic inhibition of GSK-3 in combination with nutrient activation of mTOR, modestly enhanced human β-cell proliferation in vitro,” says lead researcher Haytham Aly of the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, MO, USA. “However, expansion of human islets was associated with a loss of insulin content and secretory function.”

In the current study, the researchers aimed to engage canonical and noncanonical Wnt signalling at the receptor level to increase the proliferation of human β cells in vitro, without losing the capacity of the cells to produce and secrete insulin.

The researchers treated cadaver-derived intact human islets with a conditioned medium from L cells that constitutively produce Wnt-3a, R-spondin-3 and Noggin. A similar medium had previously enabled successful proliferation of mouse colonic intestinal epithelial cells. The researchers added inhibitors of ROCK and RhoA to this medium to augment cell survival.

The conditioned medium with the inhibitors lead to ~20-fold proliferation of the human β cells above that with glucose alone. Crucially, treatment with this conditioned medium did not impair glucose-stimulated insulin secretion or decrease insulin content of the cells.

“This novel strategy has clear potential for use in the in vitro expansion of human islets and the subsequent treatment of impaired β-cell functional mass in type 1 diabetes mellitus and type 2 diabetes mellitus,” concludes Aly.

Betatrophin—inducing β-cell expansion to treat diabetes mellitus?

Elisabeth Kugelberg
Original article Yi, P. et al. Betatrophin: a hormone that controls pancreatic β cell proliferation. Cell http://dx.doi.org:/10.1016/j.cell.2013.04.008
Nature Reviews Endocrinology 2013; 9, 379; http://dx.doi.org:/10.1038/nrendo.2013.98

Betatrophin, a newly identified hormone, increases the production and expansion of insulin-secreting β cells in mice, research from Harvard University suggests.

When insulin resistance develops, pancreatic β cells undergo an expansion in mass and proliferation to compensate for increasing insulin needs. To date, the mechanisms regulating β-cell replication are unclear.

Yi et al. developed a mouse model of insulin resistance using the insulin receptor antagonist S961. Subcutaneous injections of the S961 peptide into mice led to dose-dependent, instant β-cell proliferation and hyperglycemia.

Microarray analysis revealed that a highly conserved mammalian gene, betatrophin, was upregulated fourfold in liver and threefold in white adipose tissue cells in response to the acute peripheral insulin resistance induced by S961.

Yi and coworkers found that Betatrophin encodes a secreted protein that can be detected in human plasma. Intravenous injection of betatrophin-expressing constructs into mice resulted in a 17-fold higher β-cell proliferation rate compared with control vectors, and ultimately led to increased islet size and insulin content, with improvements in glucose tolerance, in betatrophin-injected animals.

The mechanisms of action of betatrophin are still unknown, and the next step is to test the effects of recombinant betatrophin protein on β-cell mass. The authors conclude that the identification of betatrophin and its control of β-cell proliferation opens a new door to possible diabetes therapy.

Blocking RANKL signaling might prevent T2DM

Carol Wilson
Original article Kiechl, S. et al. Blockade of receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB (RANKL) signaling improves hepatic insulin resistance and prevents development of diabetes mellitus. Nat. Med.
http://dx.doi.org:/10.1038/nm.3084

Nature Reviews Endocrinology 2013; 9, 188;
http://dx.doi.org:/10.1038/nrendo.2013.43

Blockade of receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) signaling in hepatocytes protects against type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), report researchers.

“It is well known that activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) in the liver is a crucial event in the development of hepatic insulin resistance and T2DM,” explains lead author Stefan Kiechl of the Medical University of Innsbruck, Austria. “RANKL, a member of the tumour necrosis factor superfamily, is a potent activator of NF-κB, and its receptor RANK is expressed on liver cells. We, thus, hypothesized that RANKL is involved in hepatic NF-κB activation, leading to T2DM.”

The researchers studied the association between serum levels of soluble RANKL and osteoprotegerin and subsequent risk of developing T2DM in 844 men and women without T2DM aged 40–79 years. Soluble RANKL was assessed because it has been shown to be functionally active.

During follow-up, between 1990 and 2005, 78 individuals of the cohort developed T2DM. Baseline levels of soluble RANKL between individuals who had and had not developed T2DM differed considerably: risk of T2DM was elevated in the group with the top tertile T2DM of concentrations of soluble RANKL compared with the group with the bottom tertile (OR 4.06, 95% CI 2.01–8.20). Adjustment for lifestyle factors and body composition did not significantly affect the risk association. Interestingly, although concentrations of osteoprotegerin were not elevated preceding T2DM onset, as they were for soluble RANKL, increased levels were found in individuals after disease occurrence.

In a series of mouse models in which RANKL signaling was downregulated systemically or in the liver, the investigators showed that hepatic insulin sensitivity and plasma glucose concentrations improved with blockade of RANKL signaling. In one such experiment, mice with a hepatocyte-specific Rank knockout were fed a high-fat diet for 4 weeks. These mice did not develop insulin resistance, whereas control mice did.

The investigators note that medications for T2DM already available, such as metformin, lower RANKL activity in bone and might also lower RANKL activity in the liver. They speculate that RANKL antagonism could be a yet unknown.

SFRP4—a biomarker for islet dysfunction?

Carol Wilson
Original article Mahdi, T. et al. Secreted frizzled-related protein 4 reduces insulin secretion and is overexpressed in type 2 diabetes. Cell Metab. http://doi.org:/10.1016/j.cmet.2012.10.009

Secreted frizzled-related protein 4 (SFRP4) reduces insulin secretion and is a potential biomarker for islet dysfunction in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), report researchers.

Mahdi et al. discovered these insights into the pathophysiology of T2DM by the analysis of global gene expression in human pancreatic islets. The researchers identified a group of co-expressed genes (also called a gene co-expression module) associated with T2DM, reduced insulin secretion and elevated HbA1c levels after analysing global microarray expression data from human islets of 48 individuals, including 10 with T2DM. This module was enriched for IL-1-related genes.

The investigators identified SFRP4 as a gene highly expressed in islets from patients with T2DM. The protein encoded by SFRP4 is an extracellular regulator of the Wnt pathway, and has roles in tissue development, cancer and phosphate metabolism. Further study revealed that the expression and release of SFRP4 from islets was stimulated by IL-1β. Furthermore, elevated systemic SFRP4 levels led to reduced glucose tolerance as a result of decreased islet expression of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels and supressed insulin exocytosis.

Interestingly, levels of SFRP4 were elevated in serum of patients a few years before they developed T2DM, which indicates that this protein has potential to be used as a biomarker for T2DM. The researchers also point out that their data suggest that SFRP4 could be a therapeutic target for the treatment of islet dysfunction.

Add-on to metformin in T2DM —linagliptin or glimepiride?

Mikkel Christensen and Filip K. Knop
Nat. Rev. Endocrinol. 2012; 8, 576–578  http://dx.doi.org:/10.1038/nrendo.2012.163

Dipeptidyl peptidase 4 (DPP4) inhibitors, also known as gliptins, are a rapidly expanding class of oral antidiabetic drugs for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Since 2006, five DPP4 inhibitors have reached the market and, because they can be administered orally and have an almost impeccable safety profile, these drugs have gained widespread use in the treatment of T2DM. The DPP4 inhibitor linagliptin was approved in 2011 by the FDA and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) for use in patients with T2DM as second-line therapy to add on to metformin either alone or in combination with another second-line treatment.

The UK Prospective Diabetes Study trial showed that sulphonylurea treatment was more effective than metformin treatment after 1 year in terms of reducing HbA1c levels; however, after 6 years of treatment, the effectiveness of sulphonylurea treatment declined and metformin treatment was more effective. A decline in the effectiveness of the sulphonylurea treatment over time could be due to sulphonylureas inducing stress and possibly causing apoptosis in β cells. However, in the trial by Gallwitz et al. the sustained efficacies of the add-on treatments with linagliptin and glimepiride were similar after 2 years.

The inhibitors of DPP4 enhance glucose-dependent insulin secretion and could even augment the counter-regulatory glucagon response to hypoglycemia. DPP4 inhibition generally has a neutral effect upon body weight.

The study by Gallwitz et al. included patients whose plasma glucose levels were near-normal whilst they were receiving metformin monotherapy (baseline level 6–7 mmol/l), which could result in increased occurrence of hypoglycemia. Treating patients whose blood glucose levels were, by many standards, already adequately controlled with metformin with a drug known to be associated with inducing hypoglycemia would be expected to increase the frequency of hypoglycemia in this group, inflating the differences in the frequency of this event between the group receiving linagliptin and that receiving glimepiride.

The most groundbreaking findings in the study by Gallwitz et al. are related to cardiovascular outcomes. Although the study was not adequately powered to detect subtle differences in cardiovascular event frequency, significantly fewer patients who received linagliptin than glimepiride experienced major cardiovascular events (12 versus 26 individuals, respectively). This difference was driven by fewer patients experiencing nonfatal myocardial infarctions and nonfatal strokes in the linagliptin-treated group than in the glimepiride-treated group (9 versus 21 individuals, respectively).

Clinicians are responsible for selecting a suitable second-line treatment for patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus when metformin monotherapy fails. New evidence could aid clinicians in deciding between one of the most commonly used second-line agents, glimepiride, and the recently approved dipeptidyl peptidase 4 inhibitor linagliptin.

Relation of Mitochondrial Oxygen Consumption in Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells to Vascular Function in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Mor-Li Hartman, Orian S. Shirihai, Monika Holbrook, Guoquan Xu, et al.
Vasc Med. 2014 February ; 19(1): 67–74. http://dx.doi.org:/10.1177/1358863X14521315.

Recent studies have shown mitochondrial dysfunction and increased production of reactive

oxygen species in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC’s) and endothelial cells from patients with diabetes mellitus. Mitochondria oxygen consumption is coupled to ATP production and also occurs in an uncoupled fashion during formation of reactive oxygen species by components of the electron transport chain and other enzymatic sites. We therefore hypothesized that diabetes would be associated with higher total and uncoupled oxygen consumption in PBMC’s that would correlate with endothelial dysfunction. We developed a method to measure oxygen consumption in freshly isolated PBMC’s and applied it to 26 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus and 28 non-diabetic controls. Basal (192±47 vs. 161±44 pMoles/min, P=0.01), uncoupled (64±16 vs. 53±16 pMoles/min, P=0.007), and maximal (795±87 vs. 715±128 pMoles/min, P=0.01) oxygen consumption rates were higher in diabetic patients compared to controls. There were no significant correlations between oxygen consumption rates and endothelium-dependent flow-mediated dilation measured by vascular ultrasound. Non-endothelium-dependent nitroglycerin-mediated dilation was lower in diabetics (10.1±6.6 vs. 15.8±4.8%, P=0.03) and correlated with maximal oxygen consumption (R= −0.64, P=0.001). In summary, we found that diabetes mellitus is associated with a pattern of mitochondrial oxygen consumption consistent with higher production of reactive oxygen species. The correlation between oxygen consumption and nitroglycerin-mediated dilation may suggest a link between mitochondrial dysfunction and vascular smooth muscle cell dysfunction that merits further study. Finally, the described method may have utility for assessment of mitochondrial function in larger scale observational and interventional studies in humans.

