100 results found
Pickford P, Lucey M, Rujan R-M, et al., 2021, Partial agonism improves the anti-hyperglycaemic efficacy of an oxyntomodulin-derived GLP-1R/GCGR co-agonist, Molecular Metabolism, Vol: 51, ISSN: 2212-8778
OBJECTIVE: Glucagon-like peptide-1 and glucagon receptor (GLP-1R/GCGR) co-agonism can maximise weight loss and improve glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes and obesity. In this study we investigated the cellular and metabolic effects of modulating the balance between G protein and β-arrestin-2 recruitment at GLP-1R and GCGR using oxyntomodulin (OXM)-derived co-agonists. This strategy has been previously shown to improve the duration of action of GLP-1R mono-agonists by reducing target desensitisation and downregulation. METHODS: Dipeptidyl dipeptidase-4 (DPP-4)-resistant OXM analogues were generated and assessed for a variety of cellular readouts. Molecular dynamic simulations were used to gain insights into the molecular interactions involved. In vivo studies were performed in mice to identify effects on glucose homeostasis and weight loss. RESULTS: Ligand-specific reductions in β-arrestin-2 recruitment were associated with slower GLP-1R internalisation and prolonged glucose-lowering action in vivo. The putative benefits of GCGR agonism were retained, with equivalent weight loss compared to the GLP-1R mono-agonist liraglutide in spite of a lesser degree of food intake suppression. The compounds tested showed only a minor degree of biased agonism between G protein and β-arrestin-2 recruitment at both receptors and were best classified as partial agonists for the two pathways measured. CONCLUSIONS: Diminishing β-arrestin-2 recruitment may be an effective way to increase the therapeutic efficacy of GLP-1R/GCGR co-agonists. These benefits can be achieved by partial rather than biased agonism.
Nasteska D, Fine NHF, Ashford FB, et al., 2021, PDX1(LOW) MAFA(LOW) beta-cells contribute to islet function and insulin release (vol 12, 674, 2021), NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2041-1723
Viloria K, Hewison M, Hodson DJ, 2021, Vitamin D binding protein/GC-globulin: a novel regulator of alpha cell function and glucagon secretion, JOURNAL OF PHYSIOLOGY-LONDON, ISSN: 0022-3751
McLean BA, Wong CK, Campbell JE, et al., 2021, Revisiting the Complexity of GLP-1 Action from Sites of Synthesis to Receptor Activation, ENDOCRINE REVIEWS, Vol: 42, Pages: 101-132, ISSN: 0163-769X
Nasteska D, Fine NHF, Ashford FB, et al., 2021, PDX1(LOW) MAFA(LOW) beta-cells contribute to islet function and insulin release, NATURE COMMUNICATIONS, Vol: 12, ISSN: 2041-1723
Jones B, Fang Z, Chen S, et al., 2020, Ligand-specific factors influencing GLP-1 receptor post-endocytic trafficking and degradation in pancreatic beta cells, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Vol: 212, Pages: 1-24, ISSN: 1422-0067
The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) is an important regulator of blood glucose homeostasis. Ligand-specific differences in membrane trafficking of the GLP-1R influence its signalling properties and therapeutic potential in type 2 diabetes. Here, we have evaluated how different factors combine to control the post-endocytic trafficking of GLP-1R to recycling versus degradative pathways. Experiments were performed in primary islet cells, INS-1 832/3 clonal beta cells and HEK293 cells, using biorthogonal labelling of GLP-1R to determine its localisation and degradation after treatment with GLP-1, exendin-4 and several further GLP-1R agonist peptides. We also characterised the effect of a rare GLP1R coding variant, T149M, and the role of endosomal peptidase endothelin-converting enzyme-1 (ECE-1), in GLP1R trafficking. Our data reveal how treatment with GLP-1 versus exendin-4 is associated with preferential GLP-1R targeting towards a recycling pathway. GLP-1, but not exendin-4, is a substrate for ECE-1, and the resultant propensity to intra-endosomal degradation, in conjunction with differences in binding affinity, contributes to alterations in GLP-1R trafficking behaviours and degradation. The T149M GLP-1R variant shows reduced signalling and internalisation responses, which is likely to be due to disruption of the cytoplasmic region that couples to intracellular effectors. These observations provide insights into how ligand- and genotype-specific factors can influence GLP-1R trafficking.
