ABSTRACT: Pancreatic islet beta-cell dysfunction is a signature feature of Type 2 diabetes pathogenesis. Consequently, knowledge of signals that regulate beta-cell function is of immense clinical relevance. Transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta signaling plays a critical role in pancreatic development although the role of this pathway in the adult pancreas is obscure. Here, we define an important role of the TGF-beta pathway in regulation of insulin gene transcription and beta-cell function. We identify insulin as a TGF-beta target gene and show that the TGF-beta signaling effector Smad3 occupies the insulin gene promoter and represses insulin gene transcription. In contrast, Smad3 small interfering RNAs relieve insulin transcriptional repression and enhance insulin levels. Transduction of adenoviral Smad3 into primary human and non-human primate islets suppresses insulin content, whereas, dominant-negative Smad3 enhances insulin levels. Consistent with this, Smad3-deficient mice exhibit moderate hyperinsulinemia and mild hypoglycemia. Moreover, Smad3 deficiency results in improved glucose tolerance and enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in vivo. In ex vivo perifusion assays, Smad3-deficient islets exhibit improved glucose-stimulated insulin release. Interestingly, Smad3-deficient islets harbor an activated insulin-receptor signaling pathway and TGF-beta signaling regulates expression of genes involved in beta-cell function. Together, these studies emphasize TGF-beta/Smad3 signaling as an important regulator of insulin gene transcription and beta-cell function and suggest that components of the TGF-beta signaling pathway may be dysregulated in diabetes.
Project description:Prevailing insulin resistance and the resultant hyperglycemia elicits a compensatory response from pancreatic islet beta cells (?-cells) that involves increases in ?-cell function and ?-cell mass. However, the sustained metabolic stress eventually leads to ?-cell failure characterized by severe ?-cell dysfunction and progressive loss of ?-cell mass. Whereas, ?-cell dysfunction is relatively well understood at the mechanistic level, the avenues leading to loss of ?-cell mass are less clear with reduced proliferation, dedifferentiation, and apoptosis all potential mechanisms. Butler and colleagues documented increased ?-cell apoptosis in pancreas from lean and obese human Type 2 diabetes (T2D) subjects, with no changes in rates of ?-cell replication or neogenesis, strongly suggesting a role for apoptosis in ?-cell failure. Here, we describe a permissive role for TGF-?/Smad3 in ?-cell apoptosis. Human islets undergoing ?-cell apoptosis release increased levels of TGF-?1 ligand and phosphorylation levels of TGF-?'s chief transcription factor, Smad3, are increased in human T2D islets suggestive of an autocrine role for TGF-?/Smad3 signaling in ?-cell apoptosis. Smad3 phosphorylation is similarly increased in diabetic mouse islets undergoing ?-cell apoptosis. In mice, ?-cell-specific activation of Smad3 promotes apoptosis and loss of ?-cell mass in association with ?-cell dysfunction, glucose intolerance, and diabetes. In contrast, inactive Smad3 protects from apoptosis and preserves ?-cell mass while improving ?-cell function and glucose tolerance. At the molecular level, Smad3 associates with Foxo1 to propagate TGF-?-dependent ?-cell apoptosis. Indeed, genetic or pharmacologic inhibition of TGF-?/Smad3 signals or knocking down Foxo1 protects from ?-cell apoptosis. These findings reveal the importance of TGF-?/Smad3 in promoting ?-cell apoptosis and demonstrate the therapeutic potential of TGF-?/Smad3 antagonism to restore ?-cell mass lost in diabetes.