Musashi expression in b-cells coordinates insulin expression, apoptosis and proliferation in response to endoplasmic reticulum stress in diabetes

M Szabat, TB Kalynyak, GE Lim, KY Chu, YH Yang, A Asadi, BK Gage, et al.
Cell Death and Disease (2011) 2, e232
http://dx.doi.org:/10.1038/cddis.2011.119

Diabetes is associated with the death and dysfunction of insulin-producing pancreatic b-cells. In other systems, Musashi genes regulate cell fate via Notch signaling, which we recently showed regulates b-cell survival. Here we show for the first time that human and mouse adult islet cells express mRNA and protein of both Musashi isoforms, as well Numb/Notch/Hes/neurogenin-3 pathway components. Musashi expression was observed in insulin/glucagon double-positive cells during human fetal development and increased during directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to the pancreatic lineage. De-differentiation of b-cells with activin A increased Msi1 expression. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress increased Msi2 and Hes1, while it decreased Ins1 and Ins2 expression, revealing a molecular link between ER stress and b-cell dedifferentiation in type 2 diabetes. These effects were independent of changes in Numb protein levels and Notch activation. Overexpression of MSI1 was sufficient to increase Hes1, stimulate proliferation, inhibit apoptosis and reduce insulin expression, whereas Msi1 knockdown had the converse effects on proliferation and insulin expression. Overexpression of MSI2 resulted in a decrease in MSI1 expression. Taken together, these results demonstrate overlapping, but distinct roles for Musashi-1 and Musashi-2 in the control of insulin expression and b-cell proliferation. Our data also suggest that Musashi is a novel link between ER stress and the compensatory b-cell proliferation and the loss of b-cell gene expression seen in specific phases of the progression to type 2 diabetes.

Cooperation between brain and islet in glucose homeostasis and diabetes

Michael W. Schwartz, RJ Seeley, MH Tschöp, SC Woods, et al.
Nature  7 Nov 2013; 503: 59–66          http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature12709

Although a prominent role for the brain in glucose homeostasis was proposed by scientists in the nineteenth century, research throughout most of the twentieth century focused on evidence that the function of pancreatic islets is both necessary and sufficient to explain glucose homeostasis, and that diabetes results from defects of insulin secretion, action or both. However, insulin-independent mechanisms, referred to as ‘glucose effectiveness’, account for roughly 50% of overall glucose disposal, and reduced glucose effectiveness also contributes importantly to diabetes pathogenesis. Although mechanisms underlying glucose effectiveness are poorly understood, growing evidence suggests that the brain can dynamically regulate this process in ways that improve or even normalize glycaemia in rodent models of diabetes. Here we present evidence of a brain-centred glucoregulatory system (BCGS) that can lower blood glucose levels via both insulin-dependent and -independent mechanisms, and propose a model in which complex and highly coordinated interactions between the BCGS and pancreatic islets promote normal glucose homeostasis. Because activation of either regulatory system can compensate for failure of the other, defects in both may be required for diabetes to develop. Consequently, therapies that target the BCGS in addition to conventional approaches based on enhancing insulin effects may have the potential to induce diabetes remission, whereas targeting just one typically does not.

The traditional view holds that diabetes arises as a consequence of damage to, and ultimately failure of, beta-cell function. We propose a two-component model in which failure of glucose homeostasis can begin after initial impairment.

Schematic illustrations of brain- and islet-centred glucoregulatory systems

Schematic illustrations of brain- and islet-centred glucoregulatory systems

Schematic illustrations of brain- and islet-centred glucoregulatory systems
The BCGS is proposed to regulate tissue glucose metabolism and plasma glucose levels via mechanisms that are both insulin dependent (for example, by regulating tissue insulin sensitivity) and insulin independent

Proposed contributions of defective brain- and islet-centred glucoregulatory systems to T2D pathogenesis

Proposed contributions of defective brain- and islet-centred glucoregulatory systems to T2D pathogenesis

Proposed contributions of defective brain- and islet-centred glucoregulatory systems to T2D pathogenesis

Insulin’s discovery: New insights on its ninetieth birthday

Jesse Roth, Sana Qureshi, Ian Whitford, Mladen Vranic, et al.
Diabetes Metab Res Rev 2012; 28: 293–304
http://dx.doi.org:/10.1002/dmrr.2300

2012 marks the 90th year since the purification of insulin and the miraculous rescue from death of youngsters with type 1 diabetes. In this review, we highlight several previously unappreciated or unknown events surroundingthe discovery.
(i) We remind readers of the essential contributions of each of the four discoverers – Banting, Macleod, Collip, and Best.
(ii) Banting and Best (each with his own inner circle) worked not only to accrue credit for himself but also to minimize credit to the other discoverers.
(iii) Banting at the time of the insulin research was very likely suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that originated during his heroic service as a surgeon in World War I on the Western Front in 1918, including an infected shrapnel wound that threatened amputation of his arm. His war record along with the newly discovered evidence of a suicide threat goes along with his paranoia, combativeness, alcohol excess, and depression, symptoms we associate with PTSD.
(iv) Banting’s eureka idea, ligation of the pancreatic duct to preserve the islets, while it energized the early research, was unnecessary and was bypassed early.
(v) Post discovery,Macleod uncovered many features of insulin action that he summarized in his 1925 Nobel Lecture.Macleod closed by raising the question – what is the mechanism of insulin action in the body? – a challenge that attracted many talented investigators but remained unanswered until the latter third of the 20th century.

Genetic Variants Associated With Glycine Metabolism and Their Role in Insulin Sensitivity and Type 2 Diabetes

Weijia Xie, Andrew R. Wood, Valeriya Lyssenko, Michael N. Weedon, et al.
Diabetes 2013; 62:2141–2150 http://dx.doi.org:/10.2337/db12-0876

Circulating metabolites associated with insulin sensitivity may represent useful biomarkers, but their causal role in insulin sensitivity and diabetes is less certain. We previously identified novel metabolites correlated with insulin sensitivity measured by the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp. The top-ranking metabolites were in the glutathione and glycine biosynthesis pathways. We aimed to identify common genetic variants associated with metabolites in these pathways and test their role in insulin sensitivity and type 2 diabetes. With 1,004 nondiabetic individuals from the RISC study, we performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of 14 insulin sensitivity–related metabolites and one metabolite ratio. We replicated our results in the Botnia study (n = 342). We assessed the association of these variants with diabetes-related traits in GWAS meta-analyses (GENESIS [including RISC, EUGENE2, and Stanford], MAGIC, and DIAGRAM). We identified four associations with three metabolites—glycine (rs715 at CPS1), serine (rs478093 at PHGDH), and betaine (rs499368 at SLC6A12; rs17823642 at BHMT)—and one association signal with glycine-to-serine ratio (rs1107366 at ALDH1L1). There was no robust evidence for association between these variants and insulin resistance or diabetes. Genetic variants associated with genes in the glycine biosynthesis pathways do not provide consistent evidence for a role of glycine in diabetes related traits.

Fractalkine (CX3CL1), a new factor protecting b-cells against TNFa

Sabine Rutti, Caroline Arous, Domitille Schvartz, Katharina Timper, et al.
MOLMET164_proof ■ 14 Aug 2014 ■ 1/11
http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molmet.2014.07.007

Objective: We have previously shown the existence of a muscleepancreas intercommunication axis in which CX3CL1 (fractalkine), a CX3C chemokine produced by skeletal muscle cells, could be implicated. It has recently been shown that the fractalkine system modulates murine β-cell function. However, the impact of CX3CL1 on human islet cells especially regarding a protective role against cytokine-induced apoptosis remains to be investigated. Methods: Gene expression was determined using RNA sequencing in human islets, sorted β- and non-β-cells. Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) and glucagon secretion from human islets was measured following 24 h exposure to 1e50 ng/ml CX3CL1. GSIS and specific protein phosphorylation were measured in rat sorted β-cells exposed to CX3CL1 for 48 h alone or in the presence of TNFα (20 ng/ml). Rat and human β-cell apoptosis (TUNEL) and rat β-cell proliferation (BrdU incorporation) were assessed after 24 h treatment with increasing concentrations of CX3CL1.   Results: Both CX3CL1 and its receptor CX3CR1 are expressed in human islets. However, CX3CL1 is more expressed in non-β-cells than in b-cells while its receptor is more expressed in β-cells. CX3CL1 decreased human (but not rat) β-cell apoptosis. CX3CL1 inhibited human islet glucagon secretion stimulated by low glucose but did not impact human islet and rat sorted β-cell GSIS. However, CX3CL1 completely prevented the adverse effect of TNFa on GSIS and on molecular mechanisms involved in insulin granule trafficking by restoring the phosphorylation (Akt, AS160, paxillin) and expression (IRS2, ICAM-1, Sorcin, PCSK1) of key proteins involved in these processes. Conclusions: We demonstrate for the first time that human islets express and secrete CX3CL1 and CX3CL1 impacts them by decreasing glucagon secretion without affecting insulin secretion. Moreover, CX3CL1 decreases basal apoptosis of human β-cells. We further demonstrate that CX3CL1 protects β-cells from the adverse effects of TNFa on their function by restoring the expression and phosphorylation of key proteins of the insulin secretion pathway.
Heart Failure, Saxagliptin and Diabetes Mellitus: Observations from the SAVOR – TIMI 53 Randomized Trial

Benjamin M. Scirica; Eugene Braunwald; Itamar Raz, and SAVOR-TIMI 53 Steering Committee and Investigators
Circulation. Sept 4, 2014  http://dx.doi.org:/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.010389
Background—Diabetes and heart failure frequently coexist. However, few diabetes trials have prospectively evaluated and adjudicated heart failure as an endpoint. Methods and Results—16,492 patients with type 2 diabetes and a history of, or at risk for, cardiovascular events were randomized to saxagliptin or placebo (mean followup-2.1 years). The primary endpoint was the composite of cardiovascular death, myocardial infarction, or ischemic stroke. Hospitalization for heart failure was a predefined component of the secondary endpoint. Baseline NT-proBNP was measured in 12,301 patients. More patients treated with saxagliptin (289, 3.5%) were hospitalized for heart failure compared to placebo (228, 2.8%) (HR 1.27; 95%CI 1.07-1.51; p=0.007). Corresponding rates at 12-months were 1.9% vs.1.3% (HR 1.46, 95%CI 1.15-1.88, p=0.002, with no significant difference thereafter time-varying interaction
p=0.017). Subjects at greatest risk for hospitalization for heart failure had prior heart failure, EGFR < 60 ml/min and/or elevated baseline levels of NT-proBNP. There was no evidence of heterogeneity between NT-proBNP and saxagliptin (p for interaction=0.46), though the absolute risk excess for heart failure with saxagliptin was greatest in the highest NT-proBNP quartile (2.1%). Even in patients at high-risk for hospitalization for heart failure, the risk of the primary and secondary endpoints were similar between treatment groups. Conclusions—In the context of balanced primary and secondary endpoints, saxagliptin treatment was associated with an increased risk for hospitalization for heart failure. This increase in risk was highest among patients with elevated levels of natriuretic peptides, prior heart failure, or chronic kidney disease.
Angiotensin 1–7 improves insulin sensitivity by increasing skeletal muscle glucose uptake in vivo

Omar Echeverría-Rodríguez, Leonardo Del Valle-Mondragón, Enrique Hong
Peptides 51 (2014) 26– 30 http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.peptides.2013.10.022

The renin–angiotensin system (RAS) regulates skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity through different mechanisms. The overactivation of the ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme)/Ang (angiotensin) II/AT1R (Ang IItype 1 receptor) axis has been associated with the development of insulin resistance, whereas the stimulation of the ACE2/Ang 1–7/MasR (Mas receptor) axis improves insulin sensitivity. The in vivo mechanismsby which this axis enhances skeletal muscle insulin sensitivity are scarcely known. In this work, we investigated whether rat soleus muscle expresses the ACE2/Ang 1–7/MasR axis and determined the effect ofAng 1–7 on rat skeletal muscle glucose uptake in vivo. Western blot analysis revealed the expression ofACE2 and MasR, while Ang 1–7 levels were detected in rat soleus muscle by capillary zone electrophoresis. The euglycemic clamp exhibited that Ang 1–7 by itself did not promote glucose transport, but itincreased insulin-stimulated glucose disposal in the rat. In a similar manner, captopril (an ACE inhibitor) enhanced insulin-induced glucose uptake and this effect was blocked by the MasR antagonist A-779. Our results show for the first time that rat soleus muscle expresses the ACE2/Ang 1–7/MasR axis of the RAS,and Ang 1–7 improves insulin sensitivity by enhancing insulin-stimulated glucose uptake in rat skeletal muscle in vivo. Thus, endogenous (systemic and/or local) Ang 1–7 could regulate insulin-mediated glucose transport in vivo.

