Protein kinase C delta activation and translocation to the nucleus are required for fatty acid-induced apoptosis of insulin-secreting cells.
Eitel K., Staiger H., Rieger J., Mischak H., Brandhorst H., Brendel MD., Bretzel RG., Häring H-U., Kellerer M.
Insulin resistance as well as pancreatic beta-cell failure can be induced by elevated free fatty acid (FFA) levels. We studied the mechanisms of FFA-induced apoptosis in rat and human beta-cells. Chronic treatment with high physiological levels of saturated fatty acids (palmitate and stearate), but not with monounsaturated (palmitoleate and oleate) or polyunsaturated fatty acids (linoleate), triggers apoptosis in approximately 20% of cultured RIN1046-38 cells. Apoptosis restricted to saturated FFAs was also observed in primary cultured human beta-cells, suggesting that this mechanism is potentially relevant in vivo in humans. To further analyze FFA-induced signaling pathways leading to apoptosis, we used RIN1046-38 cells. Apoptosis was accompanied by a rapid (within 15 min) nuclear translocation of protein kinase C (PKC)-delta and subsequent lamin B1 disassembly. This translocation was impaired by the phospholipase C inhibitor U-73122, which also substantially reduced apoptosis. Furthermore, lamin B1 disassembly and apoptosis were decreased by cell transfection with a dominant-negative mutant form of PKC-delta. These data suggest that nuclear translocation and kinase activity of PKC-delta are both necessary for saturated fatty acid-induced apoptosis.