Insulin-degrading enzyme: an ally against metabolic and neurodegenerative diseases

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32 Citations (Scopus)


Insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) function goes far beyond its known proteolytic role as a regulator of insulin levels. IDE has a wide substrate promiscuity, degrading several proteins such as amyloid-β peptide, glucagon, islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP), and insulin-like growth factors, which have diverse physiological and pathophysiological functions. Importantly, IDE plays other non-proteolytic functions such as: a chaperone/dead-end chaperone, an E1-ubiquitin activating enzyme, and a proteasome modulator. It also responds as a heat shock protein, regulating cellular proteostasis. Notably, amyloidogenic proteins such as IAPP, amyloid-β, and α-synuclein have been reported as substrates for IDE chaperone activity. This is of utmost importance as failure of IDE may result in increased protein aggregation, a key hallmark in the pathogenesis of beta cells in type 2 diabetes mellitus and of neurons in neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. In this review, we focus on the biochemical and biophysical properties of IDE and the regulation of its physiological functions. We further raise the hypothesis that IDE plays a central role in the pathological context of dysmetabolic and neurodegenerative diseases and discuss its potential as a therapeutic target.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-361
JournalJournal Of Pathology
Issue number4
Early online date2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • amyloid-β
  • insulin
  • insulin-degrading enzyme
  • neurodegenerative disorders
  • therapeutics
  • type 2 diabetes mellitus
  • α-synuclein


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