Project description:Recent findings on the role of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β/Smad3 signaling in the pathogenesis of obesity and type 2 diabetes have underscored its importance in metabolism and adiposity. Indeed, elevated TGF-β has been previously reported in human adipose tissue during morbid obesity and diabetic neuropathy. In this review, we discuss the pleiotropic effects of TGF-β/Smad3 signaling on metabolism and energy homeostasis, all of which has an important part in the etiology and progression of obesity-linked diabetes; these include adipocyte differentiation, white to brown fat phenotypic transition, glucose and lipid metabolism, pancreatic function, insulin signaling, adipocytokine secretion, inflammation and reactive oxygen species production. We summarize the recent in vivo findings on the role of TGF-β/Smad3 signaling in metabolism based on the studies using Smad3(-/-) mice. Based on the presence of a dual regulatory effect of Smad3 on peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)β/δ and PPARγ2 promoters, we propose a unifying mechanism by which this signaling pathway contributes to obesity and its associated diabetes. We also discuss how the inhibition of this signaling pathway has been implicated in the amelioration of many facets of metabolic syndromes, thereby offering novel therapeutic avenues for these metabolic conditions.
Project description:Imbalances in glucose and energy homeostasis are at the core of the worldwide epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Here, we illustrate an important role of the TGF-beta/Smad3 signaling pathway in regulating glucose and energy homeostasis. Smad3 deficient mice are protected from diet-induced obesity and diabetes. Interestingly, the metabolic protection is accompanied by Smad3-/- white adipose tissue acquiring the bioenergetic and gene expression profile of brown fat/skeletal muscle. Smad3-/- adipocytes demonstrate a marked increase in mitochondrial biogenesis, with a corresponding increase in basal respiration, and Smad3 acts as a repressor of PGC-alpha1 expression. We observe significant correlation between TGF-beta1 levels and adiposity in rodents and humans. Further, systemic blockade of TGF-beta1 signaling protects mice from obesity, diabetes and hepatic steatosis. Together, these results demonstrate that TGF-beta signaling regulates glucose tolerance and energy homeostasis and suggest that modulation of TGF-beta1 activity might be an effective treatment strategy for obesity and diabetes. Smad3-/- and WT mice were fed with regular diet (RD) and high fat diet (HFD), and diet induced obese (DIO) mice were treated with IgG and anti-TGF-b1 antibody
Project description:Imbalances in glucose and energy homeostasis are at the core of the worldwide epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Here, we illustrate an important role of the TGF-?/Smad3 signaling pathway in regulating glucose and energy homeostasis. Smad3-deficient mice are protected from diet-induced obesity and diabetes. Interestingly, the metabolic protection is accompanied by Smad3(-)(/-) white adipose tissue acquiring the bioenergetic and gene expression profile of brown fat/skeletal muscle. Smad3(-/-) adipocytes demonstrate a marked increase in mitochondrial biogenesis, with a corresponding increase in basal respiration, and Smad3 acts as a repressor of PGC-1? expression. We observe significant correlation between TGF-?1 levels and adiposity in rodents and humans. Further, systemic blockade of TGF-? signaling protects mice from obesity, diabetes, and hepatic steatosis. Together, these results demonstrate that TGF-? signaling regulates glucose tolerance and energy homeostasis and suggest that modulation of TGF-? activity might be an effective treatment strategy for obesity and diabetes.