Ast J, Arvaniti A, Fine NHF, et al., 2020, Author Correction: Super-resolution microscopy compatible fluorescent probes reveal endogenous glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor distribution and dynamics., Nature Communications, Vol: 11, Pages: 1-1, ISSN: 2041-1723
Correction to: Nature Communications https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-14309-w, published online 24 January 2020.
Rutter GA, Ninov N, Salem V, et al., 2020, Comment on Satin et al. "Take Me To Your Leader": An Electrophysiological Appraisal of the Role of Hub Cells in Pancreatic Islets. Diabetes 2020;69:830-836, DIABETES, Vol: 69, Pages: E10-E11, ISSN: 0012-1797
Poc P, Gutzeit VA, Ast J, et al., 2020, Interrogating surfaceversusintracellular transmembrane receptor populations using cell-impermeable SNAP-tag substrates, Chemical Science, Vol: 11, Pages: 7871-7883, ISSN: 2041-6520
Employing self-labelling protein tags for the attachment of fluorescent dyes has become a routine and powerful technique in optical microscopy to visualize and track fused proteins. However, membrane permeability of the dyes and the associated background signals can interfere with the analysis of extracellular labelling sites. Here we describe a novel approach to improve extracellular labelling by functionalizing the SNAP-tag substrate benzyl guanine (“BG”) with a charged sulfonate (“SBG”). This chemical manipulation can be applied to any SNAP-tag substrate, improves solubility, reduces non-specific staining and renders the bioconjugation handle impermeable while leaving its cargo untouched. We report SBG-conjugated fluorophores across the visible spectrum, which cleanly label SNAP-fused proteins in the plasma membrane of living cells. We demonstrate the utility of SBG-conjugated fluorophores to interrogate class A, B and C G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) using a range of imaging approaches including nanoscopic superresolution imaging, analysis of GPCR trafficking from intra- and extracellular pools, in vivo labelling in mouse brain and analysis of receptor stoichiometry using single molecule pull down.
Kemkem Y, Nasteska D, de Bray A, et al., 2020, Maternal hypothyroidism in mice influences glucose metabolism in adult offspring, DIABETOLOGIA, Vol: 63, Pages: 1822-1835, ISSN: 0012-186X
Hodson DJ, Rorsman P, 2020, A Variation on the Theme: SGLT2 Inhibition and Glucagon Secretion in Human Islets, DIABETES, Vol: 69, Pages: 864-866, ISSN: 0012-1797
Fang Z, Chen S, Pickford P, et al., 2020, The influence of peptide context on signaling and trafficking of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor biased agonists, ACS Pharmacology & Translational Science, Vol: 3, Pages: 345-360, ISSN: 2575-9108
Signal bias and membrane trafficking have recently emerged as important considerations in the therapeutic targeting of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R) in type 2 diabetes and obesity. In the present study, we have evaluated a peptide series with varying sequence homology between native GLP-1 and exendin-4, the archetypal ligands on which approved GLP-1R agonists are based. We find notable differences in agonist-mediated cyclic AMP signaling, recruitment of β-arrestins, endocytosis, and recycling, dependent both on the introduction of a His → Phe switch at position 1 and the specific midpeptide helical regions and C-termini of the two agonists. These observations were linked to insulin secretion in a beta cell model and provide insights into how ligand factors influence GLP-1R function at the cellular level.
