NYMC Faculty Publications

Proteomic and Transcriptional Profiles of Human Stem Cell-Derived β Cells Following Enteroviral Challenge

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Enteroviral infections are implicated in islet autoimmunity and type 1 diabetes (T1D) pathogenesis. Significant β-cell stress and damage occur with viral infection, leading to cells that are dysfunctional and vulnerable to destruction. Human stem cell-derived β (SC-β) cells are insulin-producing cell clusters that closely resemble native β cells. To better understand the events precipitated by enteroviral infection of β cells, we investigated transcriptional and proteomic changes in SC-β cells challenged with coxsackie B virus (CVB). We confirmed infection by demonstrating that viral protein colocalized with insulin-positive SC-β cells by immunostaining. Transcriptome analysis showed a decrease in insulin gene expression following infection, and combined transcriptional and proteomic analysis revealed activation of innate immune pathways, including type I interferon (IFN), IFN-stimulated genes, nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) and downstream inflammatory cytokines, and major histocompatibility complex (MHC) class I. Finally, insulin release by CVB4-infected SC-β cells was impaired. These transcriptional, proteomic, and functional findings are in agreement with responses in primary human islets infected with CVB ex vivo. Human SC-β cells may serve as a surrogate for primary human islets in virus-induced diabetes models. Because human SC-β cells are more genetically tractable and accessible than primary islets, they may provide a preferred platform for investigating T1D pathogenesis and developing new treatments.

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