Evolving concepts in advanced glycation, diabetic nephropathy, and diabetic vascular disease

George Jerums, S Panagiotopoulos, J Forbes, T Osicka, and Mark Cooper
Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics 419 (2003) 55–62
http://dx.doi.org:/10.1016/j.abb.2003.08.017

Advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs) have been postulated to play a role in the development of both nephropathy and large vessel disease in diabetes. However, it is still not clear which AGE subtypes play a pathogenetic role and which of several AGE receptors mediate AGE effects on cells. This review summarises the renoprotective effect of inhibitors of AGE formation, including aminoguanidine, and of cross-link breakers, including ALT-711, on experimental diabetic nephropathy and on mesenteric vascular hypertrophy. It also demonstrates similar effects of aminoguanidine and ramipril (an angiotensin converting enzyme inhibitor) on fluorescent and immunoassayable AGE levels, renal protein kinase C activity, nitrotyrosine expression, lysosomal function, and protein handling in experimental diabetes. These findings indicate that inhibition of the renin angiotensin system blocks both upstream and downstream pathways leading to tissue injury. We postulate that the chemical pathways leading to advanced glycation endproduct formation and the renin angiotensin systems may interact through the generation of free radicals, induced both by glucose and angiotensin II. There is also evidence to suggest that AGE-dependent pathways may play a role in the development of tubulointerstitial fibrosis in the diabetic kidney. This effect is mediated through RAGE and is TGF-b and CTGF-dependent.

Preconditioning with Associated Blocking of Ca2+ Inflow Alleviates Hypoxia-Induced Damage to Pancreatic β-Cells

Zuheng Ma, Noah Moruzzi, Sergiu-Bogdan Catrina, Ingrid Hals, et al.
PLoS ONE 8(7): e67498. http://dx.doi.org:/10.1371/journal.pone.0067498

Objective: Beta cells of pancreatic islets are susceptible to functional deficits and damage by hypoxia. Here we aimed to characterize such effects and to test for and pharmacological means to alleviate a negative impact of hypoxia. Methods and Design: Rat and human pancreatic islets were subjected to 5.5 h of hypoxia after which functional and viability parameters were measured subsequent to the hypoxic period and/or following a 22 h re-oxygenation period. Preconditioning with diazoxide or other agents was usually done during a 22 h period prior to hypoxia. Results: Insulin contents decreased by 23% after 5.5 h of hypoxia and by 61% after a re-oxygenation period. Preconditioning with diazoxide time-dependently alleviated these hypoxia effects in rat and human islets. Hypoxia reduced proinsulin biosynthesis (3H-leucine incorporation into proinsulin) by 35%. Preconditioning counteracted this decrease by 91%. Preconditioning reduced hypoxia-induced necrosis by 40%, attenuated lowering of proteins of mitochondrial complexes I–IV and enhanced stimulation of HIF-1-alpha and phosphorylated AMPK proteins. Preconditioning by diazoxide was abolished by co-exposure to tolbutamide or elevated potassium (i.e. conditions which increase Ca2+ inflow). Preconditioning with nifedipine, a calcium channel blocker, partly reproduced effects of diazoxide. Both diazoxide and nifedipine moderately reduced basal glucose oxidation whereas glucose-induced oxygen consumption (tested with diazoxide) was unaffected. Preconditioning with diaxoxide enhanced insulin contents in transplants of rat islets to nondiabetic rats and lowered hyperglycemia vs. non-preconditioned islets in streptozotocin-diabetic rats. Preconditioning of human islet transplants lowered hyperglycemia in streptozotocin-diabetic nude mice.
Conclusions:
1) Prior blocking of Ca2+ inflow associates with lesser hypoxia-induced damage,
2) preconditioning affects basal mitochondrial metabolism and accelerates activation of hypoxia-reactive and potentially protective factors,
3) results indicate that preconditioning by K+-ATP-channel openers has therapeutic potential for islet transplantations.

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Lipid Metabolism


Lipid Metabolism

Reporter and Curator: Larry H. Bernstein, MD, FCAP 

 

This is fourth of a series of articles, lipid metabolism, that began with signaling and signaling pathways. These discussion lay the groundwork to proceed in later discussions that will take on a somewhat different approach. These are critical to develop a more complete point of view of life processes.  I have indicated that many of the protein-protein interactions or protein-membrane interactions and associated regulatory features have been referred to previously, but the focus of the discussion or points made were different.  The role of lipids in circulating plasma proteins as biomarkers for coronary vascular disease can be traced to the early work of Frederickson and the classification of lipid disorders.  The very critical role of lipids in membrane structure in health and disease has had much less attention, despite the enormous importance, especially in the nervous system.

  1. Signaling and signaling pathways
  2. Signaling transduction tutorial.
  3. Carbohydrate metabolism

3.1  Selected References to Signaling and Metabolic Pathways in Leaders in Pharmaceutical Intelligence

  1. Lipid metabolism
  2. Protein synthesis and degradation
  3. Subcellular structure
  4. Impairments in pathological states: endocrine disorders; stress hypermetabolism; cancer.

 

Lipid Metabolism

http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/622overview.html

Overview of Lipid Catabolism:

The major aspects of lipid metabolism are involved with

  • Fatty Acid Oxidationto produce energy or
  • the synthesis of lipids which is called Lipogenesis.

The metabolism of lipids and carbohydrates are related by the conversion of lipids from carbohydrates. This can be seen in the diagram. Notice the link through actyl-CoA, the seminal discovery of Fritz Lipmann. The metabolism of both is upset by diabetes mellitus, which results in the release of ketones (2/3 betahydroxybutyric acid) into the circulation.

 

metabolism of fats

metabolism of fats

 

http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/images/590metabolism.gif

The first step in lipid metabolism is the hydrolysis of the lipid in the cytoplasm to produce glycerol and fatty acids.

Since glycerol is a three carbon alcohol, it is metabolized quite readily into an intermediate in glycolysis, dihydroxyacetone phosphate. The last reaction is readily reversible if glycerol is needed for the synthesis of a lipid.

The hydroxyacetone, obtained from glycerol is metabolized into one of two possible compounds. Dihydroxyacetone may be converted into pyruvic acid, a 3-C intermediate at the last step of glycolysis to make energy.

In addition, the dihydroxyacetone may also be used in gluconeogenesis (usually dependent on conversion of gluconeogenic amino acids) to make glucose-6-phosphate for glucose to the blood or glycogen depending upon what is required at that time.

Fatty acids are oxidized to acetyl CoA in the mitochondria using the fatty acid spiral. The acetyl CoA is then ultimately converted into ATP, CO2, and H2O using the citric acid cycle and the electron transport chain.

There are two major types of fatty acids – ω-3 and ω-6.  There are also saturated and unsaturated with respect to the existence of double bonds, and monounsaturated and polyunsatured.  Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) are important in long term health, and it will be seen that high cardiovascular risk is most associated with a low ratio of ω-3/ω-6, the denominator being from animal fat. Ω-3 fatty acids are readily available from fish, seaweed, and flax seed. More can be said of this later.

Fatty acids are synthesized from carbohydrates and occasionally from proteins. Actually, the carbohydrates and proteins have first been catabolized into acetyl CoA. Depending upon the energy requirements, the acetyl CoA enters the citric acid cycle or is used to synthesize fatty acids in a process known as LIPOGENESIS.

The relationships between lipid and carbohydrate metabolism are
summarized in Figure 2.

 

fattyacidspiral

fattyacidspiral

http://www.elmhurst.edu/~chm/vchembook/images/620fattyacidspiral.gif

 

 Energy Production Fatty Acid Oxidation:

Visible” ATP:

In the fatty acid spiral, there is only one reaction which directly uses ATP and that is in the initiating step. So this is a loss of ATP and must be subtracted later.

A large amount of energy is released and restored as ATP during the oxidation of fatty acids. The ATP is formed from both the fatty acid spiral and the citric acid cycle.

 

Connections to Electron Transport and ATP:

One turn of the fatty acid spiral produces ATP from the interaction of the coenzymes FAD (step 1) and NAD+ (step 3) with the electron transport chain. Total ATP per turn of the fatty acid spiral is:

Electron Transport Diagram – (e.t.c.)

Step 1 – FAD into e.t.c. = 2 ATP
Step 3 – NAD+ into e.t.c. = 3 ATP
Total ATP per turn of spiral = 5 ATP

In order to calculate total ATP from the fatty acid spiral, you must calculate the number of turns that the spiral makes. Remember that the number of turns is found by subtracting one from the number of acetyl CoA produced. See the graphic on the left bottom.

Example with Palmitic Acid = 16 carbons = 8 acetyl groups

Number of turns of fatty acid spiral = 8-1 = 7 turns

ATP from fatty acid spiral = 7 turns and 5 per turn = 35 ATP.

This would be a good time to remember that single ATP that was needed to get the fatty acid spiral started. Therefore subtract it now.

NET ATP from Fatty Acid Spiral = 35 – 1 = 34 ATP

Review ATP Summary for Citric Acid Cycle:The acetyl CoA produced from the fatty acid spiral enters the citric acid cycle. When calculating ATP production, you have to show how many acetyl CoA are produced from a given fatty acid as this controls how many “turns” the citric acid cycle makes.Starting with acetyl CoA, how many ATP are made using the citric acid cycle? E.T.C = electron transport chain

 Step  ATP produced
7  1
Step 4 (NAD+ to E.T.C.) 3
Step 6 (NAD+ to E.T.C.)  3
Step10 (NAD+ to E.T.C.)  3
Step 8 (FAD to E.T.C.) 2
 NET 12 ATP

 

 

 ATP Summary for Palmitic Acid – Complete Metabolism:The phrase “complete metabolism” means do reactions until you end up with carbon dioxide and water. This also means to use fatty acid spiral, citric acid cycle, and electron transport as needed.Starting with palmitic acid (16 carbons) how many ATP are made using fatty acid spiral? This is a review of the above panel E.T.C = electron transport chain

 Step  ATP (used -) (produced +)
Step 1 (FAD to E.T.C.) +2
Step 4 (NAD+ to E.T.C.) +3
Total ATP  +5
 7 turns  7 x 5 = 35
initial step  -1
 NET  34 ATP

The fatty acid spiral ends with the production of 8 acetyl CoA from the 16 carbon palmitic acid.

