Emerging Roles of Metallothioneins in Beta Cell Pathophysiology: Beyond and Above Metal Homeostasis and Antioxidant Response
Metallothioneins (MTs) are low molecular weight, cysteine-rich, metal-binding proteins whose precise biological roles have not been fully characterized. Existing evidence implicated MTs in heavy metal detoxification, metal ion homeostasis and antioxidant defense. MTs were thus categorized as protective effectors that contribute to cellular homeostasis and survival. This view has, however, been challenged by emerging evidence in different medical fields revealing novel pathophysiological roles of MTs, including inflammatory bowel disease, neurodegenerative disorders, carcinogenesis and diabetes. In the present focused review, we discuss the evidence for the role of MTs in pancreatic beta-cell biology and insulin secretion. We highlight the pattern of specific isoforms of MT gene expression in rodents and human beta-cells. We then discuss the mechanisms involved in the regulation of MTs in islets under physiological and pathological conditions, particularly type 2 diabetes, and analyze the evidence revealing adaptive and negative roles of MTs in beta-cells and the potential mechanisms involved. Finally, we underscore the unsettled questions in the field and propose some future research directions.
|ISBN||2079-7737 (Print) 2079-7737 (Linking)|
|Authors||Bensellam, M.; Laybutt, D. R.; Jonas, J. C.|
|Responsible Garvan Author|
|Publisher Name||Biology (Basel)|
|URL link to publisher's version||https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/33652748|