[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucagon, secreted from pancreatic islet alpha cells, stimulates gluconeogenesis and liver glycogen breakdown. The mechanism regulating glucagon release is debated, and variously attributed to neuronal control, paracrine control by neighbouring beta cells, or to an intrinsic glucose sensing by the alpha cells themselves. We examined hormone secretion and Ca(2+) responses of alpha and beta cells within intact rodent and human islets. Glucose-dependent suppression of glucagon release persisted when paracrine GABA or Zn(2+) signalling was blocked, but was reversed by low concentrations (1-20 muM) of the ATP-sensitive K(+) (KATP) channel opener diazoxide, which had no effect on insulin release or beta cell responses. This effect was prevented by the KATP channel blocker tolbutamide (100 muM). Higher diazoxide concentrations (>/=30 muM) decreased glucagon and insulin secretion, and alpha- and beta-cell Ca(2+) responses, in parallel. In the absence of glucose, tolbutamide at low concentrations (<1 muM) stimulated glucagon secretion, whereas high concentrations (>10 muM) were inhibitory. In the presence of a maximally inhibitory concentration of tolbutamide (0.5 mM), glucose had no additional suppressive effect. Downstream of the KATP channel, inhibition of voltage-gated Na(+) (TTX) and N-type Ca(2+) channels (omega-conotoxin), but not L-type Ca(2+) channels (nifedipine), prevented glucagon secretion. Both the N-type Ca(2+) channels and alpha-cell exocytosis were inactivated at depolarised membrane potentials. Rodent and human glucagon secretion is regulated by an alpha-cell KATP channel-dependent mechanism. We propose that elevated glucose reduces electrical activity and exocytosis via depolarisation-induced inactivation of ion channels involved in action potential firing and secretion.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mice were subjected to gastrectomy (GX) or sham operation (controls). Four to six weeks later the pancreatic islets were isolated and analysed for cAMP or alternatively incubated in a Krebs-Ringer based medium in an effort to study insulin secretion and cAMP accumulation in response to glucose or the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin. Freshly isolated islets from GX mice had higher cAMP content than islets from control mice, a difference that persisted after incubation for 1 h at a glucose concentration of 4 mmol/l. Addition of forskolin to this medium induced much greater cAMP and insulin responses in islets from GX mice than in islets from control mice. In contrast, the insulin response to high glucose (16.7 mmol/l) was much weaker in GX islets than in control islets. Glucose-induced insulin release was associated with a 2-fold rise in the cAMP content in control islets. Surprisingly no rise in cAMP was noted in GX islets incubated at high glucose. Capacitance measurements conducted on isolated insulin cells from GX mice revealed a much lower exocytotic response to a single 500 ms depolarisation (from -70 mV to zero) than in control insulin cells. Addition of cAMP to the cytosol enhanced the exocytotic response in insulin cells from control mice but not from GX mice. The depolarisation-triggered inward Ca(2+) current in insulin cells from GX mice did not differ from that in control mice, and hence the reduced exocytotic response following GX cannot be ascribed to a decreased Ca(2+) influx. Experiments involving a train of ten 500 ms depolarisations revealed that the exocytotic response was prominent in control insulin cells but modest in GX insulin cells. It seems that cAMP is capable of eliciting insulin release from insulin cells of GX mice only when cAMP is generated in a specific microdomain conceivably through the intervention of membrane-associated adenylate cyclases that can be activated by forskolin. The GX-evoked impairment of depolarisation-induced exocytosis and glucose-stimulated insulin release may reflect the lack of a gastric agent that serves to maintain an appropriate insulin response to glucose and an appropriate exocytotic response to depolarisation by raising cAMP in a special glucose-sensitive compartment possibly regulated by a soluble adenylate cyclase.