p38 MAPK is a major regulator of MafA protein stability under oxidative stress.
ABSTRACT Mammalian MafA/RIPE3b1 is an important glucose-responsive transcription factor that regulates function, maturation, and survival of beta-cells. Increased expression of MafA results in improved glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and beta-cell function. Because MafA is a highly phosphorylated protein, we examined whether regulating activity of protein kinases can increase MafA expression by enhancing its stability. We demonstrate that MafA protein stability in MIN6 cells and isolated mouse islets is regulated by both p38 MAPK and glycogen synthase kinase 3. Inhibiting p38 MAPK enhanced MafA stability in cells grown under both low and high concentrations of glucose. We also show that the N-terminal domain of MafA plays a major role in p38 MAPK-mediated degradation; simultaneous mutation of both threonines 57 and 134 into alanines in MafA was sufficient to prevent this degradation. Under oxidative stress, a condition detrimental to beta-cell function, a decrease in MafA stability was associated with a concomitant increase in active p38 MAPK. Interestingly, inhibiting p38 MAPK but not glycogen synthase kinase 3 prevented oxidative stress-dependent degradation of MafA. These results suggest that the p38 MAPK pathway may represent a common mechanism for regulating MafA levels under oxidative stress and basal and stimulatory glucose concentrations. Therefore, preventing p38 MAPK-mediated degradation of MafA represents a novel approach to improve beta-cell function.
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ABSTRACT: Specification and maturation of insulin(+) cells accompanies a transition in expression of Maf family of transcription factors. In development, MafA is expressed after specification of insulin(+) cells that are expressing another Maf factor, MafB; after birth, these insulin(+) MafA(+) cells stop MafB expression and gain glucose responsiveness. Current differentiation protocols for deriving insulin-producing β-cells from stem cells result in β-cells lacking both MafA expression and glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. So driving expression of MafA, a β-cell maturation factor in endocrine precursors could potentially generate glucose-responsive MafA(+)β cells. Using inducible transgenic mice, we characterized the final stages of β-cell differentiation and maturation with MafA pause/release experiments. We found that forcing MafA transgene expression, out of its normal developmental context, in Ngn3(+) endocrine progenitors blocked endocrine differentiation and prevented the formation of hormone(+) cells. However, this arrest was reversible such that with stopping the transgene expression, the cells resumed their differentiation to hormone(+) cells, including α-cells, indicating that the block likely occurred after progenitors had committed to a specific hormonal fate. Interestingly, this delayed resumption of endocrine differentiation resulted in a greater proportion of immature insulin(+)MafB(+) cells at P5, demonstrating that during maturation the inhibition of MafB in β-cell transitioning from insulin(+)MafB(+) to insulin(+)MafB(-) stage is regulated by cell-autonomous mechanisms. These results demonstrate the importance of proper context of initiating MafA expression on the endocrine differentiation and suggest that generating mature Insulin(+)MafA(+)β-cells will require the induction of MafA in a narrow temporal window to achieve normal endocrine differentiation.Developmental Biology 10/2013; · 3.64 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Thyroid hormones (TH) play an important regulatory role in energy expenditure regulation and are key regulators of mitochondrial activity. We have previously identified a mitochondrial triiodothyronine (T3) receptor (p43) which acts as a mitochondrial transcription factor of the organelle genome, which leads in vitro and in vivo, to a stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis. Recently, we generated mice carrying a specific p43 invalidation. At 2 months of age, we reported that p43 depletion in mice induced a major defect in insulin secretion both in vivo and in isolated pancreatic islets, and a loss of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. The present study was designed to determine whether p43 invalidation influences life expectancy and modulates blood glucose and insulin levels as well as glucose tolerance or insulin sensitivity during aging. We report that from 4 months old onwards, mice lacking p43 are leaner than wild-type mice. p43-/- mice also have a moderate reduction of life expectancy compared to wild type. We found no difference in blood glucose levels, excepted at 24 months old where p43-/- mice showed a strong hyperglycemia in fasting conditions compared to controls animals. However, the loss of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion was maintained whatever the age of mice lacking p43. If up to 12 months old, glucose tolerance remained unchanged, beyond this age p43-/- mice became increasingly glucose intolerant. In addition, if up to 12 months old p43 deficient animals were more sensitive to insulin, after this age we observed a loss of this capacity, culminating in 24 months old mice with a decreased sensitivity to the hormone. In conclusion, we demonstrated that during aging the depletion of the mitochondrial T3 receptor p43 in mice progressively induced an increased glycemia in the fasted state, glucose intolerance and an insulin-resistance several features of type-2 diabetes.PLoS ONE 09/2013; 8(9):e75111. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: This commentary discusses the concept of β-cell dedifferentiation in diabetes, which is important but not well defined. A broad interpretation is that a state of differentiation has been lost, which means changes in gene expression as well as in structural and functional elements. Thus, a fully mature healthy β cell will have its unique differentiation characteristics, but maturing cells and old β cells will have different patterns of gene expression and might therefore be considered as dedifferentiated. The meaning of dedifferentiation is now being debated because β cells in the diabetic state lose components of their differentiated state, which results in severe dysfunction of insulin secretion. The major cause of this change is thought to be glucose toxicity (glucotoxicity) and that lowering glucose levels with treatment results in some restoration of function. An issue to be discussed is whether dedifferentiated β cells return to a multipotent precursor cell phenotype or whether they follow a different pathway of dedifferentiation.Islets 12/2013; 5(5). · 1.55 Impact Factor