The expression of dominant negative TCF7L2 in pancreatic beta cells during the embryonic stage causes impaired glucose homeostasis.
ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVE: Disruption of TCF7L2 in mouse pancreatic ?-cells has generated different outcomes in several investigations. Here we aim to clarify role of ?-cell TCF7L2 and Wnt signaling using a functional-knockdown approach. METHODS: Adenovirus-mediated dominant negative TCF7L2 (TCF7L2DN) expression was conducted in Ins-1 cells. The fusion gene in which TCF7L2DN expression is driven by P TRE3G was utilized to generate the transgenic mouse line TCF7L2DN Tet . The double transgenic line was created by mating TCF7L2DN Tet with Ins2-rtTA, designated as ?TCFDN. ?-cell specific TCF7L2DN expression was induced in ?TCFDN by doxycycline feeding. RESULTS: TCF7L2DN expression in Ins-1 cells reduced GSIS, cell proliferation and expression of a battery of genes including incretin receptors and ?-cell transcription factors. Inducing TCF7L2DN expression in ?TCFDN during adulthood or immediately after weaning generated no or very modest metabolic defect, while its expression during embryonic development by doxycycline feeding in pregnant mothers resulted in significant glucose intolerance associated with altered ?-cell gene expression and reduced ?-cell mass. CONCLUSIONS: Our observations support a cell autonomous role for TCF7L2 in pancreatic ?-cells suggested by most, though not all, investigations. ?TCFDN is a novel model for further exploring the role of TCF7L2 in ?-cell genesis and metabolic homeostasis.
Project description:AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:Individuals carrying type 2 diabetes risk alleles in TCF7L2 display decreased beta cell levels of T cell factor 7 like-2 (TCF7L2) immunoreactivity, and impaired insulin secretion and beta cell sensitivity to glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1). Here, we sought to determine whether selective deletion of Tcf7l2 in mouse pancreas impairs insulin release and glucose homeostasis. METHODS:Pancreas-specific Tcf7l2-null (pTcf7l2) mice were generated by crossing mice carrying conditional knockout alleles of Tcf7l2 (Tcf7l2-flox) with mice expressing Cre recombinase under the control of the Pdx1 promoter (Pdx1.Cre). Gene expression was assessed by real-time quantitative PCR and beta cell mass by optical projection tomography. Glucose tolerance, insulin secretion from isolated islets, and plasma insulin, glucagon and GLP-1 content were assessed by standard protocols. RESULTS:From 12 weeks of age, pTcf7l2 mice displayed decreased oral glucose tolerance vs control littermates; from 20 weeks they had glucose intolerance upon administration of glucose by the intraperitoneal route. pTcf7l2 islets displayed impaired insulin secretion in response to 17 (vs 3.0) mmol/l glucose (54.6 ± 4.6%, p < 0.01) or to 17 mmol/l glucose plus 100 nmol/l GLP-1 (44.3 ± 4.9%, p < 0.01) compared with control islets. Glp1r (42 ± 0.08%, p < 0.01) and Ins2 (15.4 ± 4.6%, p < 0.01) expression was significantly lower in pTcf7l2 islets than in controls. Maintained on a high-fat (but not on a normal) diet, pTcf7l2 mice displayed decreased expansion of pancreatic beta cell volume vs control littermates. No differences were observed in plasma insulin, proinsulin, glucagon or GLP-1 concentrations. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION:Selective deletion of Tcf7l2 in the pancreas replicates key aspects of the altered glucose homeostasis in human carriers of TCF7L2 risk alleles, indicating the direct role of this factor in controlling beta cell function.
