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Protein Kinase R Is Constitutively Expressed in the Human Pancreas

Journal article
Authors A. Jonsson
E. Yngve
M. Karlsson
S. Ingvast
O. Skog
Olle Korsgren
Published in Journal of Histochemistry & Cytochemistry
Volume 67
Issue 2
Pages 99-105
ISSN 0022-1554
Publication year 2019
Published at Institute of Biomedicine
Pages 99-105
Language en
Keywords immunohistochemistry, innate immunity, pancreas, PCR, type 1 diabetes, viral footprints, viral, interferon action, pkr, mechanism, islets, induction, cells, vp1, Cell Biology
Subject categories Cell biology


Viral infection of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas has been proposed in the etiology of type 1 diabetes. Protein kinase R (PKR) is a cytoplasmic protein activated through phosphorylation in response to cellular stress and particularly viral infection. As PKR expression in pancreatic beta-cells has been interpreted as a viral footprint, this cross-sectional study aimed at characterizing the PKR expression in non-diabetic human pancreases. PKR expression was evaluated in pancreas tissue from 16 non-diabetic organ donors, using immunohistochemistry, qPCR, and western blot. Immunohistochemistry and western blot showed readily detectable PKR expression in the pancreatic parenchyma. The qPCR detected PKR mRNA in both endocrine and exocrine samples, with a slightly higher expression in the islets. In conclusion, PKR is constitutively expressed in both endocrine and exocrine parts of the pancreas and its expression should not be interpreted as a viral footprint in pancreatic beta cells.

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