Carrat GR, Haythorne E, Tomas A, et al., 2020, The type 2 diabetes gene product STARD10 is a phosphoinositide binding protein that controls insulin secretory granule biogenesis, Publisher: Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:sec><jats:title>Objective</jats:title><jats:p>Risk alleles for type 2 diabetes at the<jats:italic>STARD10</jats:italic>locus are associated with lowered<jats:italic>STARD10</jats:italic>expression in the β-cell, impaired glucose-induced insulin secretion and decreased circulating proinsulin:insulin ratios. Although likely to serve as a mediator of intracellular lipid transfer, the identity of the transported lipids, and thus the pathways through which STARD10 regulates β-cell function, are not understood. The aim of this study was to identify the lipids transported and affected by STARD10 in the β-cell and its effect on proinsulin processing and insulin granule biogenesis and maturation.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Methods</jats:title><jats:p>We used isolated islets from mice deleted selectively in the β-cell for<jats:italic>Stard10</jats:italic>(β<jats:italic>StarD10</jats:italic>KO) and performed electron microscopy, pulse-chase, RNA sequencing and lipidomic analyses. Proteomic analysis of STARD10 binding partners was executed in INS1 (832/13) cell line. X-ray crystallography followed by molecular docking and lipid overlay assay were performed on purified STARD10 protein.</jats:p></jats:sec><jats:sec><jats:title>Results</jats:title><jats:p>β<jats:italic>StarD10</jats:italic>KO islets had a sharply altered dense core granule appearance, with a dramatic increase in the number of “rod-like” dense cores. Correspondingly, basal secretion of proinsulin was increased. Amongst the differentially expressed genes in β<jats:italic>StarD10</jats:italic>KO islets, expression of the phosphoinositide binding proteins<jats:italic>Pirt</jats:italic>and<jats:italic>Synaptotagmin 1</jats:
Nasteska D, Hodson DJ, 2020, GPR119 Agonism Revisited: A Novel Target for Increasing beta-Cell Mass?, ENDOCRINOLOGY, Vol: 161, ISSN: 0013-7227
Poc P, Gutzeit VA, Ast J, et al., 2020, Interrogating surface versus intracellular transmembrane receptor populations using cell-impermeable SNAP-tag substrates
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Employing self-labelling protein tags for the attachment of fluorescent dyes has become a routine and powerful technique in optical microscopy to visualize and track fused proteins. However, membrane permeability of the dyes and the associated background signals can interfere with the analysis of extracellular labeling sites. Here we describe a novel approach to improve extracellular labeling by functionalizing the SNAP-tag substrate benzyl guanine (“BG”) with a charged sulfonate (“SBG”). This chemical manipulation improves solubility, reduces non-specific staining and renders the bioconjugation handle impermeable while leaving its cargo untouched. We report SBG-conjugated fluorophores across the visible spectrum, which cleanly label SNAP-fused proteins in the plasma membrane of living cells. We demonstrate the utility of SBG-conjugated fluorophores to interrogate class A, B and C G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) using a range of imaging approaches including nanoscopic super-resolution imaging, analysis of GPCR trafficking from intra- and extracellular pools, <jats:italic>in vivo</jats:italic> labelling in mouse brain and analysis of receptor stoichiometry using single molecule pull down.</jats:p>
Ast J, Arvaniti A, Fine NHF, et al., 2020, Super-resolution microscopy compatible fluorescent probes reveal endogenous glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor distribution and dynamics, Nature Communications, Vol: 11, ISSN: 2041-1723
The glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP1R) is a class B G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) involved in metabolism. Presently, its visualization is limited to genetic manipulation, antibody detection or the use of probes that stimulate receptor activation. Herein, we present LUXendin645, a far-red fluorescent GLP1R antagonistic peptide label. LUXendin645 produces intense and specific membrane labeling throughout live and fixed tissue. GLP1R signaling can additionally be evoked when the receptor is allosterically modulated in the presence of LUXendin645. Using LUXendin645 and LUXendin651, we describe islet, brain and hESC-derived β-like cell GLP1R expression patterns, reveal higher-order GLP1R organization including membrane nanodomains, and track single receptor subpopulations. We furthermore show that the LUXendin backbone can be optimized for intravital two-photon imaging by installing a red fluorophore. Thus, our super-resolution compatible labeling probes allow visualization of endogenous GLP1R, and provide insight into class B GPCR distribution and dynamics both in vitro and in vivo.
