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Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease resulting in the selective destruction of the insulin producing β-cells in the pancreas. Pro-inflammatory cytokines and the free radical nitric oxide (NO) have been implicated in mediating the destruction of β-cells, possibly through activation of the mitogen activated protein kinases (MAPKs) JNK, ERK and p38. In addition to MAPKs, cytokine signaling also results in activation of the transcription factor nuclear factor-kappaB (NF-κB). The upstream signaling events leading to MAPK and NF-κB activation in β-cells are not well known. The work presented in this thesis therefore aims at characterizing the regulation of MAPKs and NF-κB in human islets, with emphasis on the role of the MAPK activator MAP/ERK kinase kinase-1 (MEKK-1) in islet cell death. It was found that MEKK-1 was phosphorylated in re...
AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: It is not clear how small tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as imatinib mesilate, protect against diabetes and beta cell death. The aim of this study was to determine whether imatinib, as compared with the non-cAbl-inhibitor sunitinib, affects pro-survival signalling events in the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) pathway. METHODS: Human EndoC-βH1 cells, murine beta TC-6 cells and human pancreatic islets were used for immunoblot analysis of insulin receptor substrate (IRS)-1, Akt and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation. Phosphatidylinositol 3,4,5-trisphosphate [PI(3,4,5)P3] plasma membrane concentrations were assessed in EndoC-βH1 and MIN6 cells using evanescent wave microscopy. Src homology 2-containing inositol 5'-phosphatase 2 (SHIP2) tyrosine phosphorylation and phosphatase and tensin homo...
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