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: SNARE-proteins (soluble NSF-attachment protein receptor) are important for Ca(2+)-dependent exocytosis. We have used capacitance measurements and confocal imaging to dissect the role of synaptosomal protein of 25 kDa (SNAP-25) and syntaxin 1 in rapid exocytosis in insulin-secreting pancreatic beta-cells. Following immunoneutralization of syntaxin 1 and SNAP-25, exocytosis was strongly reduced and associated with a marked reduction in the size of the readily releasable pool (RRP) by 65% and 86% in the presence of the anti-SNAP-25 and anti-syntaxin 1 antibodies respectively. The size of the immediately releasable pool (IRP), a subset of RRP in close association with the voltage-dependent Ca(2+)-channels, was reduced to an equal extent. The reduction in IRP correlated with slowed release kinetics and the time constant (tau) increased from a control value of 16 to 36 ms and 51 ms after inclusion of anti-SNAP-25 and anti-syntaxin 1 antibodies respectively in the pipette solution. We further show that SNAP-25 and syntaxin 1 aggregate in clusters along the plasma membrane. The size of these clusters was estimated to be approximately 300 nm and every beta-cell contained approximately 400 SNAP-25/syntaxin 1 clusters. Whereas the inhibitory action of the anti-syntaxin 1 antibody on exocytosis could be attributed almost entirely to suppression of the voltage-dependent Ca(2+)-current (-40%), the effect of the anti-SNAP-25 antibody was not mediated by decreased Ca(2+)-entry and is more likely due to a direct interference with the exocytotic machinery. Our data are consistent with the concept that both syntaxin 1 and SNAP-25 are required for rapid exocytosis in beta-cells.
Journal of Molecular Endocrinology 07/2006; 36(3):503-15. · 3.58 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Glucagon, secreted by the pancreatic alpha-cells, stimulates insulin secretion from neighboring beta-cells by cAMP- and protein kinase A (PKA)-dependent mechanisms, but it is not known whether glucagon also modulates its own secretion. We have addressed this issue by combining recordings of membrane capacitance (to monitor exocytosis) in individual alpha-cells with biochemical assays of glucagon secretion and cAMP content in intact pancreatic islets, as well as analyses of glucagon receptor expression in pure alpha-cell fractions by RT-PCR. Glucagon stimulated cAMP generation and exocytosis dose dependently with an EC50 of 1.6-1.7 nm. The stimulation of both parameters plateaued at concentrations beyond 10 nm of glucagon where a more than 3-fold enhancement was observed. The actions of glucagon were unaffected by the GLP-1 receptor antagonist exendin-(9-39) but abolished by des-His1-[Glu9]-glucagon-amide, a specific blocker of the glucagon receptor. The effects of glucagon on alpha-cell exocytosis were mimicked by forskolin and the stimulatory actions of glucagon and forskolin on exocytosis were both reproduced by intracellular application of 0.1 mm cAMP. cAMP-potentiated exocytosis involved both PKA-dependent and -independent (resistant to Rp-cAMPS, an Rp-isomer of cAMP) mechanisms. The presence of the cAMP-binding protein cAMP-guanidine nucleotide exchange factor II in alpha-cells was documented by a combination of immunocytochemistry and RT-PCR and 8-(4-chloro-phenylthio)-2'-O-methyl-cAMP, a cAMP-guanidine nucleotide exchange factor II-selective agonist, mimicked the effect of cAMP and augmented rapid exocytosis in a PKA-independent manner. We conclude that glucagon released from the alpha-cells, in addition to its well-documented systemic effects and paracrine actions within the islet, also represents an autocrine regulator of alpha-cell function.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Patch-clamp recordings and glucagon release measurements were combined to determine the role of plasma membrane ATP-sensitive K+ channels (KATP channels) in the control of glucagon secretion from mouse pancreatic alpha-cells. In wild-type mouse islets, glucose produced a concentration-dependent (half-maximal inhibitory concentration [IC50]=2.5 mmol/l) reduction of glucagon release. Maximum inhibition (approximately 50%) was attained at glucose concentrations >5 mmol/l. The sulfonylureas tolbutamide (100 micromol/l) and glibenclamide (100 nmol/l) inhibited glucagon secretion to the same extent as a maximally inhibitory concentration of glucose. In mice lacking functional KATP channels (SUR1-/-), glucagon secretion in the absence of glucose was lower than that observed in wild-type islets and both glucose (0-20 mmol/l) and the sulfonylureas failed