Starting with one acetyl CoA, how many ATP are made using the citric acid cycle? Above panel gave the answer of 12 ATP per acetyl CoA.

E.T.C = electron transport chain

 Step  ATP produced
One acetyl CoA per turn C.A.C. +12 ATP
8 Acetyl CoA = 8 turns C.A.C. 8 x 12 = 96 ATP
Fatty Acid Spiral 34 ATP
GRAND TOTAL  130 ATP

 

Fyodor Lynen

Feodor Lynen was born in Munich on 6 April 1911, the son of Wilhelm Lynen, Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the Munich Technische Hochschule. He received his Doctorate in Chemistry from Munich University under Heinrich Wieland, who had won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1927, in March 1937 with the work: «On the Toxic Substances in Amanita». in 1954 he became head of the Max-Planck-Institut für Zellchemie, newly created for him as a result of the initiative of Otto Warburg and Otto Hahn, then President of the Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Förderung der Wissenschaften.

Lynen’s work was devoted to the elucidation of the chemical details of metabolic processes in living cells, and of the mechanisms of metabolic regulation. The problems tackled by him, in conjunction with German and other workers, include the Pasteur effect, acetic acid degradation in yeast, the chemical structure of «activated acetic acid» of «activated isoprene», of «activated carboxylic acid», and of cytohaemin, degradation of fatty acids and formation of acetoacetic acid, degradation of tararic acid, biosynthesis of cysteine, of terpenes, of rubber, and of fatty acids.

In 1954 Lynen received the Neuberg Medal of the American Society of European Chemists and Pharmacists, in 1955 the Liebig Commemorative Medal of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker, in 1961 the Carus Medal of the Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher «Leopoldina», and in 1963 the Otto Warburg Medal of the Gesellschaft für Physiologische Chemie. He was also a member of the U>S> National Academy of Sciences, and shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine with Konrad Bloch in 1964, and was made President of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh) in 1972.

This biography was written at the time of the award and first published in the book series Les Prix Nobel. It was later edited and republished in Nobel Lectures, and shortened by myself.

The Pathway from “Activated Acetic Acid” to the Terpenes and Fatty Acids

My first contact with dynamic biochemistry in 1937 occurred at an exceedingly propitious time. The remarkable investigations on the enzyme chain of respiration, on the oxygen-transferring haemin enzyme of respiration, the cytochromes, the yellow enzymes, and the pyridine proteins had thrown the first rays of light on the chemical processes underlying the mystery of biological catalysis, which had been recognised by your famous countryman Jöns Jakob Berzelius. Vitamin B2 , which is essential to the nourishment of man and of animals, had been recognised by Hugo Theorell in the form of the phosphate ester as the active group of an important class of enzymes, and the fermentation processes that are necessary for Pasteur’s “life without oxygen”

had been elucidated as the result of a sequence of reactions centered around “hydrogen shift” and “phosphate shift” with adenosine triphosphate as the phosphate-transferring coenzyme. However, 1,3-diphosphoglyceric acid, the key substance to an understanding of the chemical relation between oxidation and phosphorylation, still lay in the depths of the unknown. Never-

theless, Otto Warburg was on its trail in the course of his investigations on the fermentation enzymes, and he was able to present it to the world in 1939.

 

This was the period in which I carried out my first independent investigation, which was concerned with the metabolism of yeast cells after freezing in liquid air, and which brought me directly into contact with the mechanism of alcoholic fermentation. This work taught me a great deal, and yielded two important pieces of information.

 

  • The first was that in experiments with living cells, special attention must be given to the permeability properties of the cell membranes, and
  • the second was that the adenosine polyphosphate system plays a vital part in the cell,
    • not only in energy transfer, but
    • also in the regulation of the metabolic processes.

 

.

This investigation aroused by interest in problems of metabolic regulation, which led me to the investigation of the Pasteur effects, and has remained with me to the present day.

 

My subsequent concern with the problem of the acetic acid metabolism arose from my stay at Heinrich Wieland’s laboratory. Workers here had studied the oxidation of acetic acid by yeast cells, and had found that though most of the acetic acid undergoes complete oxidation, some remains in the form of succinic and citric acids.

 

The explanation of these observations was provided-by the Thunberg-Wieland process, according to which two molecules of acetic acid are dehydrogenated to succinic acid, which is converted back into acetic acid via oxaloacetic acid, pyruvic acid, and acetaldehyde, or combines at the oxaloacetic acid stage with a further molecule of acetic acid to form citric acid (Fig. 1). However, an experimental check on this view by a Wieland’s student Robert Sonderhoffs brought a surprise. The citric acid formed when trideuteroacetic acid was supplied to yeast cells contained the expected quantity of deuterium, but the succinic acid contained only half of the four deuterium atoms required by Wieland’s scheme.

 

This investigation aroused by interest in problems of metabolic regulation, which led me to the investigation of the Pasteur effects, and has remained with me to the present day. My subsequent concern with the problem of the acetic acid metabolism arose from my stay at Heinrich Wieland’s laboratory. Workers here had studied the oxidation of acetic acid by yeast cells, and had found that though most of the acetic acid undergoes complete oxidation, some remains in the form of succinic and citric acid

The answer provided by Martius was that citric acid  is in equilibrium with isocitric acid and is oxidised to cr-ketoglutaric acid, the conversion of which into succinic acid had already been discovered by Carl Neuberg (Fig. 1).

It was possible to assume with fair certainty from these results that the succinic acid produced by yeast from acetate is formed via citric acid. Sonderhoff’s experiments with deuterated acetic acid led to another important discovery.

In the analysis of the yeast cells themselves, it was found that while the carbohydrate fraction contained only insignificant quantities of deuterium, large quantities of heavy hydrogen were present in the fatty acids formed and in the sterol fraction. This showed that

  • fatty acids and sterols were formed directly from acetic acid, and not indirectly via the carbohydrates.

As a result of Sonderhoff’s early death, these important findings were not pursued further in the Munich laboratory.

  • This situation was elucidated only by Konrad Bloch’s isotope experiments, on which he reports.

My interest first turned entirely to the conversion of acetic acid into citric acid, which had been made the focus of the aerobic degradation of carbohydrates by the formulation of the citric acid cycle by Hans Adolf Krebs. Unlike Krebs, who regarded pyruvic acid as the condensation partner of acetic acid,

  • we were firmly convinced, on the basis of the experiments on yeast, that pyruvic acid is first oxidised to acetic acid, and only then does the condensation take place.

Further progress resulted from Wieland’s observation that yeast cells that had been “impoverished” in endogenous fuels by shaking under oxygen were able to oxidise added acetic acid only after a certain “induction period” (Fig. 2). This “induction period” could be shortened by addition of small quantities of a readily oxidisable substrate such as ethyl alcohol, though propyl and butyl alcohol were also effective. I explained this by assuming that acetic acid is converted, at the expense of the oxidation of the alcohol, into an “activated acetic acid”, and can only then condense with oxalacetic acid.

In retrospect, we find that I had come independently on the same group of problems as Fritz Lipmann, who had discovered that inorganic phosphate is indispensable to the oxidation of pyruvic acid by lactobacilli, and had detected acetylphosphate as an oxidation product. Since this anhydride of acetic acid and phosphoric acid could be assumed to be the “activated acetic acid”.

I learned of the advances that had been made in the meantime in the investigation of the problem of “activated acetic acid”. Fritz Lipmann has described the development at length in his Nobel Lecture’s, and I need not repeat it. The main advance was the recognition that the formation of “activated acetic acid” from acetate involved not only ATP as an energy source, but also the newly discovered coenzyme A, which contains the vitamin pantothenic acid, and that “activated acetic acid” was probably an acetylated coenzyme  A.

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/medicine/laureates/1964/lynen-bio.html

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/store/10.1002/anie.201106003/asset/image_m/mcontent.gif?v=1&s=1e6dc789dfa585fe48947e92cc5dfdcabd8e2677

Fyodor Lynen

Lynen’s most important research at the University of Munich focused on intermediary metabolism, cholesterol synthesis, and fatty acid biosynthesis. Metabolism involves all the chemical processes by which an organism converts matter and energy into forms that it can use. Metabolism supplies the matter—the molecular building blocks an organism needs for the growth of new tissues. These building blocks must either come from the breakdown of molecules of food, such as glucose (sugar) and fat, or be built up from simpler molecules within the organism.

Cholesterol is one of the fatty substances found in animal tissues. The human body produces cholesterol, but this substance also enters the body in food. Meats, egg yolks, and milk products, such as butter and cheese, contain cholesterol. Such organs as the brain and liver contain much cholesterol. Cholesterol is a type of lipid, one of the classes of chemical compounds essential to human health. It makes up an important part of the membranes of each cell in the body. The body also uses cholesterol to produce vitamin D and certain hormones.

All fats are composed of an alcohol called glycerol and substances called fatty acids. A fatty acid consists of a long chain of carbon atoms, to which hydrogen atoms are attached. There are three types of fatty acids: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated.

Living cells manufacture complicated chemical compounds from simpler substances through a process called biosynthesis. For example, simple molecules called amino acids are put together to make proteins. The biosynthesis of both fatty acids and cholesterol begins with a chemically active form of acetate, a two-carbon molecule. Lynen discovered that the active form of acetate is a coenzyme, a heat-stabilized, water-soluble portion of an enzyme, called acetyl coenzyme A. Lynen and his colleagues demonstrated that the formation of cholesterol begins with the condensation of two molecules of acetyl coenzyme A to form acetoacetyl coenzyme A, a four-carbon molecule.

http://science.howstuffworks.com/dictionary/famous-scientists/biologists/feodor-lynen-info.htm

Fyodor Lynen

Fyodor Lynen

 

SREBPs: activators of the complete program of cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis in the liver

Jay D. Horton1,2, Joseph L. Goldstein1 and Michael S. Brown1

1Department of Molecular Genetics, and
2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, USA

J Clin Invest. 2002;109(9):1125–1131.
http://dx.doi.org:/10.1172/JCI15593
Lipid homeostasis in vertebrate cells is regulated by a family of membrane-bound transcription factors designated sterol regulatory element–binding proteins (SREBPs). SREBPs directly activate the expression of more than 30 genes dedicated to the synthesis and uptake of cholesterol, fatty acids, triglycerides, and phospholipids, as well as the NADPH cofactor required to synthesize these molecules (14). In the liver, three SREBPs regulate the production of lipids for export into the plasma as lipoproteins and into the bile as micelles. The complex, interdigitated roles of these three SREBPs have been dissected through the study of ten different lines of gene-manipulated mice. These studies form the subject of this review.

SREBPs: activation through proteolytic processing

SREBPs belong to the basic helix-loop-helix–leucine zipper (bHLH-Zip) family of transcription factors, but they differ from other bHLH-Zip proteins in that they are synthesized as inactive precursors bound to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) (1, 5). Each SREBP precursor of about 1150 amino acids is organized into three domains: (a) an NH2-terminal domain of about 480 amino acids that contains the bHLH-Zip region for binding DNA; (b) two hydrophobic transmembrane–spanning segments interrupted by a short loop of about 30 amino acids that projects into the lumen of the ER; and (c) a COOH-terminal domain of about 590 amino acids that performs the essential regulatory function described below.

