Undercover Toxic Ménage à Trois of Amylin, Copper (II) and Metformin in Human Embryonic Kidney Cells

Terenzio Congiu, Mawadda N. Alghrably, Abdul-Hamid M. Emwas, Lukasz Jaremko, Joanna Izabela Lachowicz, Marco Piludu, Monica Piras, Gavino Faa, Giuseppina Pichiri, Mariusz Jaremko, Pierpaolo Coni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In recent decades, type 2 diabetes complications have been correlated with amylin aggregation, copper homeostasis and metformin side effects. However, each factor was analyzed separately, and only in some rare cases copper/amylin or copper/metformin complexes were considered. We demonstrate for the first time that binary metformin/amylin and tertiary copper (II)/amylin/metformin complexes of high cellular toxicity are formed and lead to the formation of aggregated multi-level lamellar structures on the cell membrane. Considering the increased concentration of amylin, copper (II) and metformin in kidneys of T2DM patients, our findings on the toxicity of amylin and its adducts may be correlated with diabetic nephropathy development.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)830
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 3 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-06-07
Acknowledgements: This research was partially funded by FIR 2020 and from Regione Autonoma della Sardegna (grant RASSR79857).

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmaceutical Science


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