Glucose-induced production of hydrogen sulfide may protect the pancreatic beta-cells from apoptotic cell death by high glucose

Yukiko Kaneko, Toshihide Kimura, Shigeki Taniguchi, Midori Souma, Yumiko Kojima, Yuka Kimura, Hideo Kimura, Ichiro Niki
FEBS Letters 2009 January 22, 583 (2): 377-82
We examined the expression of the major H(2)S-producing enzymes, cystathionine-beta-synthase (CBS) and cystathionine-gamma-lyase (CSE). CBS was ubiquitously distributed in the mouse pancreas, but CSE was found only in the exocrine. Freshly isolated islets expressed CBS, while CSE was faint. However, high glucose increased the CSE expression in the beta-cells. L-Cysteine or NaHS suppressed islet cell apoptosis with high glucose, and increased glutathione content in MIN6 beta-cells. Pretreatment with L-cysteine improved the secretory responsiveness following stimulation with glucose. The CSE inhibitor DL-propargylglycine antagonized these L-cysteine effects. We suggest H(2)S may function as an 'intrinsic brake' which protects beta-cells from glucotoxicity.

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