In order to reach the nucleus and act as a transcription factor, the NH2-terminal domain of each SREBP must be released from the membrane proteolytically (Figure 1). Three proteins required for SREBP processing have been delineated in cultured cells, using the tools of somatic cell genetics (see ref. 5for review). One is an escort protein designated SREBP cleavage–activating protein (SCAP). The other two are proteases, designated Site-1 protease (S1P) and Site-2 protease (S2P). Newly synthesized SREBP is inserted into the membranes of the ER, where its COOH-terminal regulatory domain binds to the COOH-terminal domain of SCAP (Figure 1).

 

Figure 1

Model for the sterol-mediated proteolytic release of SREBPs from membranes JCI0215593.f1

Model for the sterol-mediated proteolytic release of SREBPs from membranes JCI0215593.f1

 

Model for the sterol-mediated proteolytic release of SREBPs from membranes. SCAP is a sensor of sterols and an escort of SREBPs. When cells are depleted of sterols, SCAP transports SREBPs from the ER to the Golgi apparatus, where two proteases, Site-1 protease (S1P) and Site-2 protease (S2P), act sequentially to release the NH2-terminal bHLH-Zip domain from the membrane. The bHLH-Zip domain enters the nucleus and binds to a sterol response element (SRE) in the enhancer/promoter region of target genes, activating their transcription. When cellular cholesterol rises, the SCAP/SREBP complex is no longer incorporated into ER transport vesicles, SREBPs no longer reach the Golgi apparatus, and the bHLH-Zip domain cannot be released from the membrane. As a result, transcription of all target genes declines. Reprinted from ref. 5 with permission.

http://dm5migu4zj3pb.cloudfront.net/manuscripts/15000/15593/large/JCI0215593.f1.jpg

SCAP is both an escort for SREBPs and a sensor of sterols. When cells become depleted in cholesterol, SCAP escorts the SREBP from the ER to the Golgi apparatus, where the two proteases reside. In the Golgi apparatus, S1P, a membrane-bound serine protease, cleaves the SREBP in the luminal loop between its two membrane-spanning segments, dividing the SREBP molecule in half (Figure 1). The NH2-terminal bHLH-Zip domain is then released from the membrane via a second cleavage mediated by S2P, a membrane-bound zinc metalloproteinase. The NH2-terminal domain, designated nuclear SREBP (nSREBP), translocates to the nucleus, where it activates transcription by binding to nonpalindromic sterol response elements (SREs) in the promoter/enhancer regions of multiple target genes.

 

Figure 1

 

When the cholesterol content of cells rises, SCAP senses the excess cholesterol through its membranous sterol-sensing domain, changing its conformation in such a way that the SCAP/SREBP complex is no longer incorporated into ER transport vesicles. The net result is that SREBPs lose their access to S1P and S2P in the Golgi apparatus, so their bHLH-Zip domains cannot be released from the ER membrane, and the transcription of target genes ceases (1, 5). The biophysical mechanism by which SCAP senses sterol levels in the ER membrane and regulates its movement to the Golgi apparatus is not yet understood. Elucidating this mechanism will be fundamental to understanding the molecular basis of cholesterol feedback inhibition of gene expression.

SREBPs: two genes, three proteins

The mammalian genome encodes three SREBP isoforms, designated SREBP-1a, SREBP-1c, and SREBP-2. SREBP-2 is encoded by a gene on human chromosome 22q13. Both SREBP-1a and -1c are derived from a single gene on human chromosome 17p11.2 through the use of alternative transcription start sites that produce alternate forms of exon 1, designated 1a and 1c (1). SREBP-1a is a potent activator of all SREBP-responsive genes, including those that mediate the synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, and triglycerides. High-level transcriptional activation is dependent on exon 1a, which encodes a longer acidic transactivation segment than does the first exon of SREBP-1c. The roles of SREBP-1c and SREBP-2 are more restricted than that of SREBP-1a. SREBP-1c preferentially enhances transcription of genes required for fatty acid synthesis but not cholesterol synthesis. Like SREBP-1a, SREBP-2 has a long transcriptional activation domain, but it preferentially activates cholesterol synthesis (1). SREBP-1a and SREBP-2 are the predominant isoforms of SREBP in most cultured cell lines, whereas SREBP-1c and SREBP-2 predominate in the liver and most other intact tissues (6).

When expressed at higher than physiologic levels, each of the three SREBP isoforms can activate all enzymes indicated in Figure 2, which shows the biosynthetic pathways used to generate cholesterol and fatty acids. However, at normal levels of expression, SREBP-1c favors the fatty acid biosynthetic pathway and SREBP-2 favors cholesterologenesis. SREBP-2–responsive genes in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway include those for the enzymes HMG-CoA synthase, HMG-CoA reductase, farnesyl diphosphate synthase, and squalene synthase. SREBP-1c–responsive genes include those for ATP citrate lyase (which produces acetyl-CoA) and acetyl-CoA carboxylase and fatty acid synthase (which together produce palmitate [C16:0]). Other SREBP-1c target genes encode a rate-limiting enzyme of the fatty acid elongase complex, which converts palmitate to stearate (C18:0) (ref.7); stearoyl-CoA desaturase, which converts stearate to oleate (C18:1); and glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase, the first committed enzyme in triglyceride and phospholipid synthesis (3). Finally, SREBP-1c and SREBP-2 activate three genes required to generate NADPH, which is consumed at multiple stages in these lipid biosynthetic pathways (8) (Figure 2).

 

Figure 2

 

major metabolic intermediates in the pathways for synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, and triglycerides JCI0215593.f2

major metabolic intermediates in the pathways for synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, and triglycerides JCI0215593.f2

 

 

 

http://dm5migu4zj3pb.cloudfront.net/manuscripts/15000/15593/large/JCI0215593.f2.jpg

 

Genes regulated by SREBPs. The diagram shows the major metabolic intermediates in the pathways for synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, and triglycerides. In vivo, SREBP-2 preferentially activates genes of cholesterol metabolism, whereas SREBP-1c preferentially activates genes of fatty acid and triglyceride metabolism. DHCR, 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase; FPP, farnesyl diphosphate; GPP, geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate synthase; CYP51, lanosterol 14α-demethylase; G6PD, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase; PGDH, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase; GPAT, glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase.

Genes regulated by SREBPs. The diagram shows the major metabolic intermediates in the pathways for synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, and triglycerides. In vivo, SREBP-2 preferentially activates genes of cholesterol metabolism, whereas SREBP-1c preferentially activates genes of fatty acid and triglyceride metabolism. DHCR, 7-dehydrocholesterol reductase; FPP, farnesyl diphosphate; GPP, geranylgeranyl pyrophosphate synthase; CYP51, lanosterol 14α-demethylase; G6PD, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase; PGDH, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase; GPAT, glycerol-3-phosphate acyltransferase.

Knockout and transgenic mice

Ten different genetically manipulated mouse models that either lack or overexpress a single component of the SREBP pathway have been generated in the last 6 years (916). The key molecular and metabolic alterations observed in these mice are summarized in Table 1.

 

Table 1
Alterations in hepatic lipid metabolism in gene-manipulated mice overexpressing or lacking SREBPs

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Knockout mice that lack all nSREBPs die early in embryonic development. For instance, a germline deletion of S1p, which prevents the processing of all SREBP isoforms, results in death before day 4 of development (15, 17). Germline deletion of Srebp2 leads to 100% lethality at a later stage of embryonic development than does deletion of S1p (embryonic day 7–8). In contrast, germline deletion of Srebp1, which eliminates both the 1a and the 1c transcripts, leads to partial lethality, in that about 15–45% of Srebp1–/– mice survive (13). The surviving homozygotes manifest elevated levels of SREBP-2 mRNA and protein (Table 1), which presumably compensates for the loss of SREBP-1a and -1c. When the SREBP-1c transcript is selectively eliminated, no embryonic lethality is observed, suggesting that the partial embryonic lethality in the Srebp1–/– mice is due to the loss of the SREBP-1a transcript (16).

To bypass embryonic lethality, we have produced mice in which all SREBP function can be disrupted in adulthood through induction of Cre recombinase. For this purpose, loxP recombination sites were inserted into genomic regions that flank crucial exons in the Scap or S1p genes (so-called floxed alleles) (14, 15). Mice homozygous for the floxed gene and heterozygous for a Cre recombinase transgene, which is under control of an IFN-inducible promoter (MX1-Cre), can be induced to delete Scap or S1p by stimulating IFN expression. Thus, following injection with polyinosinic acid–polycytidylic acid, a double-stranded RNA that provokes antiviral responses, the Cre recombinase is produced in liver and disrupts the floxed gene by recombination between the loxP sites.

Cre-mediated disruption of Scap or S1p dramatically reduces nSREBP-1 and nSREBP-2 levels in liver and diminishes expression of all SREBP target genes in both the cholesterol and the fatty acid synthetic pathways (Table 1). As a result, the rates of synthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids fall by 70–80% in Scap- and S1p-deficient livers.

In cultured cells, the processing of SREBP is inhibited by sterols, and the sensor for this inhibition is SCAP (5). To learn whether SCAP performs the same function in liver, we have produced transgenic mice that express a mutant SCAP with a single amino acid substitution in the sterol-sensing domain (D443N) (12). Studies in tissue culture show that SCAP(D443N) is resistant to inhibition by sterols. Cells that express a single copy of this mutant gene overproduce cholesterol (18). Transgenic mice that express this mutant version of SCAP in the liver exhibit a similar phenotype (12). These livers manifest elevated levels of nSREBP-1 and nSREBP-2, owing to constitutive SREBP processing, which is not suppressed when the animals are fed a cholesterol-rich diet. nSREBP-1 and -2 increase the expression of all SREBP target genes shown in Figure 2, thus stimulating cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis and causing a marked accumulation of hepatic cholesterol and triglycerides (Table 1). This transgenic model provides strong in vivo evidence that SCAP activity is normally under partial inhibition by endogenous sterols, which keeps the synthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids in a partially repressed state in the liver.

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Function of individual SREBP isoforms in vivo

To study the functions of individual SREBPs in the liver, we have produced transgenic mice that overexpress truncated versions of SREBPs (nSREBPs) that terminate prior to the membrane attachment domain. These nSREBPs enter the nucleus directly, bypassing the sterol-regulated cleavage step. By studying each nSREBP isoform separately, we could determine their distinct activating properties, albeit when overexpressed at nonphysiologic levels.

Overexpression of nSREBP-1c in the liver of transgenic mice produces a triglyceride-enriched fatty liver with no increase in cholesterol (10). mRNAs for fatty acid synthetic enzymes and rates of fatty acid synthesis are elevated fourfold in this tissue, whereas the mRNAs for cholesterol synthetic enzymes and the rate of cholesterol synthesis are not increased (8). Conversely, overexpression of nSREBP-2 in the liver increases the mRNAs only fourfold. This increase in cholesterol synthesis is even more remarkable when encoding all cholesterol biosynthetic enzymes; the most dramatic is a 75-fold increase in HMG-CoA reductase mRNA (11). mRNAs for fatty acid synthesis enzymes are increased to a lesser extent, consistent with the in vivo observation that the rate of cholesterol synthesis increases 28-fold in these transgenic nSREBP-2 livers, while fatty acid synthesis increases one considers the extent of cholesterol overload in this tissue, which would ordinarily reduce SREBP processing and essentially abolish cholesterol synthesis (Table 1).

