[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nicotinamide has been reported to induce differentiation of precursor/stem cells toward a beta-cell phenotype, increase islet regeneration, and enhance insulin biosynthesis. Exposure of INS-1 beta-cells to elevated glucose leads to reduced insulin gene transcription, and this is associated with diminished binding of pancreatic duodenal homeobox factor 1 (PDX-1) and mammalian homologue of avian MafA/l-Maf (MafA). Nicotinamide and other low-potency poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors were thus tested for their ability to restore insulin promoter activity. The low-potency PARP inhibitors nicotinamide, 3-aminobenzamide, or PD128763 increased expression of a human insulin reporter gene suppressed by elevated glucose. In contrast, the potent PARP-1 inhibitors PJ34 or INO-1001 had no effect on promoter activity. Antioxidants, including N-acetylcysteine, lipoic acid, or quercetin, only minimally induced the insulin promoter. Site-directed mutations of the human insulin promoter mapped the low-potency PARP inhibitor response to the C1 element, which serves as a MafA binding site. INS-1 cells exposed to elevated glucose had markedly reduced MafA protein and mRNA levels. Low-potency PARP inhibitors restored MafA mRNA and protein levels, but they had no affect on PDX-1 protein levels or binding activity. Increased MafA expression by low-potency PARP inhibitors was independent of increased MafA protein or mRNA stability. These data suggest that low-potency PARP inhibitors increase insulin biosynthesis, in part, through a mechanism involving increased MafA gene transcription.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic exposure of pancreatic beta-cells to elevated glucose reduces insulin gene promoter activity, and this is associated with diminished binding of two beta-cell-enriched transcription factors, Pdx-1 and MafA. In this study using INS-1 beta-cells, overexpression of MafA, but not Pdx-1, was able to restore expression of a human insulin reporter gene (-327 to +30 bp) suppressed by elevated glucose. At issue, however, was that MafA also markedly stimulated an insulin reporter gene (-230 to +30 bp) that was only marginally suppressed by glucose, suggesting that glucose-mediated suppression of the insulin promoter involved elements upstream of -230. Using serial truncations and mini-enhancer constructs of the human insulin promoter, the majority of glucose suppression was localized to regulatory elements between -327 and -261. Nuclear extracts from INS-1 cells exposed to elevated glucose had reduced binding activities to the A5/core (-319 to -307), and to a palindrome (-284 to -267) and an E box (-273 to -257, E3) contained within the Z element. The A5/core binding complex was determined to contain MafA, Pdx-1, and an A2-like binding factor. Two mini-enhancer constructs containing the A5/core were suppressed by glucose and strongly activated by MafA. Glucose-mediated suppression of the Z mini-enhancer was not attenuated by overexpression of MafA or Pdx-1. Site-directed mutation of the A5/core, palindrome, and E3 elements attenuated glucose-mediated suppression. These data indicate that glucose suppression of human insulin promoter activity in INS-1 cells involves reduced binding of MafA to the A5/core. Changes in nuclear factor binding to the Z element, which functions as a strong activator element in primary islets and a negative regulatory element in simian virus 40 or T antigen transformed beta-cell lines, also participate in glucose suppression of insulin promoter activity.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The limited availability of transplantable human islets has stimulated the development of methods needed to isolate adult pancreatic stem/progenitor cells capable of self-renewal and endocrine differentiation. The objective of this study was to determine whether modulation of intracellular redox state with N-acetyl-L-cysteine (NAC) would allow for the propagation of pancreatic stem/progenitor cells from adult human pancreatic tissue.
Cells were propagated from human pancreatic tissue using a serum-free, low-calcium medium supplemented with NAC and tested for their ability to differentiate when cultured under different growth conditions.