Project description:Genome editing technologies such as CRISPR-Cas9 are widely used to establish causal associations between mutations and phenotypes. However, CRISPR-Cas9 is rarely used to analyze promoter regions. The insulin promoter region (approximately 1,000?bp) directs ? cell-specific expression of insulin, which in vitro studies show is regulated by ubiquitous, as well as pancreatic, ? cell-specific transcription factors. However, we are unaware of any confirmatory in vivo studies. Here, we used CRISPR-Cas9 technology to generate mice with mutations in the promoter regions of the insulin I (Ins1) and II (Ins2) genes. We generated 4 homozygous diabetic mice with 2 distinct mutations in the highly conserved C1 elements in each of the Ins1 and Ins2 promoters (3 deletions and 1 replacement in total). Remarkably, all mice with homozygous or heterozygous mutations in other loci were not diabetic. Thus, the C1 element in mice is required for Ins transcription in vivo.
Project description:Despite the ?DTA (Ins2-rtTA; Tet-DTA) mice have been developed as a valuable tool to study ? cell regeneration, their individual variation in therapeutic efficacy has not been characterized. Here, we demonstrated that the ?DTA mice exhibited significant variations in both spontaneous and acquired ? cell regeneration. We found that doxycycline (DOX)-induced ? cell death was sufficient to cause polydipsia, translating even subtle difference in drinking habit into large variations in actual DOX intake among individuals within the same group. Accumulating evidence shows that transient expression of VEGFA enhances ? cell functional recovery after injury. Therefore, we utilized the chemically modified mRNA (modRNA) technology to enable transient yet efficient VEGFA expression in the pancreas after DOX-induced ? cell death. Surprisingly, under optimized DOX dose permissive of ? cell regeneration, VEGFA modRNA only demonstrated marginal benefits on ? cell functional recovery with large individual variations. We also revealed that the therapeutic efficacy of VEGFA modRNA on ? cell regeneration was dependent on the degree of ? cell loss induced by the accumulated DOX intake. Therefore, our results highlight a significant contribution of individual variation in the ?DTA model and call for attention in evaluating potential efficacy of therapeutic agents in ? cell regeneration studies.
Project description:The recombination efficiency and cell specificity of Cre driver lines are critical for exploring pancreatic ? cell biology with the Cre/LoxP approach. Some commonly used Cre lines are based on the short Ins2 promoter fragment and show recombination activity in hypothalamic neurons; however, whether this stems from endogenous Ins2 promoter activity remains controversial. In this study, we generated Ins2-Cre knockin mice with a targeted insertion of IRES-Cre at the Ins2 locus and demonstrated with a cell lineage tracing study that the Ins2 gene is not transcriptionally active in the hypothalamus. The Ins2-Cre driver line displayed robust Cre expression and activity in pancreatic ? cells without significant alterations in insulin expression. In the brain, Cre activity was mainly restricted to the choroid plexus, without significant recombination detected in the hippocampus or hypothalamus by the LacZ or fluorescent tdTomato reporters. Furthermore, Ins2-Cre mice exhibited normal glucose tolerance and insulin secretion upon glucose stimulation in vivo. In conclusion, this Ins2-Cre driver line allowed high-fidelity detection of endogenous Ins2 promoter activity in vivo, and the negative activity in the hypothalamus demonstrated that this system is a promising alternative tool for studying ? cell biology.
Project description:Circular RNAs (circRNAs) are a large family of noncoding RNAs that have emerged as novel regulators of gene expression. However, little is known about the function of circRNAs in pancreatic ?-cells. Here, transcriptomic analysis of mice pancreatic islet RNA-sequencing data identified 77 differentially expressed circRNAs between mice fed with a normal diet and a high-fat diet. Surprisingly, multiple circRNAs were derived from the intron 2 of the preproinsulin 2 (Ins2) gene and are termed as circular intronic (ci)-Ins2. The expression of ci-Ins2 transcripts in mouse pancreatic islets, and ?TC6 cells were confirmed by reverse transcription PCR, DNA sequencing, and RNase R treatment experiments. The level of ci-Ins2 was altered in ?TC6 cells upon exposure to elevated levels of palmitate and glucose. Computational analysis predicted the interaction of several RNA-binding proteins with ci-Ins2 and their flanking region, suggesting their role in the ci-Ins2 function or biogenesis. Additionally, bioinformatics analysis predicted the association of several microRNAs with ci-Ins2. Gene ontology and pathway analysis of genes targeted by miRNAs associated with ci-Ins2 suggested the regulation of several key biological processes. Together, our findings indicate that differential expression of circRNAs, especially ci-Ins2 transcripts, may regulate ?-cell function and may play a critical role in the development of diabetes.
