Development of definitive therapy for both type 1 and type 2 diabetes depends on a thorough understanding of the molecular events involved in the production of insulin within pancreatic islets. Our lab has cloned and characterized a highly conserved oxidoreductase, NCB5OR, that is localized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). The targeted inactivation of this gene in mice results in a diabetic phenotype. By 7 weeks of age Ncb5or-/- mice develop severe hyperglycemia with markedly decreased serum insulin levels. Pancreatic islets show marked deficiency in beta-cells but normal numbers of alpha, delta and PP cells. Our Research Plan is predicated on the hypothesis that NCB5OR protects the pancreatic beta-cell against oxidant-induced damage in the ER. In the first Specific Aim we plan studies that further characterize the impact of NCB5OR deficiency in the intact mouse. We will address the important question of whether NCB5OR plays a biologically important role outside the pancreatic beta-cell by transplanting the knockout mouse with normal beta-cells. We will also study Ncb5or -/- and +/+ mice expressing a transgene that reports ER stress in different organs and tissues. Finally, we will prepare mice homozygous for deficiencies in both NCB5OR and CHOP, a transcription factor required for ER stress induced apoptosis.
Specific Aim 2 focuses on the impact of NCB5OR on responses to ER and oxidative stress. Pancreatic beta-cells are particularly prone to ER stress. Therefore we have designed experiments to determine whether NCB5OR-deficient pancreatic islets, insulinoma cell lines and mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) evince changes in gene expression and signal transduction characteristic of the ER stress response. We will also assess the production of reactive oxygen species and the ratio of reduced to oxidized glutathione in the ER of Ncb5or-/- tissues and MEFs as well as in NCB5OR depleted insulinoma cells. The last Specific Aim entails a comprehensive assessment of the biochemical function of NCB5OR. Cellular and cell-free pull-down experiments will be employed to test and confirm potential partner proteins. We will also develop a cell-free system to identify the biologic substrate(s) and product(s) of NCB5OR. We will test the hypothesis that NCB5OR mediates fatty acid desaturation in the ER membrane by analyzing lipid profiles in ER preparations from livers of Ncb5or-/- and +/+ mice. The experiments planned in these three Specific Aims are closely inter-related and, collectively, should advance our understanding of beta-cell's defense against oxidant stress. These studies may provide new insights into the pathogenesis and treatment of diabetes.

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 Kansas
Schools of Allied Health Profes
Kansas City
United States
Zip Code
Stroh, Matthew; Swerdlow, Russell H; Zhu, Hao (2014) Common defects of mitochondria and iron in neurodegeneration and diabetes (MIND): a paradigm worth exploring. Biochem Pharmacol 88:573-83
Guo, Ying; Xu, Ming; Deng, Bin et al. (2012) Beta-Cell Injury in Ncb5or-null Mice is Exacerbated by Consumption of a High-Fat Diet. Eur J Lipid Sci Technol 114:233-243
Aires, Daniel J; Rockwell, Graham; Wang, Ting et al. (2012) Potentiation of dietary restriction-induced lifespan extension by polyphenols. Biochim Biophys Acta 1822:522-6
Lu, Jianghua; E, Lezi; Wang, Wenfang et al. (2011) Alternate day fasting impacts the brain insulin-signaling pathway of young adult male C57BL/6 mice. J Neurochem 117:154-63
Wang, Wenfang; Guo, Ying; Xu, Ming et al. (2011) Development of diabetes in lean Ncb5or-null mice is associated with manifestations of endoplasmic reticulum and oxidative stress in beta cells. Biochim Biophys Acta 1812:1532-41
Xu, Ming; Wang, WenFang; Frontera, Jennifer R et al. (2011) Ncb5or deficiency increases fatty acid catabolism and oxidative stress. J Biol Chem 286:11141-54
Deng, Bin; Parthasarathy, Sudharsan; Wang, WenFang et al. (2010) Study of the individual cytochrome b5 and cytochrome b5 reductase domains of Ncb5or reveals a unique heme pocket and a possible role of the CS domain. J Biol Chem 285:30181-91
Zhang, Yongzhao; Larade, Kevin; Jiang, Zhi-Gang et al. (2010) The flavoheme reductase Ncb5or protects cells against endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced lipotoxicity. J Lipid Res 51:53-62
Larade, Kevin; Jiang, Zhigang; Zhang, Yongzhao et al. (2008) Loss of Ncb5or results in impaired fatty acid desaturation, lipoatrophy, and diabetes. J Biol Chem 283:29285-91