IAPP-induced beta cell stress recapitulates the islet transcriptome in type 2 diabetes

Montgomery Blencowe, Allison Furterer, Qing Wang, Fuying Gao, Madeline Rosenberger, Lina Pei, Hiroshi Nomoto, Alex M. Mawla, Mark O. Huising, Giovanni Coppola, Xia Yang, Peter C. Butler, Tatyana Gurlo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Aims/hypothesis: Type 2 diabetes is characterised by islet amyloid and toxic oligomers of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP). We posed the questions, (1) does IAPP toxicity induce an islet response comparable to that in humans with type 2 diabetes, and if so, (2) what are the key transcriptional drivers of this response? Methods: The islet transcriptome was evaluated in five groups of mice: beta cell specific transgenic for (1) human IAPP, (2) rodent IAPP, (3) human calpastatin, (4) human calpastatin and human IAPP, and (5) wild-type mice. RNA sequencing data was analysed by differential expression analysis and gene co-expression network analysis to establish the islet response to adaptation to an increased beta cell workload of soluble rodent IAPP, the islet response to increased expression of oligomeric human IAPP, and the extent to which the latter was rescued by suppression of calpain hyperactivation by calpastatin. Rank-rank hypergeometric overlap analysis was used to compare the transcriptome of islets from human or rodent IAPP transgenic mice vs humans with prediabetes or type 2 diabetes. Results: The islet transcriptomes in humans with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are remarkably similar. Beta cell overexpression of soluble rodent or oligomer-prone human IAPP induced changes in islet transcriptome present in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, including decreased expression of genes that confer beta cell identity. Increased expression of human IAPP, but not rodent IAPP, induced islet inflammation present in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in humans. Key mediators of the injury responses in islets transgenic for human IAPP or those from individuals with type 2 diabetes include STAT3, NF-κB, ESR1 and CTNNB1 by transcription factor analysis and COL3A1, NID1 and ZNF800 by gene regulatory network analysis. Conclusions/interpretation: Beta cell injury mediated by IAPP is a plausible mechanism to contribute to islet inflammation and dedifferentiation in type 2 diabetes. Inhibition of IAPP toxicity is a potential therapeutic target in type 2 diabetes. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish (US)
StateAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Beta cell
  • Cell cycle
  • Dedifferentiation
  • Inflammation
  • Islet amyloid polypeptide
  • Prediabetes
  • Protein misfolding
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Unfolded protein response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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