Metformin prevents endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced apoptosis through AMPK-PI3K-c-Jun NH 2 pathway

Tae Woo Jung, Myung Won Lee, Yong Jik Lee, Seon Mee Kim

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    53 Citations (Scopus)


    Type 2 diabetes mellitus is thought to be partially associated with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress toxicity on pancreatic beta cells and the result of decreased insulin synthesis and secretion. In this study, we showed that a well-known insulin sensitizer, metformin, directly protects against dysfunction and death of ER stress-induced NIT-1 cells (a mouse pancreatic beta cell line) via AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and phosphatidylinositol-3 (PI3) kinase activation. We also showed that exposure of NIT-1 cells to metformin (5mM) increases cellular resistance against ER stress-induced NIT-1 cell dysfunction and death. AMPK and PI3 kinase inhibitors abolished the effect of metformin on cell function and death. Metformin-mediated protective effects on ER stress-induced apoptosis were not a result of an unfolded protein response or the induced inhibitors of apoptotic proteins. In addition, we showed that exposure of ER stressed-induced NIT-1 cells to metformin decreases the phosphorylation of c-Jun NH 2 terminal kinase (JNK). These data suggest that metformin is an important determinant of ER stress-induced apoptosis in NIT-1 cells and may have implications for ER stress-mediated pancreatic beta cell destruction via regulation of the AMPK-PI3 kinase-JNK pathway.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)147-152
    Number of pages6
    JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012 Jan 6


    • AMPK
    • Apoptosis
    • JNK
    • Metformin
    • NIT-1
    • PI3 kinase
    • T2DM
    • Thapsigargin

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Biophysics
    • Biochemistry
    • Molecular Biology
    • Cell Biology


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