ABSTRACT: Frataxin (FXN) is a mitochondrial protein involved in iron metabolism and in the modulation of reactive oxygen and/or nitrogen species production. No information is currently available as for the role of frataxin in isolated human pancreatic islets. We studied islets from pancreases of multi-organ donors with (T2DM) and without (Ctrl) Type 2 diabetes mellitus. In these islets, we determined FXN gene and protein expression by qualitative and quantitative Real-Time RT-PCR, nitrotyrosine concentration, and insulin release in response to glucose stimulation (SI). FXN gene and protein were expressed in human islets, though the level of expression was much lower in T2DM islets. The latter also had lower insulin release and higher concentration of nitrotyrosine. A positive correlation was apparent between SI and FXN gene expression, while a negative correlation was found between nitrotyrosine islet concentration and FXN expression. Transfection of Ctrl islets with siRNA FXN caused reduction of FXN expression, increase of nitrotyrosine concentration, and reduction of insulin release. In conclusion, in human pancreatic islets FXN contributes to regulation of oxidative stress and insulin release in response to glucose. In islets from T2DM patients FXN expression is reduced while oxidative stress is increased and insulin release in response to glucose impaired.
Hormone and Metabolic Research 03/2012; 44(6):471-5. · 2.19 Impact Factor