Viloria K, Nasteska D, Briant LJB, et al., 2019, Vitamin D-binding protein is required for the maintenance of α-cell function and glucagon secretion
<jats:title>ABSTRACT</jats:title><jats:p>Vitamin D-binding protein (DBP) or GC-globulin carries vitamin D metabolites from the circulation to target tissues. DBP expression is highly-localized to the liver and pancreatic α-cells. While DBP serum levels, gene polymorphisms and autoantigens have all been associated with diabetes risk, the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Here, we show that DBP regulates α-cell morphology, α-cell function and glucagon secretion. Deletion of DBP led to smaller and hyperplastic α-cells, altered Na<jats:sup>+</jats:sup>channel conductance, impaired α-cell activation by low glucose, and reduced rates of glucagon secretion. Mechanistically, this involved reversible changes in islet microfilament abundance and density, as well as changes in glucagon granule distribution. Defects were also seen in β-cell and δ-cell function. Immunostaining of human pancreata revealed generalized loss of DBP expression as a feature of late-onset and longstanding, but not early-onset type 1 diabetes. Thus, DBP is a critical regulator of α-cell phenotype, with implications for diabetes pathogenesis.</jats:p><jats:sec><jats:title>HIGHLIGHTS</jats:title><jats:p><jats:list list-type="bullet"><jats:list-item><jats:p>DBP expression is highly-localized to mouse and human α-cells</jats:p></jats:list-item><jats:list-item><jats:p>Loss of DBP increases α-cell number, but decreases α-cell size</jats:p></jats:list-item><jats:list-item><jats:p>α-cells in DBP knockout islets are dysfunctional and secrete less glucagon</jats:p></jats:list-item><jats:list-item><jats:p>DBP expression is decreased in α-cells of donors with late-onset or longstanding type 1 diabetes</jats:p></jats:list-item></jats:list></jats:p></jat
Frank JA, Broichhagen J, Yushchenko DA, et al., 2018, Optical tools for understanding the complexity of beta-cell signalling and insulin release, NATURE REVIEWS ENDOCRINOLOGY, Vol: 14, Pages: 721-737, ISSN: 1759-5029
Janjuha S, Singh SP, Tsakmaki A, et al., 2018, Age-related islet inflammation marks the proliferative decline of pancreatic beta-cells in zebrafish, eLife, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2050-084X
The pancreatic islet, a cellular community harboring the insulin-producing beta-cells, is known to undergo age-related alterations. However, only a handful of signals associated with aging have been identified. By comparing beta-cells from younger and older zebrafish, here we show that the aging islets exhibit signs of chronic inflammation. These include recruitment of tnfα-expressing macrophages and the activation of NF-kB signaling in beta-cells. Using a transgenic reporter, we show that NF-kB activity is undetectable in juvenile beta-cells, whereas cells from older fish exhibit heterogeneous NF-kB activity. We link this heterogeneity to differences in gene expression and proliferation. Beta-cells with high NF-kB signaling proliferate significantly less compared to their neighbors with low activity. The NF-kB signalinghi cells also exhibit premature upregulation of socs2, an age-related gene that inhibits beta-cell proliferation. Together, our results show that NF-kB activity marks the asynchronous decline in beta-cell proliferation with advancing age.