Project description:Imbalances in glucose and energy homeostasis are at the core of the worldwide epidemic of obesity and diabetes. Here, we illustrate an important role of the TGF-beta/Smad3 signaling pathway in regulating glucose and energy homeostasis. Smad3 deficient mice are protected from diet-induced obesity and diabetes. Interestingly, the metabolic protection is accompanied by Smad3-/- white adipose tissue acquiring the bioenergetic and gene expression profile of brown fat/skeletal muscle. Smad3-/- adipocytes demonstrate a marked increase in mitochondrial biogenesis, with a corresponding increase in basal respiration, and Smad3 acts as a repressor of PGC-alpha1 expression. We observe significant correlation between TGF-beta1 levels and adiposity in rodents and humans. Further, systemic blockade of TGF-beta1 signaling protects mice from obesity, diabetes and hepatic steatosis. Together, these results demonstrate that TGF-beta signaling regulates glucose tolerance and energy homeostasis and suggest that modulation of TGF-beta1 activity might be an effective treatment strategy for obesity and diabetes. Overall design: Smad3-/- and WT mice were fed with regular diet (RD) and high fat diet (HFD), and diet induced obese (DIO) mice were treated with IgG and anti-TGF-b1 antibody
Project description:Although hypoxia and transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) inhibit differentiation of adipocytes from preadipocytes and bone marrow-derived cells in several species, the relationship between hypoxia and TGF-beta signaling in adipocytogenesis is unknown. In this study, we evaluated the mechanisms of inhibition of adipocyte differentiation by hypoxia and TGF-beta in human and murine marrow stromal cells (MSCs) and the role of TGF-beta/Smad signaling in the inhibition of adipocytogenesis by hypoxia. Both hypoxia-mimetic deferoxamine mesylate (DFO) and TGF-beta1 inhibited adipocyte differentiation (1.0% versus the control at 15 microm DFO and 1.4% versus the control at 1 ng/ml TGF-beta1) and adipocyte gene expression (peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma2 and lipoprotein lipase) in human MSCs after 21 days of treatment. Hypoxia (2% O(2)) and DFO (but not TGF-beta1) increased hypoxia-inducible factor-1alpha as shown by Western blotting. Macroarrays and Western and Northern blot analyses showed that hypoxia activated the TGF-beta/Smad signaling pathway and that both hypoxia and TGF-beta1 modulated adipocyte differentiation pathways such as the insulin-, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma-, phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-, and MAPK-associated signaling pathways. Studies with mouse marrow stromal cell lines derived from Smad3(+/+) or Smad3(-/-) mice revealed that the TGF-beta type I receptor (ALK-5) and its intracellular signaling molecule Smad3 were necessary for the inhibition of adipocyte differentiation by both TGF-beta and hypoxia-mimetic DFO. Thus, the TGF-beta/Smad signaling pathway is required for hypoxia-mediated inhibition of adipocyte differentiation in MSCs.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Insulin signaling pathway in ?-cell is essential to promote ?-cells proliferation and survival, while Nodal-ALK7-Smad3 signaling involves ?-cells apoptosis. We attempted to address inter-relationship between Nodal and insulin in modulating ?-cell proliferation and apoptosis. METHODS:Using INS-1 ?-cells and isolated rat islets, we examined the effects of Nodal, insulin, or the two combined on ?-cell proliferation and/or apoptosis. RESULTS:The ?-cells under high-glucose or palmitate conditions showed significant up-regulation of Nodal expression and activation of its downstream signaling pathway resulted in increased cleaved caspase-3. Insulin treatment led to significantly attenuated Nodal-induced cell apoptotic pathway. Similar results were found in directly Nodal-treated ?-cell that insulin could partially block Nodal-induced up-regulation of ALK7-Smad3-caspase-3 signaling pathways with significantly attenuated ?-cell apoptosis. Interestingly, we found that insulin-induced Akt activation and downstream molecules including GSK-3?, ?-catenin and ERK1/2 was significantly attenuated by the co-treatment with Nodal, resulted in decreased cell proliferation. Furthermore, Nodal decreased glucose-evoked calcium influx and played a negative role during glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in the ?-cells. Immunocytochemistry studies showed that Nodal treatment translocated Smad3 from cytosol mostly to the nucleus; however, co-treatment with insulin significantly decreased Smad3 nuclear localization. Co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed a directly interaction between Smad3 and Akt, and this interaction was enhanced by co-treatment with insulin. CONCLUSIONS:Our data suggest that the antagonistic interaction between Nodal and insulin has a role in the regulation of ?-cell mass and secretion.
