Impaired insulin secretion contributes to the development and progression of diabetes. β-cells initially cope with the genetic, environmental, and diabetogenic stresses that diminish insulin secretion or the peripheral response to it by increasing insulin production. However, sustained increases in the insulin precursor proinsulin (PI) place additional demand on the secretory and protein quality control (PQC) machineries of β-cells, triggering endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction, and β-cell death. Thus, understanding the mechanisms that regulate β-cell responses to increased insulin secretory requirements is critical to prevent β-cell failure. We reported that the cytoskeletal scaffolding protein ankyrin-B (AnkB) regulates insulin secretion by maintaining normal levels of the inositol-1,4,5-triphosphate receptor (IP3R) at the ER and intracellular calcium in β-cells. IP3R levels and insulin secretion were impaired in knock-in mice carrying the p.R1788W AnkB (AnkB-RW) variant associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in Caucasians and Hispanics. Here, we show that selective loss of AnkB or expression of the T2D AnkB-RW variant lead to reduced insulin secretion and accumulation of PI and islet specific amyloid polypeptide in β-cells. These changes are accompanied by enhanced induction of the maladaptive unfolded protein response and apoptosis. Interestingly, the T2D AnkB-RW variant lies within the binding site for the protein chaperone Dnajb1 (Hsp40) . Our results indicate that the Dnajb1-Hspa1a complex, which recognizes and delivers protein clients to Hsp70 chaperones to promote proper folding, refolding, or degradation, is downregulated in β-cells from β-cell-specific AnkB knockout or AnkB-RW mice. Increased proteotoxicity and reduced insulin secretion were also observed upon knockdown of Dnajb1 in rat INS1 832/13 cells. Together, our findings suggest that AnkB and its integration into the Dnajb1-Hspa1a pathway modulates PQC and promotes β-cell survival under diabetogenic conditions.


J. Tzeng: None. H. Hohmeier: None. D. Lorenzo: None.

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