The derangement of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) homeostasis triggers β-cell apoptosis, leading to diabetes. Glucokinase upregulates insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS-2) expression in β-cells, but the role of glucokinase and IRS-2 in ER stress has been unclear. In this study, we investigated the impact of glucokinase activation by glucokinase activator (GKA) on ER stress in β-cells. GKA administration improved β-cell apoptosis in Akita mice, a model of ER stress–mediated diabetes. GKA increased the expression of IRS-2 in β-cells, even under ER stress. Both glucokinase-deficient Akita mice and IRS-2–deficient Akita mice exhibited an increase in β-cell apoptosis, compared with Akita mice. β-cell–specific IRS-2–overexpressing (βIRS-2-Tg) Akita mice showed less β-cell apoptosis than Akita mice. IRS-2–deficient islets were vulnerable, but βIRS-2-Tg islets were resistant to ER stress–induced apoptosis. Meanwhile, GKA regulated the expressions of C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) and other ER stress–related genes in an IRS-2–independent fashion in islets. GKA suppressed the expressions of CHOP and Bcl2-associated X protein (Bax) and protected against β-cell apoptosis under ER stress in an ERK1/2-dependent, IRS-2–independent manner. Taken together, GKA ameliorated ER stress–mediated apoptosis by harmonizing IRS-2 upregulation and the IRS-2–independent control of apoptosis in β-cells.
This article contains Supplementary Data online at http://diabetes.diabetesjournals.org/lookup/suppl/doi:10.2337/db13-0052/-/DC1.
- Received January 12, 2013.
- Accepted June 14, 2013.
- © 2013 by the American Diabetes Association.
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