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Oxidative stress is induced under diabetic conditions through various pathways, including the electron transport chain in mitochondria and the nonenzymatic glycosylation reaction, and is likely involved in progression of pancreatic β-cell dysfunction developing in diabetes. β-Cells are vulnerable to oxidative stress, possibly due to low levels of antioxidant enzyme expression. When oxidative stress was induced in vitro in β cells, the insulin gene promoter activity and mRNA levels were suppressed, accompanied by the reduced activity of pancreatic and duodenal homeobox factor-1 (PDX-1) (also known as IDX-1/STF-1/IPF1), an important transcription factor for the insulin gene. The suppression of oxidative stress by a potent antioxidant, N-acetyl-l-cysteine or probucol, led to the recovery of insulin biosynthesis and PDX-1 expression in nuclei and improved glucose tolerance in animal models for type 2 diabetes. As a possible cause of this, we recently found that PDX-1 was translocated from the nucleus to the cytoplasm in response to oxidative stress. Furthermore, the addition of a dominant-negative form of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibited the oxidative stress-induced PDX-1 translocation, suggesting an essential role of JNK in mediating the phenomenon. Taken together, the oxidative stress-mediated activation of the JNK pathway leads to nucleocytoplasmic translocation of PDX-1 and thus is likely involved in the progression of β-cell dysfunction found in diabetes.