to inhibit glucagon secretion. Membrane potential recordings revealed that alpha-cells generate action potentials in the absence of glucose. Addition of glucose depolarized the alpha-cell by approximately 7 mV and reduced spike height by 30% Application of tolbutamide likewise depolarized the alpha-cell (approximately 17 mV) and reduced action potential amplitude (43%). Whereas insulin secretion increased monotonically with increasing external K+ concentrations (threshold 25 mmol/l), glucagon secretion was paradoxically suppressed at intermediate concentrations (5.6-15 mmol/l), and stimulation was first detectable at >25 mmol/l K+. In alpha-cells isolated from SUR1-/- mice, both tolbutamide and glucose failed to produce membrane depolarization. These effects correlated with the presence of a small (0.13 nS) sulfonylurea-sensitive conductance in wild-type but not in SUR1-/- alpha-cells. Recordings of the free cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) revealed that, whereas glucose lowered [Ca2+]i to the same extent as application of tolbutamide, the Na+ channel blocker tetrodotoxin, or the Ca2+ channel blocker Co2+ in wild-type alpha-cells, the sugar was far less effective on [Ca2+]i in SUR1-/- alpha-cells. We conclude that the KATP channel is involved in the control of glucagon secretion by regulating the membrane potential in the alpha-cell in a way reminiscent of that previously documented in insulin-releasing beta-cells. However, because alpha-cells possess a different complement of voltage-gated ion channels involved in action potential generation than the beta-cell, moderate membrane depolarization in alpha-cells is associated with reduced rather than increased electrical activity and secretion.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) constitute a growing class of non-coding RNAs that are thought to regulate gene expression by translational repression. Several miRNAs in animals exhibit tissue-specific or developmental-stage-specific expression, indicating that they could play important roles in many biological processes. To study the role of miRNAs in pancreatic endocrine cells we cloned and identified a novel, evolutionarily conserved and islet-specific miRNA (miR-375). Here we show that overexpression of miR-375 suppressed glucose-induced insulin secretion, and conversely, inhibition of endogenous miR-375 function enhanced insulin secretion. The mechanism by which secretion is modified by miR-375 is independent of changes in glucose metabolism or intracellular Ca2+-signalling but correlated with a direct effect on insulin exocytosis. Myotrophin (Mtpn) was predicted to be and validated as a target of miR-375. Inhibition of Mtpn by small interfering (si)RNA mimicked the effects of miR-375 on glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and exocytosis. Thus, miR-375 is a regulator of insulin secretion and may thereby constitute a novel pharmacological target for the treatment of diabetes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Contryphans constitute a group of conopeptides that are known to contain an unusual density of post-translational modifications including tryptophan bromination, amidation of the C-terminal residue, leucine, and tryptophan isomerization, and proline hydroxylation. Here we report the identification and characterization of a new member of this family, glacontryphan-M from the venom of Conus marmoreus. This is the first known example of a contryphan peptide carrying glutamyl residues that have been post-translationally carboxylated to gamma-carboxyglutamyl (Gla) residues. The amino acid sequence of glacontryphan-M was determined using automated Edman degradation and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. The amino acid sequence of the peptide is: Asn-Gla-Ser-Gla-Cys-Pro-D-Trp-His-Pro-Trp-Cys. As with most other contryphans, glacontryphan-M is amidated at the C terminus and maintains the five-residue intercysteine loop. The occurrence of a D-tryptophan residue was confirmed by chemical synthesis and HPLC elution profiles. Using fluorescence spectroscopy we demonstrated that the Gla-containing peptide binds calcium with a K(D) of 0.63 mM. Cloning of the full-length cDNA encoding glacontryphan-M revealed that the primary translation product carries an N-terminal signal/propeptide sequence that is homologous to earlier reported contryphan signal/propeptide sequences up to 10 amino acids preceding the toxin region. Electrophysiological experiments, carried out on mouse pancreatic B-cells, showed that glacontryphan-M blocks L-type voltage-gated calcium ion channel activity in a calcium-dependent manner. Glacontryphan-M is the first contryphan reported to modulate the activity of L-type calcium ion channels.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 08/2004; 279(31):32453-63. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Contryphans constitute a group of conopeptides that are known to contain an unusual density of post-translational modifications
