Pancreatic islet beta-cell and oxidative stress: the importance of glutathione peroxidase

FEBS Lett. 2007 Jul 31;581(19):3743-8. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2007.03.087. Epub 2007 Apr 9.


Pancreatic beta-cell function continuously deteriorates in type 2 diabetes despite optimal treatment regimens, which has been attributed to hyperglycemia itself via formation of excess levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Glutathione peroxidase GPx), by virtue of its ability to catabolize both H(2)O(2) and lipid peroxides, is uniquely positioned to protect tissues from ROS. The level of this antioxidant in beta cells is extremely low and overexpression of GPx in islets provides enhanced protection against oxidative stress. This suggests that GPx mimetics may represent a valuable ancillary treatment that could add a novel layer of protection for the beta-cell.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytoprotection
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / prevention & control*
  • Glucose / metabolism
  • Glucose / toxicity
  • Glutathione Peroxidase / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / metabolism
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / enzymology*
  • Oxidative Stress*
  • Reactive Oxygen Species / metabolism


  • Reactive Oxygen Species
  • Glutathione Peroxidase
  • Glucose