The objective of this study was to identify proteins modified with O-linked N-acetylglucosamine (O-GlcNAc) in pancreatic β-cells and to understand their roles in cell death under hyperglycemic conditions. Here we report that heat shock protein 60 (HSP60) is modified with O-GlcNAc. Levels of O-GlcNAcylated HSP60 increased twofold in response to hyperglycemic conditions. HSP60 is a chaperonin known to bind to Bax in the cytoplasm under normoglycemic conditions. Under hyperglycemic conditions, Bax detached from O-GlcNAcylated HSP60 and translocated to mitochondria. Hyperglycemic conditions were also associated with cytochrome c release, caspase-3 activation, and cell death, suggesting that elevated O-GlcNAcylation of HSP60 interferes with HSP60-Bax interactions, leading to pancreatic β-cell death.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Structural Biology
- Molecular Biology
- Cell Biology