Lysosomal degradation of newly formed insulin granules contributes to β cell failure in diabetes

Nat Commun. 2019 Jul 25;10(1):3312. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-11170-4.


Compromised function of insulin-secreting pancreatic β cells is central to the development and progression of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D). However, the mechanisms underlying β cell failure remain incompletely understood. Here, we report that metabolic stress markedly enhances macroautophagy-independent lysosomal degradation of nascent insulin granules. In different model systems of diabetes including of human origin, stress-induced nascent granule degradation (SINGD) contributes to loss of insulin along with mammalian/mechanistic Target of Rapamycin (mTOR)-dependent suppression of macroautophagy. Expression of Protein Kinase D (PKD), a negative regulator of SINGD, is reduced in diabetic β cells. Pharmacological activation of PKD counters SINGD and delays the onset of T2D. Conversely, inhibition of PKD exacerbates SINGD, mitigates insulin secretion and accelerates diabetes. Finally, reduced levels of lysosomal tetraspanin CD63 prevent SINGD, leading to increased insulin secretion. Overall, our findings implicate aberrant SINGD in the pathogenesis of diabetes and suggest new therapeutic strategies to prevent β cell failure.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / genetics
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Insulin / chemistry
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / cytology
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Lysosomes / metabolism*
  • Macroautophagy
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Protein Kinase C / genetics
  • Protein Kinase C / metabolism
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases / metabolism


  • Insulin
  • TOR Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • protein kinase D
  • Protein Kinase C