Protection of islets in culture by delivery of oxygen binding neuroglobin via protein transduction

V. Mendoza, D. Klein, H. Ichii, M. M. Ribeiro, C. Ricordi, T. Hankeln, T. Burmester, R. L. Pastori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Islet transplantation has become an accepted method to treat type 1 diabetes. To succeed and achieve normal levels of glucose in transplant recipients, the quality of the transplanted islets is of the utmost importance. Lack of oxygen during organ procurement, islet isolation, and subsequent culture triggers apoptosis or necrosis and loss of islet function, causing the yield and quality to diminish. A promising candidate for cytoprotection against oxygen deprivation is neuroglobin (Ngb). Ngb is a recently described member of globin family and is expressed in neurons, retina, and pancreatic islets. To overexpress this protein in the islets and study its ability to protect them, we utilized protein transduction. Protein transduction is achieved by fusing Ngb to the TAT/PTD transduction domain, a peptide originated from the HIV transcriptional transactivator protein. Our study proved that TAT-Ngb is an efficient fusion protein capable of protecting the human islets in culture from loss of cell mass and function, thus increasing the quality of transplantable islets. If the islets could be cultured for a longer period of time without suffering harmful effects, it would be possible to precondition the recipient and there would be more time to assess their quality and function before transplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-240
Number of pages4
JournalTransplantation proceedings
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation


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