Int J Biol Sci 2022; 18(5):1852-1864. doi:10.7150/ijbs.66314 This issue
1. Research Program for Clinical and Molecular Metabolism, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
2. Department of Pathology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
3. Department of Clinical Pharmacology, University of Toyama, Toyama, Japan.
*Current affiliation: Minerva Foundation Institute for Medical Research, Helsinki, Finland.
Ebselen, a multifunctional organoselenium compound, has been recognized as a potential treatment for diabetes-related disorders. However, the underlying mechanisms whereby ebselen regulates metabolic pathways remain elusive. We discovered that ebselen inhibits lipid phosphatase SHIP2 (Src homology 2 domain-containing inositol-5-phosphatase 2), an emerging drug target to ameliorate insulin resistance in diabetes. We found that ebselen directly binds to and inhibits the catalytic activity of the recombinant SHIP2 phosphatase domain and SHIP2 in cultured cells, the skeletal muscle and liver of the diabetic db/db mice, and the liver of the SHIP2 overexpressing (SHIP2-Tg) mice. Ebselen increased insulin-induced Akt phosphorylation in cultured myotubes, enhanced insulin sensitivity and protected liver tissue from lipid peroxidation and inflammation in the db/db mice, and improved glucose tolerance more efficiently than metformin in the SHIP2-Tg mice. SHIP2 overexpression abrogated the ability of ebselen to induce glucose uptake and reduce ROS production in myotubes and blunted the effect of ebselen to inhibit SHIP2 in the skeletal muscle of the SHIP2-Tg mice. Our data reveal ebselen as a potent SHIP2 inhibitor and demonstrate that the ability of ebselen to ameliorate insulin resistance and act as an antioxidant is at least in part mediated by the reduction of SHIP2 activity.
Keywords: insulin resistance, inflammation, lipid phosphatase, oxidative stress, type 2 diabetes