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We have also studied the consequences of overexpressing SREBP-1a, which is expressed only at low levels in the livers of adult mice, rats, hamsters, and humans (6). nSREBP-1a transgenic mice develop a massive fatty liver engorged with both cholesterol and triglycerides (9), with heightened expression of genes controlling cholesterol biosynthesis and, still more dramatically, fatty acid synthesis (Table 1). The preferential activation of fatty acid synthesis (26-fold increase) relative to cholesterol synthesis (fivefold increase) explains the greater accumulation of triglycerides in their livers. The relative representation of the various fatty acids accumulating in this tissue is also unusual. Transgenic nSREBP-1a livers contain about 65% oleate (C18:1), markedly higher levels than the 15–20% found in typical wild-type livers (8) — a result of the induction of fatty acid elongase and stearoyl-CoA desaturase-1 (7). Considered together, the overexpression studies indicate that both SREBP-1 isoforms show a relative preference for activating fatty acid synthesis, whereas SREBP-2 favors cholesterol.

The phenotype of animals lacking the Srebp1 gene, which encodes both the SREBP-1a and -1c transcripts, also supports the notion of distinct hepatic functions for SREBP-1 and SREBP-2 (13). Most homozygous SREBP-1 knockout mice die in utero. The surviving Srebp1–/– mice show reduced synthesis of fatty acids, owing to reduced expression of mRNAs for fatty acid synthetic enzymes (Table 1). Hepatic nSREBP-2 levels increase in these mice, presumably in compensation for the loss of nSREBP-1. As a result, transcription of cholesterol biosynthetic genes increases, producing a threefold increase in hepatic cholesterol synthesis (Table 1).

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The studies in genetically manipulated mice clearly show that, as in cultured cells, SCAP and S1P are required for normal SREBP processing in the liver. SCAP, acting through its sterol-sensing domain, mediates feedback regulation of cholesterol synthesis. The SREBPs play related but distinct roles: SREBP-1c, the predominant SREBP-1 isoform in adult liver, preferentially activates genes required for fatty acid synthesis, while SREBP-2 preferentially activates the LDL receptor gene and various genes required for cholesterol synthesis. SREBP-1a and SREBP-2, but not SREBP-1c, are required for normal embryogenesis.

Transcriptional regulation of SREBP genes

Regulation of SREBPs occurs at two levels — transcriptional and posttranscriptional. The posttranscriptional regulation discussed above involves the sterol-mediated suppression of SREBP cleavage, which results from sterol-mediated suppression of the movement of the SCAP/SREBP complex from the ER to the Golgi apparatus (Figure 1). This form of regulation is manifest not only in cultured cells (1), but also in the livers of rodents fed cholesterol-enriched diets (19).

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The transcriptional regulation of the SREBPs is more complex. SREBP-1c and SREBP-2 are subject to distinct forms of transcriptional regulation, whereas SREBP-1a appears to be constitutively expressed at low levels in liver and most other tissues of adult animals (6). One mechanism of regulation shared by SREBP-1c and SREBP-2 involves a feed-forward regulation mediated by SREs present in the enhancer/promoters of each gene (20, 21). Through this feed-forward loop, nSREBPs activate the transcription of their own genes. In contrast, when nSREBPs decline, as in Scap or S1p knockout mice, there is a secondary decline in the mRNAs encoding SREBP-1c and SREBP-2 (14, 15).

Three factors selectively regulate the transcription of SREBP-1c: liver X-activated receptors (LXRs), insulin, and glucagon. LXRα and LXRβ, nuclear receptors that form heterodimers with retinoid X receptors, are activated by a variety of sterols, including oxysterol intermediates that form during cholesterol biosynthesis (2224). An LXR-binding site in the SREBP-1c promoter activates SREBP-1c transcription in the presence of LXR agonists (23). The functional significance of LXR-mediated SREBP-1c regulation has been confirmed in two animal models. Mice that lack both LXRα and LXRβ express reduced levels of SREBP-1c and its lipogenic target enzymes in liver and respond relatively weakly to treatment with a synthetic LXR agonist (23). Because a similar blunted response is found in mice that lack SREBP-1c, it appears that LXR increases fatty acid synthesis largely by inducing SREBP-1c (16). LXR-mediated activation of SREBP-1c transcription provides a mechanism for the cell to induce the synthesis of oleate when sterols are in excess (23). Oleate is the preferred fatty acid for the synthesis of cholesteryl esters, which are necessary for both the transport and the storage of cholesterol.

LXR-mediated regulation of SREBP-1c appears also to be one mechanism by which unsaturated fatty acids suppress SREBP-1c transcription and thus fatty acid synthesis. Rodents fed diets enriched in polyunsaturated fatty acids manifest reduced SREBP-1c mRNA expression and low rates of lipogenesis in liver (25). In vitro, unsaturated fatty acids competitively block LXR activation of SREBP-1c expression by antagonizing the activation of LXR by its endogenous ligands (26). In addition to LXR-mediated transcriptional inhibition, polyunsaturated fatty acids lower SREBP-1c levels by accelerating degradation of its mRNA (27). These combined effects may contribute to the long-recognized ability of polyunsaturated fatty acids to lower plasma triglyceride levels.

SREBP-1c and the insulin/glucagon ratio

The liver is the organ responsible for the conversion of excess carbohydrates to fatty acids to be stored as triglycerides or burned in muscle. A classic action of insulin is to stimulate fatty acid synthesis in liver during times of carbohydrate excess. The action of insulin is opposed by glucagon, which acts by raising cAMP. Multiple lines of evidence suggest that insulin’s stimulatory effect on fatty acid synthesis is mediated by an increase in SREBP-1c. In isolated rat hepatocytes, insulin treatment increases the amount of mRNA for SREBP-1c in parallel with the mRNAs of its target genes (28, 29). The induction of the target genes can be blocked if a dominant negative form of SREBP-1c is expressed (30). Conversely, incubating primary hepatocytes with glucagon or dibutyryl cAMP decreases the mRNAs for SREBP-1c and its associated lipogenic target genes (30, 31).

In vivo, the total amount of SREBP-1c in liver and adipose tissue is reduced by fasting, which suppresses insulin and increases glucagon levels, and is elevated by refeeding (32, 33). The levels of mRNA for SREBP-1c target genes parallel the changes in SREBP-1c expression. Similarly, SREBP-1c mRNA levels fall when rats are treated with streptozotocin, which abolishes insulin secretion, and rise after insulin injection (29). Overexpression of nSREBP-1c in livers of transgenic mice prevents the reduction in lipogenic mRNAs that normally follows a fall in plasma insulin levels (32). Conversely, in livers of Scap knockout mice that lack all nSREBPs in the liver (14) or knockout mice lacking either nSREBP-1c (16) or both SREBP-1 isoforms (34), there is a marked decrease in the insulin-induced stimulation of lipogenic gene expression that normally occurs after fasting/refeeding. It should be noted that insulin and glucagon also exert a posttranslational control of fatty acid synthesis though changes in the phosphorylation and activation of acetyl-CoA carboxylase. The posttranslational regulation of fatty acid synthesis persists in transgenic mice that overexpress nSREBP-1c (10). In these mice, the rates of fatty acid synthesis, as measured by [3H]water incorporation, decline after fasting even though the levels of the lipogenic mRNAs remain high (our unpublished observations).

Taken together, the above evidence suggests that SREBP-1c mediates insulin’s lipogenic actions in liver. Recent in vitro and in vivo studies involving adenoviral gene transfer suggest that SREBP-1c may also contribute to the regulation of glucose uptake and glucose synthesis. When overexpressed in hepatocytes, nSREBP-1c induces expression of glucokinase, a key enzyme in glucose utilization. It also suppresses phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, a key gluconeogenic enzyme (35, 36).

SREBPs in disease

Many individuals with obesity and insulin resistance also have fatty livers, one of the most commonly encountered liver abnormalities in the US (37). A subset of individuals with fatty liver go on to develop fibrosis, cirrhosis, and liver failure. Evidence indicates that the fatty liver of insulin resistance is caused by SREBP-1c, which is elevated in response to the high insulin levels. Thus, SREBP-1c levels are elevated in the fatty livers of obese (ob/ob) mice with insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia caused by leptin deficiency (38, 39). Despite the presence of insulin resistance in peripheral tissues, insulin continues to activate SREBP-1c transcription and cleavage in the livers of these insulin-resistant mice. The elevated nSREBP-1c increases lipogenic gene expression, enhances fatty acid synthesis, and accelerates triglyceride accumulation (31, 39). These metabolic abnormalities are reversed with the administration of leptin, which corrects the insulin resistance and lowers the insulin levels (38).

Metformin, a biguanide drug used to treat insulin-resistant diabetes, reduces hepatic nSREBP-1 levels and dramatically lowers the lipid accumulation in livers of insulin-resistant ob/ob mice (40). Metformin stimulates AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), an enzyme that inhibits lipid synthesis through phosphorylation and inactivation of key lipogenic enzymes (41). In rat hepatocytes, metformin-induced activation of AMPK also leads to decreased mRNA expression of SREBP-1c and its lipogenic target genes (41), but the basis of this effect is not understood.

The incidence of coronary artery disease increases with increasing plasma LDL-cholesterol levels, which in turn are inversely proportional to the levels of hepatic LDL receptors. SREBPs stimulate LDL receptor expression, but they also enhance lipid synthesis (1), so their net effect on plasma lipoprotein levels depends on a balance between opposing effects. In mice, the plasma levels of lipoproteins tend to fall when SREBPs are either overexpressed or underexpressed. In transgenic mice that overexpress nSREBPs in liver, plasma cholesterol and triglycerides are generally lower than in control mice (Table 1), even though these mice massively overproduce fatty acids, cholesterol, or both. Hepatocytes of nSREBP-1a transgenic mice overproduce VLDL, but these particles are rapidly removed through the action of LDL receptors, and they do not accumulate in the plasma. Indeed, some nascent VLDL particles are degraded even before secretion by a process that is mediated by LDL receptors (42). The high levels of nSREBP-1a in these animals support continued expression of the LDL receptor, even in cells whose cholesterol concentration is elevated. In LDL receptor–deficient mice carrying the nSREBP-1a transgene, plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels rise tenfold (43).

Mice that lack all SREBPs in liver as a result of disruption of Scap or S1p also manifest lower plasma cholesterol and triglyceride levels (Table 1).

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In these mice, hepatic cholesterol and triglyceride synthesis is markedly reduced, and this likely causes a decrease in VLDL production and secretion. LDL receptor mRNA and LDL clearance from plasma is also significantly reduced in these mice, but the reduction in LDL clearance is less than the overall reduction in VLDL secretion, the net result being a decrease in plasma lipid levels (15). However, because

humans and mice differ substantially with regard to LDL receptor expression, LDL levels, and other aspects of lipoprotein metabolism,

it is difficult to predict whether human plasma lipids will rise or fall when the SREBP pathway is blocked or activated.

SREBPs in liver: unanswered questions

The studies of SREBPs in liver have exposed a complex regulatory system whose individual parts are coming into focus. Major unanswered questions relate to the ways in which the transcriptional and posttranscriptional controls on SREBP activity are integrated so as to permit independent regulation of cholesterol and fatty acid synthesis in specific nutritional states. A few clues regarding these integration mechanisms are discussed below.