Project description:Inducible gene expression is an important tool in molecular biology research to study protein function. Most frequently, the antibiotic doxycycline is used for regulation of so-called tetracycline (Tet)-inducible systems. In contrast to stable gene overexpression, these systems allow investigation of acute and reversible effects of cellular protein induction. Recent reports have already called for caution when using Tet-inducible systems as the employed antibiotics can disturb mitochondrial function and alter cellular metabolism by interfering with mitochondrial translation. Reprogramming of energy metabolism has lately been recognized as an important emerging hallmark of cancer and is a central focus of cancer research. Therefore, the scope of this study was to systematically analyze dose-dependent metabolic effects of doxycycline on a panel of glioma cell lines with concomitant monitoring of gene expression from Tet-inducible systems. We report that doxycycline doses commonly used with inducible expression systems (0.01?1 µg/mL) substantially alter cellular metabolism: Mitochondrial protein synthesis was inhibited accompanied by reduced oxygen and increased glucose consumption. Furthermore, doxycycline protected human glioma cells from hypoxia-induced cell death. An impairment of cell growth was only detectable with higher doxycycline doses (10 µg/mL). Our findings describe settings where doxycycline exerts effects on eukaryotic cellular metabolism, limiting the employment of Tet-inducible systems.
Project description:OBJECTIVE:The WNT signaling pathway effector gene TCF7L2 has been associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. However, it remains unclear how this gene affects diabetic pathogenesis. The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of Tcf7l2 haploinsufficiency on metabolic phenotypes in mice. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:Tcf7l2 knockout (Tcf7l⁻/⁻) mice were generated. Because of the early mortality of Tcf7l2⁻/⁻ mice, we characterized the metabolic phenotypes of heterozygous Tcf7l2⁺/⁻ mice in comparison to the wild-type controls. The mice were fed a normal chow diet or a high fat diet (HFD) for 9 weeks. RESULTS:The Tcf7l2⁺/⁻ mice showed significant differences from the wild-type mice with regards to body weight, fasting glucose and insulin levels. Tcf7l2⁺/⁻ mice displayed improved glucose tolerance. In the liver of Tcf7l2⁺/⁻ mice fed on the HFD, reduced lipogenesis and hepatic triglyceride levels were observed when compared with those of wild-type mice. Furthermore, the Tcf7l2⁺/⁻ mice fed on the HFD exhibited decreased peripheral fat deposition. Immunohistochemistry in mouse pancreatic islets showed that endogenous expression of Tcf7l2 was upregulated in the wild-type mice, but not in the Tcf7l2⁺/⁻ mice, after feeding with the HFD. However, the haploinsufficiency of Tcf7l2 in mouse pancreatic islets resulted in little changes in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. CONCLUSION:These results suggest that decreased expression of Tcf7l2 confers reduction of diabetic susceptibility in mice via regulation on the metabolism of glucose and lipid.
Project description:Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is characterized by β cell dysfunction and loss. Single nucleotide polymorphisms in the T-cell factor 7-like 2 (TCF7L2) gene, associated with T2D by genome-wide association studies, lead to impaired β cell function. While deletion of the homologous murine Tcf7l2 gene throughout the developing pancreas leads to impaired glucose tolerance, deletion in the β cell in adult mice reportedly has more modest effects. To inactivate Tcf7l2 highly selectively in β cells from the earliest expression of the Ins1 gene (∼E11.5) we have therefore used a Cre recombinase introduced at the Ins1 locus. Tcfl2(fl/fl)::Ins1Cre mice display impaired oral and intraperitoneal glucose tolerance by 8 and 16 weeks, respectively, and defective responses to the GLP-1 analogue liraglutide at 8 weeks. Tcfl2(fl/fl)::Ins1Cre islets displayed defective glucose- and GLP-1-stimulated insulin secretion and the expression of both the Ins2 (∼20%) and Glp1r (∼40%) genes were significantly reduced. Glucose- and GLP-1-induced intracellular free Ca(2+) increases, and connectivity between individual β cells, were both lowered by Tcf7l2 deletion in islets from mice maintained on a high (60%) fat diet. Finally, analysis by optical projection tomography revealed ∼30% decrease in β cell mass in pancreata from Tcfl2(fl/fl)::Ins1Cre mice. These data demonstrate that Tcf7l2 plays a cell autonomous role in the control of β cell function and mass, serving as an important regulator of gene expression and islet cell coordination. The possible relevance of these findings for the action of TCF7L2 polymorphisms associated with Type 2 diabetes in man is discussed.