Project description:All major cell types in pancreatic islets express the transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta superfamily receptor ALK7, but the physiological function of this receptor has been unknown. Mutant mice lacking ALK7 showed normal pancreas organogenesis but developed an age-dependent syndrome involving progressive hyperinsulinemia, reduced insulin sensitivity, liver steatosis, impaired glucose tolerance, and islet enlargement. Hyperinsulinemia preceded the development of any other defect, indicating that this may be one primary consequence of the lack of ALK7. In agreement with this, mutant islets showed enhanced insulin secretion under sustained glucose stimulation, indicating that ALK7 negatively regulates glucose-stimulated insulin release in beta-cells. Glucose increased expression of ALK7 and its ligand activin B in islets, but decreased that of activin A, which does not signal through ALK7. The two activins had opposite effects on Ca(2+) signaling in islet cells, with activin A increasing, but activin B decreasing, glucose-stimulated Ca(2+) influx. On its own, activin B had no effect on WT cells, but stimulated Ca(2+) influx in cells lacking ALK7. In accordance with this, mutant mice lacking activin B showed hyperinsulinemia comparable with that of Alk7(-/-) mice, but double mutants showed no additive effects, suggesting that ALK7 and activin B function in a common pathway to regulate insulin secretion. These findings uncover an unexpected antagonism between activins A and B in the control of Ca(2+) signaling in beta-cells. We propose that ALK7 plays an important role in regulating the functional plasticity of pancreatic islets, negatively affecting beta-cell function by mediating the effects of activin B on Ca(2+) signaling.
Project description:Reduced lipolysis in hormone-sensitive lipase-deficient mice is associated with impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), suggesting that endogenous beta-cell lipid stores provide signaling molecules for insulin release. Measurements of lipolysis and triglyceride (TG) lipase activity in islets from HSL(-/-) mice indicated the presence of other TG lipase(s) in the beta-cell. Using real time-quantitative PCR, adipose triglyceride lipase (ATGL) was found to be the most abundant TG lipase in rat islets and INS832/13 cells. To assess its role in insulin secretion, ATGL expression was decreased in INS832/13 cells (ATGL-knockdown (KD)) by small hairpin RNA. ATGL-KD increased the esterification of free fatty acid (FFA) into TG. ATGL-KD cells showed decreased glucose- or Gln + Leu-induced insulin release, as well as reduced response to KCl or palmitate at high, but not low, glucose. The K(ATP)-independent/amplification pathway of GSIS was considerably reduced in ATGL-KD cells. ATGL(-/-) mice were hypoinsulinemic and hypoglycemic and showed decreased plasma TG and FFAs. A hyperglycemic clamp revealed increased insulin sensitivity and decreased GSIS and arginine-induced insulin secretion in ATGL(-/-) mice. Accordingly, isolated islets from ATGL(-/-) mice showed reduced insulin secretion in response to glucose, glucose + palmitate, and KCl. Islet TG content and FFA esterification into TG were increased by 2-fold in ATGL(-/-) islets, but glucose usage and oxidation were unaltered. The results demonstrate the importance of ATGL and intracellular lipid signaling for fuel- and non-fuel-induced insulin secretion.
Project description:Transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) is a multifunctional cytokine signaling to the nucleus through cell surface transmembrane receptor serine/threonine kinases and cytoplasmic effectors, including Smad proteins. We describe a novel modulator of this pathway, TLP (TRAP-1-like protein), which is 25% identical to the previously described Smad4 chaperone, TRAP-1, and shows identical expression patterns in human tissues. Endogenous TLP associates with both active and kinase-deficient TGF-beta and activin type II receptors, but interacts with the common-mediator Smad4 only in the presence of TGF-beta/activin signaling. Overexpression of TLP represses the ability of TGF-beta to induce transcription from SBE-Luc, a Smad3/4-specific reporter, while it potentiates transcription from ARE-Luc, a Smad2/4-specific reporter. Consistent with this, TLP inhibits the formation of Smad3/4 complexes in the absence of effects on phosphorylation of Smad3, while it affects neither Smad2 phosphorylation nor hetero-oligomerization. We propose that TLP might regulate the balance of Smad2 and Smad3 signaling by localizing Smad4 intracellularly, thus contributing to cellular specificity of TGF-beta transcriptional responses in both normal and pathophysiology.