Benninger RKP, Hodson DJ, 2018, New Understanding of β-Cell Heterogeneity and In Situ Islet Function., Diabetes, Vol: 67, Pages: 537-547
Insulin-secreting β-cells are heterogeneous in their regulation of hormone release. While long known, recent technological advances and new markers have allowed the identification of novel subpopulations, improving our understanding of the molecular basis for heterogeneity. This includes specific subpopulations with distinct functional characteristics, developmental programs, abilities to proliferate in response to metabolic or developmental cues, and resistance to immune-mediated damage. Importantly, these subpopulations change in disease or aging, including in human disease. Although discovering new β-cell subpopulations has substantially advanced our understanding of islet biology, a point of caution is that these characteristics have often necessarily been identified in single β-cells dissociated from the islet. β-Cells in the islet show extensive communication with each other via gap junctions and with other cell types via diffusible chemical messengers. As such, how these different subpopulations contribute to in situ islet function, including during plasticity, is not well understood. We will discuss recent findings revealing functional β-cell subpopulations in the intact islet, the underlying basis for these identified subpopulations, and how these subpopulations may influence in situ islet function. Furthermore, we will discuss the outlook for emerging technologies to gain further insight into the role of subpopulations in in situ islet function.
Podewin T, Ast J, Broichhagen J, et al., 2018, Conditional and reversible activation of class A and B G protein-coupled receptors using tethered pharmacology, ACS Central Science, Vol: 4, Pages: 166-179, ISSN: 2374-7943
Understanding the activation and internalization of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) using conditional approaches is paramount to developing new therapeutic strategies. Here, we describe the design, synthesis, and testing of ExONatide, a benzylguanine-linked peptide agonist of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R), a class B GPCR required for maintenance of glucose levels in humans. ExONatide covalently binds to SNAP-tagged GLP-1R-expressing cells, leading to prolonged cAMP generation, Ca2+ rises, and intracellular retention of the receptor. These effects were readily switched OFF following cleavage of the introduced disulfide bridge using the cell-permeable reducing agent beta-mercaptoethanol (BME). A similar approach could be extended to a class A GPCR using GhrelON, a benzylguanine-linked peptide agonist of the growth hormone secretagogue receptor 1a (GHS-R1a), which is involved in food intake and growth. Thus, ExONatide and GhrelON allow SNAP-tag-directed activation of class A and B GPCRs involved in gut hormone signaling in a reversible manner. This tactic, termed reductively cleavable agONist (RECON), may be useful for understanding GLP-1R and GHS-R1a function both in vitro and in vivo, with applicability across GPCRs.
Fine NHF, Doig CL, Elhassan YS, et al., 2017, Glucocorticoids reprogram beta cell signaling to preserve insulin secretion, Diabetes, Vol: 67, Pages: 278-290, ISSN: 0012-1797
Excessive glucocorticoid exposure has been shown to be deleterious for pancreatic beta cell function and insulin release. However, glucocorticoids at physiological levels are essential for many homeostatic processes, including glycemic control. Here, we show that corticosterone and cortisol and their less active precursors, 11-dehydrocorticosterone (11-DHC) and cortisone, suppress voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel function and Ca2+ fluxes in rodent as well as human beta cells. However, insulin secretion, maximal ATP/ADP responses to glucose and beta cell identity were all unaffected. Further examination revealed the upregulation of parallel amplifying cAMP signals, and an increase in the number of membrane-docked insulin secretory granules. Effects of 11-DHC could be prevented by lipotoxicity and were associated with paracrine regulation of glucocorticoid activity, since global deletion of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 normalized Ca2+ and cAMP responses. Thus, we have identified an enzymatically-amplified feedback loop whereby glucocorticoids boost cAMP to maintain insulin secretion in the face of perturbed ionic signals. Failure of this protective mechanism may contribute to diabetes in states of glucocorticoid excess such as Cushing's syndrome, which are associated with frank dyslipidemia.