Human pancreatic cell (HPC) cultures coexpressed alpha-amylase, albumin, vimentin, and nestin. The HPC cultures, however, did not express other genes associated with differentiated pancreatic exocrine, duct, or endocrine cells. A number of transcription factors involved in endocrine cell development including Beta 2, Islet-1, Nkx6.1, Pax4, and Pax6 were expressed at variable levels in HPC cultures. In contrast, pancreatic duodenal homeobox factor 1 (Pdx-1) expression was extremely low and at times undetectable. Overexpression of Pdx-1 in HPC cultures stimulated somatostatin, glucagon, and carbonic anhydrase expression but had no effect on insulin gene expression. HPC cultures could form 3-dimensional islet-like cell aggregates, and this was associated with expression of somatostatin and glucagon but not insulin. Cultivation of HPCs in a differentiation medium supplemented with nicotinamide, exendin-4, and/or LY294002, an inhibitor of phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase, stimulated expression of insulin mRNA and protein.
These data support the use of intracellular redox modulation for the enrichment of pancreatic stem/progenitor cells capable of self-renewal and endocrine differentiation.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gap junctional intercellular communication has been implicated in the homeostatic regulation of cell growth, differentiation, and apoptosis. Cancer cells, which have been viewed as "partially blocked stem cells," and which lack the ability for growth control, terminal differentiation, and apoptosis, also lack functional gap junctional communication.
A clone of a human pancreatic ductal epithelial cell line, H6c7, derived after immortalization with human papilloma virus, was used to examine gap junctional intercellular communication and the ability to differentiate under different growth conditions.
The cells showed characteristic epithelial morphology on standard tissue culture dishes. When placed on Matrigel they showed phenotypical changes with extensive ductal organization and budding structures. In growth medium containing hormones and growth factors, these cells were gap junctional intercellular communication (GJIC)-incompetent. In the presence of c-AMP elevating agents, isobutylmethylxanthine, and forskolin, in basal medium that did not contain the hormones and growth factors, the cells became GJIC-competent and expressed connexin43 gap junction protein within 48 hours after treatment. RT-PCR analyses of the cells under different growth conditions showed that the cells expressed, and genes when cultured in the basal medium with c-AMP elevating agents. They also expressed the gene that did not change with c-AMP treatment. H6c7 cells also have the capacity to turn on an ectopic insulin promoter reporter gene.
Our data suggest that the immortalized H6c7 cells retain stem-like characteristics and have the potential to differentiate into duct-like structures and perhaps insulin-producing cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A full-scale field evaluation of bioaugmentation was conducted in a carbon tetrachloride (CT)- and nitrate-impacted aquifer at Schoolcraft, MI. The added organism was Pseudomonas stutzeri KC (strain KC), a denitrifying bacterium that cometabolically degrades CT without producing chloroform (CF). To introduce and maintain strain KC in the aquifer, a row of closely spaced (1-m) injection/extraction wells were installed normal to the direction of groundwater flow near the leading edge of the CT plume. The resulting system of wells was used to establish and maintain a "biocurtain" for CT degradation through the intermittent addition of base to create favorable pH conditions; inoculation; and weekly addition of acetate (electron donor), alkali, and phosphorus. Although half of the test zone was inoculated twice, the long-term performance of both sections was indistinguishable: both had high CT removal efficiencies (median of 98-99.9%) and similar levels of strain KC colonization (>10(5) strain KC/g). Sustained and efficient (98%) removal of CT has now been observed over 4 yr. Transient low levels of CF (<20 ppb) and H2S (<2 ppm) were observed, but both disappeared when the concentration of acetate in the weekly feed was reduced. Nitrate removal efficiencies ranged from 60% at low acetate concentrations to nearly 100% at high acetate concentrations. We conclude that closely spaced wells and intermittent substrate addition are effective means of delivering organisms and substrates to subsurface environments. At the Schoolcraft site, we achieved uniform removal efficiencies over a significant vertical depth (15 m), despite significant variability in hydraulic conductivity. This was accomplished by pumping 65% (v/v) of the natural gradient flow passing through the biocurtain during a given week in a single 6-h pumping event. Approximately 18,600 m3 of contaminated groundwater was treated during the project.