Inadequate insulin secretion in response to glucose is an important factor for β-cell failure in type 2 diabetes (T2D). Although HMG-CoA reductase degradation 1 (HRD1), a subunit of the endoplasmic reticulum–associated degradation complex, plays a pivotal role in β-cell function, HRD1 elevation in a diabetic setting contributes to β-cell dysfunction. We report in this study the excessive HRD1 expression in islets from humans with T2D and T2D mice. Functional studies reveal that β-cell–specific HRD1 overexpression triggers impaired insulin secretion that will ultimately lead to severe hyperglycemia; by contrast, HRD1 knockdown improves glucose control and response in diabetic models. Proteomic analysis results reveal a large HRD1 interactome, which includes v-maf musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma oncogene homolog A (MafA), a master regulator of genes implicated in the maintenance of β-cell function. Furthermore, mechanistic assay results indicate that HRD1 is a novel E3 ubiquitin ligase that targets MafA for ubiquitination and degradation in diabetic β-cells, resulting in cytoplasmic accumulation of MafA and in the reduction of its biological function in the nucleus. Our results not only reveal the pathological importance of excessive HRD1 in β-cell dysfunction but also establish the therapeutic importance of targeting HRD1 in order to prevent MafA loss and suppress the development of T2D.
- Received October 22, 2019.
- Accepted February 16, 2020.
- © 2020 by the American Diabetes Association