Frank JA, Yushchenko DA, Fine NHF, et al., 2017, Optical control of GPR40 signalling in pancreatic beta-cells, CHEMICAL SCIENCE, Vol: 8, Pages: 7604-7610, ISSN: 2041-6520
Rutter GA, Hodson DJ, Chabosseau P, et al., 2017, Local and regional control of calcium dynamics in the pancreatic islet, Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism, Vol: 19, Pages: 30-41, ISSN: 1462-8902
Ca2+ is the key intracellular regulator of insulin secretion, acting in the β-cell as the ultimate trigger for exocytosis. In response to high glucose, ATP-sensitive K+ channel closure and plasma membrane depolarization engage a sophisticated machinery to drive pulsatile cytosolic Ca2+ changes. Voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, Ca2+-activated K+ channels and Na+/Ca2+ exchange all play important roles. The use of targeted Ca2+ probes has revealed that during each cytosolic Ca2+ pulse, uptake of Ca2+ by mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum (ER), secretory granules and lysosomes fine-tune cytosolic Ca2+ dynamics and control organellar function. For example, changes in the expression of the Ca2+-binding protein Sorcin appear to provide a link between ER Ca2+ levels and ER stress, affecting β-cell function and survival. Across the islet, intercellular communication between highly interconnected “hubs,” which act as pacemaker β-cells, and subservient “followers,” ensures efficient insulin secretion. Loss of connectivity is seen after the deletion of genes associated with type 2 diabetes (T2D) and follows metabolic and inflammatory insults that characterize this disease. Hubs, which typically comprise ~1%-10% of total β-cells, are repurposed for their specialized role by expression of high glucokinase (Gck) but lower Pdx1 and Nkx6.1 levels. Single cell-omics are poised to provide a deeper understanding of the nature of these cells and of the networks through which they communicate. New insights into the control of both the intra- and intercellular Ca2+ dynamics may thus shed light on T2D pathology and provide novel opportunities for therapy.
Botfield HF, Uldall MS, Westgate CSJ, et al., 2017, A glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist reduces intracranial pressure in a rat model of hydrocephalus, SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE, Vol: 9, ISSN: 1946-6234
Cegla J, Jones BJ, Gardiner JV, et al., 2017, RAMP2 influences glucagon receptor pharmacology via trafficking and signaling, Endocrinology, Vol: 158, Pages: 2680-2693, ISSN: 0013-7227
Endogenous satiety hormones provide an attractive target for obesity drugs. Glucagon causes weight loss by reducing food intake and increasing energy expenditure. To further understand the cellular mechanisms by which glucagon and related ligands activate the glucagon receptor (GCGR), we investigated the interaction of the GCGR with receptor activity modifying protein (RAMP)2, a member of the family of receptor activity modifying proteins. We used a combination of competition binding experiments, cell surface enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, functional assays assessing the Gαs and Gαq pathways and β-arrestin recruitment, and small interfering RNA knockdown to examine the effect of RAMP2 on the GCGR. Ligands tested were glucagon; glucagonlike peptide-1 (GLP-1); oxyntomodulin; and analog G(X), a GLP-1/glucagon coagonist developed in-house. Confocal microscopy was used to assess whether RAMP2 affects the subcellular distribution of GCGR. Here we demonstrate that coexpression of RAMP2 and the GCGR results in reduced cell surface expression of the GCGR. This was confirmed by confocal microscopy, which demonstrated that RAMP2 colocalizes with the GCGR and causes significant GCGR cellular redistribution. Furthermore, the presence of RAMP2 influences signaling through the Gαs and Gαq pathways, as well as recruitment of β-arrestin. This work suggests that RAMP2 may modify the agonist activity and trafficking of the GCGR, with potential relevance to production of new peptide analogs with selective agonist activities.
