Genetic variations in the cdk5 regulator associated protein 1-like 1 (cdkal1) gene have been identified in whole genome association studies as a risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes (T2D). A recent study showed that Cdkal1 was a mammalian methythiotransferase, which specifically synthesizes 2-methylthio-N6-threonylcarbamoyladenosine (ms2t 6A) at position 37 of tRNAlys(UUU). The ms 2t6A modification in tRNAlys(UUU) was important for the accurate decoding of its cognate codon. In pancreatic β-cell-specific Cdkal1 knockout (Cdkal1 KO) mice, a deficiency of ms 2t6A caused the mistranslation of a Lys codon in proinsulin, resulting in improper processing. The mice showed a decrease in insulin secretion and glucose intolerance. In addition, the mistranslation contributed to the expression of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response in Cdkal1-deficient β-cells. Furthermore, Cdkal1 KO mice were hypersensitive to high-fat diet-induced glucose intolerance, as well as the ER stress response. These findings might potentially explain the molecular pathogenesis of T2D in patients carrying Cdkal1 variations.
- ER stress