Whereas cholesterol synthesis depends almost entirely on SREBPs, fatty acid synthesis is only partially dependent on these proteins. This has been shown most clearly in cultured nonhepatic cells such as Chinese hamster ovary cells. In the absence of SREBP processing, as when the Site-2 protease is defective, the levels of mRNAs encoding cholesterol biosynthetic enzymes and the rates of cholesterol synthesis decline nearly to undetectable levels, whereas the rate of fatty acid synthesis is reduced by only 30% (44). Under these conditions, transcription of the fatty acid biosynthetic genes must be maintained by factors other than SREBPs. In liver, the gene encoding fatty acid synthase (FASN) can be activated transcriptionally by upstream stimulatory factor, which acts in concert with SREBPs (45). The FASN promoter also contains an LXR element that permits a low-level response to LXR ligands even when SREBPs are suppressed (46). These two transcription factors may help to maintain fatty acid synthesis in liver when nSREBP-1c is low.

Another mechanism of differential regulation is seen in the ability of cholesterol to block the processing of SREBP-2, but not SREBP-1, under certain metabolic conditions. This differential regulation has been studied most thoroughly in cultured cells such as human embryonic kidney (HEK-293) cells. When these cells are incubated in the absence of fatty acids and cholesterol, the addition of sterols blocks processing of SREBP-2, but not SREBP-1, which is largely produced as SREBP-1a in these cells (47). Inhibition of SREBP-1 processing requires an unsaturated fatty acid, such as oleate or arachidonate, in addition to sterols (47). In the absence of fatty acids and in the presence of sterols, SCAP may be able to carry SREBP-1 proteins, but not SREBP-2, to the Golgi apparatus. Further studies are necessary to document this apparent independent regulation of SREBP-1 and SREBP-2 processing and to determine its mechanism.

 

Acknowledgments

Support for the research cited from the authors’ laboratories was provided by grants from the NIH (HL-20948), the Moss Heart Foundation, the Keck Foundation, and the Perot Family Foundation. J.D. Horton is a Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences and is the recipient of an Established Investigator Grant from the American Heart Association and a Research Scholar Award from the American Digestive Health Industry.

References

  1. Brown, MS, Goldstein, JL. The SREBP pathway: regulation of cholesterol metabolism by proteolysis of a membrane-bound transcription factor. Cell 1997. 89:331-340.

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  1. Horton, JD, Shimomura, I. Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins: activators of cholesterol and fatty acid biosynthesis. Curr Opin Lipidol 1999. 10:143-150.

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  1. Edwards, PA, Tabor, D, Kast, HR, Venkateswaran, A. Regulation of gene expression by SREBP and SCAP. Biochim Biophys Acta 2000. 1529:103-113.

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  1. Sakakura, Y, et al. Sterol regulatory element-binding proteins induce an entire pathway of cholesterol synthesis. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2001. 286:176-183.

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  1. Goldstein, JL, Rawson, RB, Brown, MS. Mutant mammalian cells as tools to delineate the sterol regulatory element-binding protein pathway for feedback regulation of lipid synthesis. Arch Biochem Biophys 2002. 397:139-148.

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  1. Shimomura, I, Shimano, H, Horton, JD, Goldstein, JL, Brown, MS. Differential expression of exons 1a and 1c in mRNAs for sterol regulatory element binding protein-1 in human and mouse organs and cultured cells. J Clin Invest 1997. 99:838-845.

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  1. Moon, Y-A, Shah, NA, Mohapatra, S, Warrington, JA, Horton, JD. Identification of a mammalian long chain fatty acyl elongase regulated by sterol regulatory element-binding proteins. J Biol Chem 2001. 276:45358-45366.

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  1. Shimomura, I, Shimano, H, Korn, BS, Bashmakov, Y, Horton, JD. Nuclear sterol regulatory element binding proteins activate genes responsible for entire program of unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in transgenic mouse liver. J Biol Chem 1998. 273:35299-35306.

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  1. Shimano, H, et al. Overproduction of cholesterol and fatty acids causes massive liver enlargement in transgenic mice expressing truncated SREBP-1a. J Clin Invest 1996. 98:1575-1584.

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  1. Shimano, H, et al. Isoform 1c of sterol regulatory element binding protein is less active than isoform 1a in livers of transgenic mice and in cultured cells. J Clin Invest 1997. 99:846-854.

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  1. Horton, JD, et al. Activation of cholesterol synthesis in preference to fatty acid synthesis in liver and adipose tissue of transgenic mice overproducing sterol regulatory element-binding protein-2. J Clin Invest 1998. 101:2331-2339.

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  1. Korn, BS, et al. Blunted feedback suppression of SREBP processing by dietary cholesterol in transgenic mice expressing sterol-resistant SCAP(D443N). J Clin Invest 1998. 102:2050-2060.

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  1. Shimano, H, et al. Elevated levels of SREBP-2 and cholesterol synthesis in livers of mice homozygous for a targeted disruption of the SREBP-1 gene. J Clin Invest 1997. 100:2115-2124.

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  1. Matsuda, M, et al. SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) is required for increased lipid synthesis in liver induced by cholesterol deprivation and insulin elevation. Genes Dev 2001. 15:1206-1216.

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  1. Yang, J, et al. Decreased lipid synthesis in livers of mice with disrupted Site-1 protease gene. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2001. 98:13607-13612.

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Liang, G, et al. Diminished hepatic response to fasting/refeeding and liver X receptor agonists in mice with selective deficiency of sterol regulatory element-binding protein-1c. J Biol Chem 2002. 277:9520-9528.

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Structural Biochemistry/Lipids/Membrane Lipids

< Structural Biochemistry‎ | Lipids

Membrane proteins rely on their interaction with membrane lipids to uphold its structure and maintain its functions as a protein. For membrane proteins to purify and crystallize, it is essential for the membrane protein to be in the appropriate lipid environment. Lipids assist in crystallization and stabilize the protein and provide lattice contacts. Lipids can also help obtain membrane protein structures in a native conformation. Membrane protein structures contain bound lipid molecules. Biological membranes are important in life, providing permeable barriers for cells and their organelles. The interaction between membrane proteins and lipids facilitates basic processes such as respiration, photosynthesis, transport, signal transduction and motility. These basic processes require a diverse group of proteins, which are encoded by 20-30% of an organism’s annotated genes.

There exist a great number of membrane lipids. Specifically, eukaryotic cells have a very complex collection of lipids that rely on many of the cell’s resources for its synthesis. Interactions between proteins and lipids can be very specific. Specific types of lipids can make a structure stable, provide control in insertion and folding processes, and help to assemble multisubunit complexes or supercomplexes, and most importantly, can significantly affect a membrane protein’s functions. Protein and lipid interactions are not sufficiently tight, meaning that lipids are retained during membrane protein purification. Since cellular membranes are fluid arrangements of lipids, some lipids affect interesting changes to membrane due to their characteristics. Glycosphigolipids and cholesterol tend to form small islands within the membranes, called lipid rafts, due to their physical properties. Some proteins also tend to cluster in lipid raft, while others avoid being in lipid rafts. However, the existence of lipid rafts in cells seems to be transitory.

Recent progress in determining membrane protein structure has brought attention to the importance of maintaining a favorable lipid environment so proteins to crystallize and purify successfully. Lipids assist in crystallization by stabilizing the protein fold and the relationships between subunits or monomers. The lipid content in protein-lipid detergent complexes can be altered by adjusting solubilisation and purification protocols, also by adding native or non-native lipids.

There are three type of membrane lipids: 1. Phospholipids: major class of membrane lipids. 2. glycolipids. 3. Cholesterols. Membrane lipids were started with eukaryotes and bacteria.

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Types of Membrane Lipids

Lipids are often used as membrane constituents. The three major classes that membrane lipids are divided into are phospholipids, glycolipids, and cholesterol. Lipids are found in eukaryotes and bacteria. Although the lipids in archaea have many features that are related to the membrane formation that is similar with lipids of other organisms, they are still distinct from one another. The membranes of archaea differ in composition in three major ways. Firstly, the nonpolar chains are joined to a glycerol backbone by ether instead of esters, allowing for more resistance to hydrolysis. Second, the alkyl chains are not linear, but branched and make them more resistant to oxidation. The ability of archaeal lipids to resist hydrolysis and oxidation help these types of organisms to withstand the extreme conditions of high temperature, low pH, or high salt concentration. Lastly, the stereochemistry of the central glycerol is inverted. Membrane lipids have an extensive repertoire, but they possess a critical common structural theme in which they are amphipathic molecules, meaning they contain both a hydrophilic and hydrophobic moiety.

Membrane lipids are all closed bodies or boundaries separating substituent parts of the cell. The thickness of membranes is usually between 60 and 100 angstroms. These bodies are constructed from non-covalent assemblies. Their polar heads align with each other and their non-polar hydrocarbon tails align as well. The resulting stability is credited to hydrophobic interaction which proves to be quite stable due to the length of their hydrocarbon tails.

 

Membrane Lipids

Lipid Vesicles

Lipid vesicles, also known as liposomes, are vesicles that are essentially aqueous vesicles that are surrounded by a circular phospholipid bilayer. Like the other phospholipid structures, they have the hydrocarbon/hydrophobic tails facing inward, away from the aqueous solution, and the hydrophilic heads facing towards the aqueous solution. These vesicles are structures that form enclosed compartments of ions and solutes, and can be utilized to study the permeability of certain membranes, or to transfer these ions or solutes to certain cells found elsewhere.

Liposomes as vesicles can serve various clinical uses. Injecting liposomes containing medicine or DNA (for gene therapy) into patients is a possible method of drug delivery. The liposomes fuse with other cells’ membranes and therefore combine their contents with that of the patient’s cell. This method of drug delivery is less toxic than direct exposure because the liposomes carry the drug directly to cells without any unnecessary intermediate steps.

Because of the hydrophobic interactions among several phospholipids and glycolipids, a certain structure called the lipid bilayer or bimolecular sheet is favored. As mentioned earlier, phospholipids and glycolipids have both hydrophilic and hydrophobic moieties; thus, when several phospholipids or glycolipids come together in an aqueous solution, the hydrophobic tails interact with each other to form a hydrophobic center, while the hydrophilic heads interact with each other forming a hydrophilic coating on each side of the bilayer.

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Evidence Report/Technology Assessment   Number 89

 

Effects of Omega-3 Fatty Acids on Lipids and Glycemic Control in Type II Diabetes and the Metabolic Syndrome and on Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Renal Disease, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, and Osteoporosis

 

Prepared for:

Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

540 Gaither Road

Rockville, MD 20850

http://www.ahrq.gov

Contract No. 290-02-0003

 

Chapter 1. Introduction

This report is one of a group of evidence reports prepared by three Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)-funded Evidence-Based Practice Centers (EPCs) on the role of omega-3 fatty acids (both from food sources and from dietary supplements) in the prevention or treatment of a variety of diseases. These reports were requested and funded by the Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. The three EPCs – the Southern California EPC (SCEPC, based at RAND), the Tufts-New England Medical Center (NEMC) EPC, and the University of Ottawa EPC – have each produced evidence reports. To ensure consistency of approach, the three EPCs collaborated on selected methodological elements, including literature search strategies, rating of evidence, and data table design.