Jones BJ, Scopelliti R, Tomas A, et al., 2017, Potent prearranged positive allosteric modulators of the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor, ChemistryOpen, Vol: 6, Pages: 501-505, ISSN: 2191-1363
Drugs that allosterically modulate G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activity display higher specificity and may improve disease treatment. However, the rational design of compounds that target the allosteric site is difficult, as conformations required for receptor activation are poorly understood. Guided by photopharmacology, a set of prearranged positive allosteric modulators (PAMs) with restricted degrees of freedom was designed and tested against the glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor (GLP-1R), a GPCR involved in glucose homeostasis. Compounds incorporating a trans-stilbene comprehensively outperformed those with a cis-stilbene, as well as the benchmark BETP, as GLP-1R PAMs. We also identified major effects of ligand conformation on GLP-1R binding kinetics and signal bias. Thus, we describe a photopharmacology-directed approach for rational drug design, and introduce a new class of stilbene-containing PAM for the specific regulation of GPCR activity.
Podewin T, Broichhagen J, Frost C, et al., 2017, Optical control of a receptor-linked guanylyl cyclase using a photoswitchable peptidic hormone, CHEMICAL SCIENCE, Vol: 8, Pages: 4644-4653, ISSN: 2041-6520
Mitchell RK, Nguyen-Tu MS, Chabosseau P, et al., 2017, The transcription factor Pax6 is required for pancreatic β cell identity, glucose-regulated ATP synthesis and Ca2+ dynamics in adult mice., Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol: 292, Pages: 8892-8906, ISSN: 1083-351X
Heterozygous mutations in the human paired box gene PAX6 lead to impaired glucose tolerance. Although embryonic deletion of the Pax6 gene in mice leads to the loss of most pancreatic islet cell types, the functional consequences of Pax6 loss in adults are poorly defined. Here, we developed a mouse line in which Pax6 was selectively inactivated in β cells by crossing animals with floxed Pax6 alleles to mice expressing the inducible Pdx1CreERT transgene. Pax6 deficiency, achieved by tamoxifen injection, caused progressive hyperglycemia. While β-cell mass was preserved 8 days post injection, total insulin content and insulin:chromogranin A immunoreactivity were reduced by ~60%, and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was eliminated. RNAseq and qRT-PCR analyses revealed that whereas the expression of key β cell genes including Ins2, Slc30a8, MafA, Slc2a2, G6pc2 and Glp1r was reduced after Pax6 deletion, that of several genes which are usually selectively repressed ("disallowed") in β-cells, including Slc16a1, was increased. Assessed in intact islets, glucose-induced ATP:ADP increases were significantly reduced (p<0.05) in βPax6KO versus control β cells, and the former displayed attenuated increases in cytosolic Ca2+. Unexpectedly, glucose-induced increases in intercellular connectivity were enhanced after Pax6 deletion, consistent with increases in the expression of the glucose sensor glucokinase, but decreases in that of two transcription factors usually expressed in fully differentiated β-cells, Pdx1 and Nkx6.1, as observed in islet "hub" cells. These results indicate that Pax6 is required for the functional identity of adult β cells. Furthermore, deficiencies in β cell glucose-sensing are likely to contribute to defective insulin secretion in human carriers of PAX6 mutations.
Mehta ZB, Johnston NR, Nguyen-Tu M-S, et al., 2017, Remote control of glucose homeostasis in vivo using photopharmacology, Scientific Reports, Vol: 7, ISSN: 2045-2322
Photopharmacology describes the use of light to precisely deliver drug activity in space and time. Such approaches promise to improve drug specificity by reducing off-target effects. As a proof-of-concept, we have subjected the fourth generation photoswitchable sulfonylurea JB253 to comprehensive toxicology assessment, including mutagenicity and maximum/repeated tolerated dose studies, as well as in vivo testing in rodents. Here, we show that JB253 is well-tolerated with minimal mutagenicity and can be used to optically-control glucose homeostasis in anesthetized mice following delivery of blue light to the pancreas. These studies provide the first demonstration that photopharmacology may one day be applicable to the light-guided treatment of type 2 diabetes and other metabolic disease states in vivo in humans.
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