Group VIA phospholipase a2 (iPLA2β) modulates Bcl-x 5′-splice site selection and suppresses anti-apoptotic Bcl-x(L) in β-cells

Academic Article


  • Diabetes is a consequence of reduced β-cell function and mass, due to β-cell apoptosis. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress is induced during β-cell apoptosis due to various stimuli, and our work indicates that group VIA phospholipase A2β(iPLA2β) participates in this process. Delineation of underlying mechanism(s) reveals that ER stress reduces the anti-apoptotic Bcl-x(L) protein in INS-1 cells. The Bcl-x pre-mRNA undergoes alternative pre-mRNA splicing to generate Bcl-x(L) or Bcl-x(S) mature mRNA. We show that both thapsigargin-induced and spontaneous ER stress are associated with reductions in the ratio of Bcl-x(L)/Bcl-x(S)mRNAin INS-1 and islet β-cells. However, chemical inactivation or knockdown of iPLA2β augments the Bcl-x(L)/Bcl-x(S) ratio. Furthermore, the ratio is lower in islets from islet-specific RIP-iPLA2β transgenic mice, whereas islets from global iPLA2β-/- mice exhibit the opposite phenotype. In view of our earlier reports that iPLA2β induces ceramide accumulation through neutral sphingomyelinase 2 and that ceramides shift the Bcl-x 5′-splice site (5′SS) selection in favor of Bcl-x(S), we investigated the potential link between Bcl-x splicing and the iPLA2β/ceramide axis. Exogenous C6-ceramide did not alter Bcl-x 5′SS selection in INS-1 cells, and neutral sphingomyelinase 2 inactivation only partially prevented the ER stress-induced shift in Bcl-x splicing. In contrast, 5(S)-hydroxytetraenoic acid augmented the ratio of Bcl-x(L)/Bcl-x(S) by 15.5-fold. Taken together, these data indicate that β-cell apoptosis is, in part, attributable to the modulation of 5′SS selection in the Bcl-x pre-mRNA by bioactive lipids modulated by iPLA2β.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Barbour SE; Nguyen PT; Park M; Emani B; Lei X; Kambalapalli M; Shultz JC; Wijesinghe D; Chalfant CE; Ramanadham S
  • Start Page

  • 11021
  • End Page

  • 11031
  • Volume

  • 290
  • Issue

  • 17