The islet in humans with type 2 diabetes (T2DM) is characterized by islet amyloid derived from islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), a protein that is co-expressed and secreted with insulin. Human IAPP (hIAPP) has the propensity to form oligomers in solution. These oligomers appear to form in membranes inducing non selective membrane leakage, for example of Ca2+ into cytosol. In studies supported by this grant we established that ?-cell mass is decreased in humans with T2DM, with increased ?-cell apoptosis. We reproduced the islet and metabolic phenotype of T2DM in rodents over expressing human IAPP, and documented that the toxic form of IAPP oligomers form intracellularly within the secretory pathway leading to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress induced apoptosis as well as organelle (mitochondrial) damage. We have established that ?-cells in humans with T2DM are also characterized by intracellular formation of toxic hIAPP oligomers, leakage of Ca2+ into cytosol leading to hyperactivation of the Ca2+ sensitive protease calpain. Collectively these characteristics reproduce those in neurodegenerative diseases mediated by proteotoxicity of amyloidogenic proteins (e.g. Alzheimers). In the neurodegenerative diseases there is an increasing appreciation that proteotoxicity by amyloidogenic proteins is mediated in part through disruption of the cellular mechanisms that remove misfolded and aggregated proteins, the ubiquitin/proteosome system and autophagy. In the proposed studies we propose studies to address the following aims. 1) To establish the specific mechanisms by which IAPP oligomers induce ?-cell apoptosis and dysfunction. 2) To establish if the ubiquitin proteosome system to protect against proteotoxicty is impaired by hIAPP toxic oligomers, and if so through which mechanism(s). 3) To establish if autophagy, the cellular system for removal of toxic oligomers and damaged organelles, is disrupted by hIAPP toxic oligomers, and if so, through which mechanisms. This program of studies would allow us to shed light into the underlying cause of loss of ?-cells in humans, and to establish a rationale approach to preventing this.

Public Health Relevance

More than 25 million Americans now have Type 2 diabetes. The complications arising from type 2 diabetes (blindness, early death through heart disease, loss of limb, kidney failure) are the single largest cost to the US health system. The present studies are targeted to establish a better understanding of the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes so that more rationale efforts can be used to prevent and treat it.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Cellular Aspects of Diabetes and Obesity Study Section (CADO)
Program Officer
Appel, Michael C
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California Los Angeles
Internal Medicine/Medicine
Schools of Medicine
Los Angeles
United States
Zip Code
Moin, Abu Saleh Md; Cory, Megan; Choi, Jennifer et al. (2018) Increased Chromogranin A-Positive Hormone-Negative Cells in Chronic Pancreatitis. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 103:2126-2135
Butler, Alexandra E; Kirakossian, David; Gurlo, Tatyana et al. (2018) In the Setting of Beta Cell Stress, the Pancreatic Duct Gland Transcriptome Shows Characteristics of an Activated Regenerative Response. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol :
Ruiz, Lucie; Gurlo, Tatyana; Ravier, Magalie A et al. (2018) Proteasomal degradation of the histone acetyl transferase p300 contributes to beta-cell injury in a diabetes environment. Cell Death Dis 9:600
Montemurro, Chiara; Vadrevu, Suryakiran; Gurlo, Tatyana et al. (2017) Cell cycle-related metabolism and mitochondrial dynamics in a replication-competent pancreatic beta-cell line. Cell Cycle 16:2086-2099
Gurlo, T; Rivera, J F; Butler, A E et al. (2016) CHOP Contributes to, But Is Not the Only Mediator of, IAPP Induced ?-Cell Apoptosis. Mol Endocrinol 30:446-54
Gurlo, Tatyana; Costes, Safia; Hoang, Jonathan D et al. (2016) ? Cell-specific increased expression of calpastatin prevents diabetes induced by islet amyloid polypeptide toxicity. JCI Insight 1:e89590
Butler, Peter C (2016) Glucagon-like Peptide 1 Drugs as Second-line Therapy for Type 2 Diabetes. JAMA Intern Med 176:1-3
Mukherjee, Abhisek; Morales-Scheihing, Diego; Butler, Peter C et al. (2015) Type 2 diabetes as a protein misfolding disease. Trends Mol Med 21:439-49
Kegulian, Natalie C; Sankhagowit, Shalene; Apostolidou, Melania et al. (2015) Membrane Curvature-sensing and Curvature-inducing Activity of Islet Amyloid Polypeptide and Its Implications for Membrane Disruption. J Biol Chem 290:25782-93
Satin, Leslie S; Butler, Peter C; Ha, Joon et al. (2015) Pulsatile insulin secretion, impaired glucose tolerance and type 2 diabetes. Mol Aspects Med 42:61-77

Showing the most recent 10 out of 58 publications