The aim of these reports is to summarize the current evidence on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, child and maternal health, eye health, gastrointestinal/renal diseases, asthma, immune- mediated diseases, tissue/organ transplantation, mental health, and neurological diseases and conditions. In addition to informing the research community and the public on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on various health conditions, it is anticipated that the findings of the reports will also be used to help define the agenda for future research.

This report focuses on the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on immune- mediated diseases, bone metabolism, and gastrointestinal/renal diseases. Subsequent reports from the SCEPC will focus on cancer and neurological diseases and conditions.

This chapter provides a brief review of the current state of knowledge about the metabolism, physiological functions, and sources of omega-3 fatty acids.

 

The Recognition of Essential Fatty Acids

Dietary fat has long been recognized as an important source of energy for mammals, but in the late 1920s, researchers demonstrated the dietary requirement for particular fatty acids, which came to be called essential fatty acids. It was not until the advent of intravenous feeding, however, that the importance of essential fatty acids was widely accepted: Clinical signs of essential fatty acid deficiency are generally observed only in patients on total parenteral nutrition who received mixtures devoid of essential fatty acids or in those with malabsorption syndromes.

These signs include dermatitis and changes in visual and neural function. Over the past 40 years, an increasing number of physiological functions, such as immunomodulation, have been attributed to the essential fatty acids and their metabolites, and this area of research remains quite active.1, 2

Fatty Acid Nomenclature

The fat found in foods consists largely of a heterogeneous mixture of triacylglycerols (triglycerides)–glycerol molecules that are each combined with three fatty acids. The fatty acids can be divided into two categories, based on chemical properties: saturated fatty acids, which are usually solid at room temperature, and unsaturated fatty acids, which are liquid at room temperature. The term “saturation” refers to a chemical structure in which each carbon atom in the fatty acyl chain is bound to (saturated with) four other atoms, these carbons are linked by single bonds, and no other atoms or molecules can attach; unsaturated fatty acids contain at least one pair of carbon atoms linked by a double bond, which allows the attachment of additional atoms to those carbons (resulting in saturation). Despite their differences in structure, all fats contain approximately the same amount of energy (37 kilojoules/gram, or 9 kilocalories/gram).

The class of unsaturated fatty acids can be further divided into monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Monounsaturated fatty acids (the primary constituents of olive and canola oils) contain only one double bond. Polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) (the primary constituents of corn, sunflower, flax seed and many other vegetable oils) contain more than one double bond. Fatty acids are often referred to using the number of carbon atoms in the acyl chain, followed by a colon, followed by the number of double bonds in the chain (e.g., 18:1 refers to the 18-carbon monounsaturated fatty acid, oleic acid; 18:3 refers to any 18-carbon PUFA with three double bonds).

PUFAs are further categorized on the basis of the location of their double bonds. An omega or n notation indicates the number of carbon atoms from the methyl end of the acyl chain to the first double bond. Thus, for example, in the omega-3 (n-3) family of PUFAs, the first double bond is 3 carbons from the methyl end of the molecule. The trivial names, chemical names and abbreviations for the omega-3 fatty acids are detailed in Table 1.1.  Finally, PUFAs can be categorized according to their chain length. The 18-carbon n-3 and n-6 short-chain PUFAs are precursors to the longer 20- and 22-carbon PUFAs, called long-chain PUFAs (LCPUFAs).

Fatty Acid Metabolism

Mammalian cells can introduce double bonds into all positions on the fatty acid chain except the n-3 and n-6 position. Thus, the short-chain alpha- linolenic acid (ALA, chemical abbreviation: 18:3n-3) and linoleic acid (LA, chemical abbreviation: 18:2n-6) are essential fatty acids.

No other fatty acids found in food are considered ‘essential’ for humans, because they can all be synthesized from the short chain fatty acids.

Following ingestion, ALA and LA can be converted in the liver to the long chain, more unsaturated n-3 and n-6 LCPUFAs by a complex set of synthetic pathways that share several enzymes (Figure 1). LC PUFAs retain the original sites of desaturation (including n-3 or n-6). The omega-6 fatty acid LA is converted to gamma-linolenic acid (GLA, 18:3n-6), an omega- 6 fatty acid that is a positional isomer of ALA. GLA, in turn, can be converted to the longerchain omega-6 fatty acid, arachidonic acid (AA, 20:4n-6). AA is the precursor for certain classes of an important family of hormone- like substances called the eicosanoids (see below).

The omega-3 fatty acid ALA (18:3n-3) can be converted to the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5n-3). EPA can be elongated to docosapentaenoic acid (DPA 22:5n-3), which is further desaturated to docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6n-3). EPA and DHA are also precursors of several classes of eicosanoids and are known to play several other critical roles, some of which are discussed further below.

The conversion from parent fatty acids into the LC PUFAs – EPA, DHA, and AA – appears to occur slowly in humans. In addition, the regulation of conversion is not well understood, although it is known that ALA and LA compete for entry into the metabolic pathways.

Physiological Functions of EPA and AA

As stated earlier, fatty acids play a variety of physiological roles. The specific biological functions of a fatty acid are determined by the number and position of double bonds and the length of the acyl chain.

Both EPA (20:5n-3) and AA (20:4n-6) are precursors for the formation of a family of hormone- like agents called eicosanoids. Eicosanoids are rudimentary hormones or regulating – molecules that appear to occur in most forms of life. However, unlike endocrine hormones, which travel in the blood stream to exert their effects at distant sites, the eicosanoids are autocrine or paracrine factors, which exert their effects locally – in the cells that synthesize them or adjacent cells. Processes affected include the movement of calcium and other substances into and out of cells, relaxation and contraction of muscles, inhibition and promotion of clotting, regulation of secretions including digestive juices and hormones, and control of fertility, cell division, and growth.3

The eicosanoid family includes subgroups of substances known as prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and thromboxanes, among others. As shown in Figure 1.1, the long-chain omega-6 fatty acid, AA (20:4n-6), is the precursor of a group of eicosanoids that include series-2 prostaglandins and series-4 leukotrienes. The omega-3 fatty acid, EPA (20:5n-3), is the precursor to a group of eicosanoids that includes series-3 prostaglandins and series-5 leukotrienes. The AA-derived series-2 prostaglandins and series-4 leukotrienes are often synthesized in response to some emergency such as injury or stress, whereas the EPA-derived series-3 prostaglandins and series-5 leukotrienes appear to modulate the effects of the series-2 prostaglandins and series-4 leukotrienes (usually on the same target cells). More specifically, the series-3 prostaglandins are formed at a slower rate and work to attenuate the effects of excessive levels of series-2 prostaglandins. Thus, adequate production of the series-3 prostaglandins seems to protect against heart attack and stroke as well as certain inflammatory diseases like arthritis, lupus, and asthma.3.

EPA (22:6 n-3) also affects lipoprotein metabolism and decreases the production of substances – including cytokines, interleukin 1ß (IL-1ß), and tumor necrosis factor a (TNF-a) – that have pro-inflammatory effects (such as stimulation of collagenase synthesis and the expression of adhesion molecules necessary for leukocyte extravasation [movement from the circulatory system into tissues]).2 The mechanism responsible for the suppression of cytokine production by omega-3 LC PUFAs remains unknown, although suppression of omega-6-derived eicosanoid production by omega-3 fatty acids may be involved, because the omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids compete for a common enzyme in the eicosanoid synthetic pathway, delta-6 desaturase.

DPA (22:5n-3) (the elongation product of EPA) and its metabolite DHA (22:6n-3) are frequently referred to as very long chain n-3 fatty acids (VLCFA). Along with AA, DHA is the major PUFA found in the brain and is thought to be important for brain development and function. Recent research has focused on this role and the effect of supplementing infant formula with DHA (since DHA is naturally present in breast milk but not in formula).

Dietary Sources and Requirements

Both ALA and LA are present in a variety of foods. LA is present in high concentrations in many commonly used oils, including safflower, sunflower, soy, and corn oil. ALA is present in some commonly used oils, including canola and soybean oil, and in some leafy green vegetables. Thus, the major dietary sources of ALA and LA are PUFA-rich vegetable oils. The proportion of LA to ALA as well as the proportion of those PUFAs to others varies considerably by the type of oil. With the exception of flaxseed, canola, and soybean oil, the ratio of LA to ALA in vegetable oils is at least 10 to 1. The ratios of LA to ALA for flaxseed, canola, and soy are approximately 1: 3.5, 2:1, and 8:1, respectively; however, flaxseed oil is not typically consumed in the North American diet. It is estimated that on average in the U.S., LA accounts for 89% of the total PUFAs consumed, and ALA accounts for 9%. Another estimate suggests that Americans consume 10 times more omega-6 than omega-3 fatty acids.4 Table 1.2 shows the proportion of omega 3 fatty acids for a number of foods.

Syntheis and Degradation

Source of Acetyl CoA for Fatty Acid Synthesis

Source of Acetyl CoA for Fatty Acid Synthesis

step 1

step 1

condensation reaction with malonyl ACP

ACP (acyl carrier protein)

ACP (acyl carrier protein)

synthesis requires acetyl CoA from citrate shuttle

synthesis requires acetyl CoA from citrate shuttle

conversion to fatty acyl co A in cytoplasm

conversion to fatty acyl co A in cytoplasm

ACP (acyl carrier protein)

ACP (acyl carrier protein)

FA synthesis not exactly reverse of catabolism

FA synthesis not exactly reverse of catabolism

 

Fatty Acid Synthase

Fatty Acid Synthase

complete FA synthesis

complete FA synthesis

Desaturation

Desaturation

Elongation and Desaturation of Fatty Acids

Elongation and Desaturation of Fatty Acids

release of FAs from adiposites

release of FAs from adiposites

Fatty acid beta oxidation and Krebs cycle produce NAD, NADH, FADH2

Fatty acid beta oxidation and Krebs cycle produce NAD, NADH, FADH2

ketone bodies

ketone bodies

metabolism of ketone bodies

metabolism of ketone bodies

Arachidonoyl-mimicking

Arachidonoyl-mimicking

Arachidonate pathways

Arachidonate pathways

arachidonic acid derivatives

arachidonic acid derivatives

major metabolic intermediates in the pathways for synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, and triglycerides

major metabolic intermediates in the pathways for synthesis of cholesterol, fatty acids, and triglycerides

Model for the sterol-mediated proteolytic release of SREBPs from membrane

Model for the sterol-mediated proteolytic release of SREBPs from membrane

hormone regulation

hormone regulation

 insulin receptor and and insulin receptor signaling pathway (IRS)

insulin receptor and and insulin receptor signaling pathway (IRS)

 islet brain glucose signaling

islet brain glucose signaling

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fish source

Fish source

omega FAs

omega FAs

 

Excessive omega 6s

Excessive omega 6s

omega 6s

omega 6s

diet and cancer

diet and cancer

Patients at risk of FA deficiency

Patients at risk of FA deficiency

PPAR role

PPAR role

PPAR role

PPAR role

Omega 6_3 pathways

Omega 6_3 pathways

n3 vs n6 PUFAs

n3 vs n6 PUFAs

triene-teraene ratio

triene-teraene ratio

arachidonic acid, leukotrienes, PG and thromboxanes

arachidonic acid, leukotrienes, PG and thromboxanes

Cox 2 and cancer

Cox 2 and cancer

Lipidomics of atherosclerotic plaques

Lipidomics of atherosclerotic plaques

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Effect of TPN on EFAD

Effect of TPN on EFAD

benefits of omega 3s

benefits of omega 3s

food consumption

food consumption

 

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