Bcl-2 proteins in diabetes: mitochondrial pathways of beta-cell death and dysfunction

Esteban Gurzov, Decio Eizirik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


Diabetes is a metabolic disease affecting nearly 300 million individuals worldwide. Both types of diabetes (1 and 2) are characterized by loss of functional pancreatic beta-cell mass causing different degrees of insulin deficiency. The Bcl-2 family has a double-edged effect in diabetes. These proteins are crucial controllers of the mitochondrial pathway of beta-cell apoptosis induced by pro-inflammatory cytokines or lipotoxicity. In parallel, some Bcl-2 members also regulate glucose metabolism and beta-cell function. In this review, we describe the role of Bcl-2 proteins in beta-cell homeostasis and death. We focus on how these proteins interact, their contribution to the crosstalk between endoplasmic reticulum stress and mitochondrial permeabilization, their context-dependent usage following different pro-apoptotic stimuli, and their role in beta-cell physiology.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424 - 431
Number of pages8
JournalTrends in Cell Biology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

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