We evaluated the role of the p66Shc redox adaptor protein in pancreatic β-cell insulin resistance that develops under lipotoxic conditions and with excess body fat. Prolonged exposure to palmitate in vitro or the presence of overweight/obesity augmented p66Shc expression levels and caused an impaired ability of exogenous insulin to increase cellular insulin content and secreted C-peptide levels in INS-1E cells and human and murine islets. In INS-1E cells, p66Shc knockdown resulted in enhanced insulin-induced augmentation of insulin content and C-peptide secretion and prevented the ability of palmitate to impair these effects of insulin. Conversely, p66Shc overexpression impaired insulin-induced augmentation of insulin content and C-peptide secretion in both the absence and presence of palmitate. Under lipotoxic condition, the effects of p66Shc are mediated by a p53-induced increase in p66Shc protein levels and JNK-induced p66Shc phosphorylation at Ser36 and appear to involve the phosphorylation of the ribosomal protein S6 kinase at Thr389 and of insulin receptor substrate 1 at Ser307, resulting in the inhibition of insulin-stimulated protein kinase B phosphorylation at Ser473. Thus, the p66Shc protein mediates the impaired β-cell function and insulin resistance induced by saturated fatty acids and excess body fat.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.19799632.

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