BRICHOS domain of Bri2 inhibits islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) fibril formation and toxicity in human beta cells

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018 Mar 20;115(12):E2752-E2761. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1715951115. Epub 2018 Mar 5.


Aggregation of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) into amyloid fibrils in islets of Langerhans is associated with type 2 diabetes, and formation of toxic IAPP species is believed to contribute to the loss of insulin-producing beta cells. The BRICHOS domain of integral membrane protein 2B (Bri2), a transmembrane protein expressed in several peripheral tissues and in the brain, has recently been shown to prevent fibril formation and toxicity of Aβ42, an amyloid-forming peptide in Alzheimer disease. In this study, we demonstrate expression of Bri2 in human islets and in the human beta-cell line EndoC-βH1. Bri2 colocalizes with IAPP intracellularly and is present in amyloid deposits in patients with type 2 diabetes. The BRICHOS domain of Bri2 effectively inhibits fibril formation in vitro and instead redirects IAPP into formation of amorphous aggregates. Reduction of endogenous Bri2 in EndoC-βH1 cells with siRNA increases sensitivity to metabolic stress leading to cell death while a concomitant overexpression of Bri2 BRICHOS is protective. Also, coexpression of IAPP and Bri2 BRICHOS in lateral ventral neurons of Drosophila melanogaster results in an increased cell survival. IAPP is considered to be the most amyloidogenic peptide known, and described findings identify Bri2, or in particular its BRICHOS domain, as an important potential endogenous inhibitor of IAPP aggregation and toxicity, with the potential to be a possible target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.

Keywords: BRICHOS; Bri2; IAPP; cell death; islet amyloid.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Amyloid / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Animals, Genetically Modified
  • Apoptosis / physiology
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Brain / pathology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / pathology
  • Drosophila melanogaster / genetics
  • Female
  • Glucose / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / pathology
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide / genetics
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide / metabolism*
  • Islets of Langerhans / drug effects
  • Islets of Langerhans / metabolism
  • Islets of Langerhans / pathology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / metabolism*
  • Palmitic Acid / pharmacology
  • Protein Domains


  • Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing
  • Amyloid
  • ITM2B protein, human
  • Islet Amyloid Polypeptide
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Palmitic Acid
  • Glucose