Human type 2 diabetes is associated with β-cell apoptosis, and human islets from diabetic donors are ∼80% deficient in PAK1 protein. Toward addressing linkage of PAK1 to β-cell survival, PAK1-siRNA targeted MIN6 pancreatic β-cells were found to exhibit increased caspase-3 cleavage, cytosolic cytochrome-C and the pro-apoptotic protein Bad. PAK1 +/- heterozygous mouse islets recapitulated the upregulation of Bad protein expression, as did hyperglycemic treatment of human or mouse islets; Bad levels were exacerbated most in PAK1 +/- islets subjected to hyperglycemic stress. These data implicate PAK1 in β-cell survival via quenching of Bad protein expression, and suggest PAK1 as potential molecular target to preserve β-cell mass.
- Human islet
- Mouse islet
- Pancreatic β-cell
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)