Neratinib protects pancreatic beta cells in diabetes
A Ardestani, etc Nature Communications,
The loss of functional insulin-producing ß-cells is a hallmark of diabetes. Mammalian sterile 20-like kinase 1 (MST1) is a key regulator of pancreatic ß-cell death and dysfunction; its deficiency restores functional ß-cells and normoglycemia. The identification of MST1 inhibitors represents a promising approach for a ß-cell-protective diabetes therapy. Here, we identify neratinib, an FDA-approved drug targeting HER2/EGFR dual kinases, as a potent MST1 inhibitor, which improves ß-cell survival under multiple diabetogenic conditions in human islets and INS-1E cells. In a pre-clinical study, neratinib attenuates hyperglycemia and improves ß-cell function, survival and ß-cell mass in type 1 (streptozotocin) and type 2 (obese Leprdb/db) diabetic mouse models. In summary, neratinib is a previously unrecognized inhibitor of MST1 and represents a potential ß-cell-protective drug with proof-of-concept in vitro in human islets and in vivo in rodent models of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.