In Vitro Phenotypic, Genomic and Proteomic Characterization of a Cytokine-Resistant Murine β-TC3 Cell Line

Maria Pitrone, Aldo Galluzzo, Patrizia Cancemi, Laura Tomasello, Carla Giordano, Giuseppe Pizzolanti, Antonina Coppola, Giovanni Zito, Ida Pucci, Carla Giordano, Alessandra Bommarito, Angela Criscimanna, Elvira Carissimi, Gianluca Di Cara, Nadia Ninfa Albanese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) is caused by the selective destruction of insulin-producing β-cells. This process is mediated by cells of the immune system through release of nitric oxide, free radicals and pro-inflammatory cytokines, which induce a complex network of intracellular signalling cascades, eventually affecting the expression of genes involved in β-cell survival.The aim of our study was to investigate possible mechanisms of resistance to cytokine-induced β-cell death. To this purpose, we created a cytokine-resistant β-cell line (β-TC3R) by chronically treating the β-TC3 murine insulinoma cell line with IL-1β + IFN-γ. β-TC3R cells exhibited higher proliferation rate and resistance to cytokine-mediated cell death in comparison to the parental line. Interestingly, they maintained expression of β-cell specific markers, such as PDX1, NKX6.1, GLUT2 and insulin. The analysis of the secretory function showed that β-TC3R cells have impaired glucose-induced c-peptide release, which however was only moderately reduced after incubation with KCl and tolbutamide. Gene expression analysis showed that β-TC3R cells were characterized by downregulation of IL-1β and IFN-γ receptors and upregulation of SOCS3, the classical negative regulator of cytokines signaling. Comparative proteomic analysis showed specific upregulation of 35 proteins, mainly involved in cell death, stress response and folding. Among them, SUMO4, a negative feedback regulator in NF-kB and JAK/STAT signaling pathways, resulted hyper-expressed. Silencing of SUMO4 was able to restore sensitivity to cytokine-induced cell death in β-TC3R cells, suggesting it may play a key role in acquired cytokine resistance by blocking JAK/STAT and NF-kB lethal signaling.In conclusion, our study represents the first extensive proteomic characterization of a murine cytokine-resistant β-cell line, which might represent a useful tool for studying the mechanisms involved in resistance to cytokine-mediated β-cell death. This knowledge may be of potential benefit for patients with T1DM. In particular, SUMO4 could be used as a therapeutical target.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e32109-e32109
Number of pages0
JournalPLoS One
Publication statusPublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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