Project description:AIMS/HYPOTHESIS:Pancreatic beta cell dysfunction is a prerequisite for the development of type 2 diabetes. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) may affect pancreatic endocrine function and glucose homeostasis through alterations in gene regulation. Our aim was to investigate the role of HDAC7 in human and rat pancreatic islets and clonal INS-1 beta cells (INS-1 832/13). METHODS:To explore the role of HDAC7 in pancreatic islets and clonal beta cells, we used RNA sequencing, mitochondrial functional analyses, microarray techniques, and HDAC inhibitors MC1568 and trichostatin A. RESULTS:Using RNA sequencing, we found increased HDAC7 expression in human pancreatic islets from type 2 diabetic compared with non-diabetic donors. HDAC7 expression correlated negatively with insulin secretion in human islets. To mimic the situation in type 2 diabetic islets, we overexpressed Hdac7 in rat islets and clonal beta cells. In both, Hdac7 overexpression resulted in impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Furthermore, it reduced insulin content, mitochondrial respiration and cellular ATP levels in clonal beta cells. Overexpression of Hdac7 also led to changes in the genome-wide gene expression pattern, including increased expression of Tcf7l2 and decreased expression of gene sets regulating DNA replication and repair as well as nucleotide metabolism. In accordance, Hdac7 overexpression reduced the number of beta cells owing to enhanced apoptosis. Finally, we found that inhibiting HDAC7 activity with pharmacological inhibitors or small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown restored glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in beta cells that were overexpressing Hdac7. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION:Taken together, these results indicate that increased HDAC7 levels caused beta cell dysfunction and may thereby contribute to defects seen in type 2 diabetic islets. Our study supports HDAC7 inhibitors as a therapeutic option for the treatment of type 2 diabetes.
Project description:Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is a complex disorder that is caused by a combination of genetic, epigenetic, and environmental factors. High-throughput approaches have opened a new avenue toward a better understanding of the molecular bases of T2D. A genome-wide association studies (GWASs) identified a group of the most common susceptibility genes for T2D (i.e., TCF7L2, PPARG, KCNJ1, HNF1A, PTPN1, and CDKAL1) and illuminated novel disease-causing pathways. Next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based techniques have shed light on rare-coding genetic variants that account for an appreciable fraction of T2D heritability (KCNQ1 and ADRA2A) and population risk of T2D (SLC16A11, TPCN2, PAM, and CCND2). Moreover, single-cell sequencing of human pancreatic islets identified gene signatures that are exclusive to ?-cells (GCG, IRX2, and IGFBP2) and ?-cells (INS, ADCYAP1, INS-IGF2, and MAFA). Ongoing epigenome-wide association studies (EWASs) have progressively defined links between epigenetic markers and the transcriptional activity of T2D target genes. Differentially methylated regions were found in TCF7L2, THADA, KCNQ1, TXNIP, SOCS3, SREBF1, and KLF14 loci that are related to T2D. Additionally, chromatin state maps in pancreatic islets were provided and several non-coding RNAs (ncRNA) that are key to T2D pathogenesis were identified (i.e., miR-375). The present review summarizes major progress that has been made in mapping the (epi)genomic landscape of T2D within the last few years.