IB1/JIP-1 is a scaffold protein that regulates the c-Jun NH(2)-terminal kinase (JNK) signaling pathway, which is activated by environmental stresses and/or by treatment with proinflammatory cytokines including IL-1beta and TNF-alpha. The JNKs play an essential role in many biological processes, including the maturation and differentiation of immune cells and the apoptosis of cell targets of the immune system. IB1 is expressed predominantly in brain and pancreatic beta-cells where it protects cells from proapoptotic programs. Recently, a mutation in the amino-terminus of IB1 was associated with diabetes. A novel isoform, IB2, was cloned and characterized. Overall, both IB1 and IB2 proteins share a very similar organization, with a JNK-binding domain, a Src homology 3 domain, a phosphotyrosine-interacting domain, and polyacidic and polyproline stretches located at similar positions. The IB2 gene (HGMW-approved symbol MAPK8IP2) maps to human chromosome 22q13 and contains 10 coding exons. Northern and RT-PCR analyses indicate that IB2 is expressed in brain and in pancreatic cells, including insulin-secreting cells. IB2 interacts with both JNK and the JNK-kinase MKK7. In addition, ectopic expression of the JNK-binding domain of IB2 decreases IL-1beta-induced pancreatic beta-cell death. These data establish IB2 as a novel scaffold protein that regulates the JNK signaling pathway in brain and pancreatic beta-cells and indicate that IB2 represents a novel candidate gene for diabetes.
Copyright 2000 Academic Press.