including tryptophan bromination, amidation of the C-terminal residue, leucine, and tryptophan isomerization, and proline
hydroxylation. Here we report the identification and characterization of a new member of this family, glacontryphan-M from
the venom of Conus marmoreus. This is the first known example of a contryphan peptide carrying glutamyl residues that have been post-translationally carboxylated
to γ-carboxyglutamyl (Gla) residues. The amino acid sequence of glacontryphan-M was determined using automated Edman degradation
and electrospray ionization mass spectrometry. The amino acid sequence of the peptide is: Asn-Gla-Ser-Gla-Cys-Pro-d-Trp-His-Pro-Trp-Cys. As with most other contryphans, glacontryphan-M is amidated at the C terminus and maintains the five-residue
intercysteine loop. The occurrence of a d-tryptophan residue was confirmed by chemical synthesis and HPLC elution profiles. Using fluorescence spectroscopy we demonstrated
that the Gla-containing peptide binds calcium with a KD of 0.63 mm. Cloning of the full-length cDNA encoding glacontryphan-M revealed that the primary translation product carries an N-terminal
signal/propeptide sequence that is homologous to earlier reported contryphan signal/propeptide sequences up to 10 amino acids
preceding the toxin region. Electrophysiological experiments, carried out on mouse pancreatic B-cells, showed that glacontryphan-M
blocks L-type voltage-gated calcium ion channel activity in a calcium-dependent manner. Glacontryphan-M is the first contryphan
reported to modulate the activity of L-type calcium ion channels.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 07/2004; 279(31):32453-32463. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Measurements of membrane capacitance were applied to dissect the cellular mechanisms underlying PKA-dependent and -independent stimulation of insulin secretion by cyclic AMP. Whereas the PKA-independent (Rp-cAMPS-insensitive) component correlated with a rapid increase in membrane capacitance of approximately 80 fF that plateaued within approximately 200 ms, the PKA-dependent component became prominent during depolarizations >450 ms. The PKA-dependent and -independent components of cAMP-stimulated exocytosis differed with regard to cAMP concentration dependence; the K(d) values were 6 and 29 micro M for the PKA-dependent and -independent mechanisms, respectively. The ability of cAMP to elicit exocytosis independently of PKA activation was mimicked by the selective cAMP-GEFII agonist 8CPT-2Me-cAMP. Moreover, treatment of B-cells with antisense oligodeoxynucleotides against cAMP-GEFII resulted in partial (50%) suppression of PKA-independent exocytosis. Surprisingly, B-cells in islets isolated from SUR1-deficient mice (SUR1(-/-) mice) lacked the PKA-independent component of exocytosis. Measurements of insulin release in response to GLP-1 stimulation in isolated islets from SUR1(-/-) mice confirmed the complete loss of the PKA-independent component. This was not attributable to a reduced capacity of GLP-1 to elevate intracellular cAMP but instead associated with the inability of cAMP to stimulate influx of Cl(-) into the granules, a step important for granule priming. We conclude that the role of SUR1 in the B cell extends beyond being a subunit of the plasma membrane K(ATP)-channel and that it also plays an unexpected but important role in the cAMP-dependent regulation of Ca(2+)-induced exocytosis.
The Journal of General Physiology 03/2003; 121(3):181-97. · 4.73 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A readily releasable pool (RRP) of granules has been proposed to underlie the first phase of insulin secretion. In the present study we combined electron microscopy, insulin secretion measurements and recordings of cell capacitance in an attempt to define this pool ultrastructurally. Mouse pancreatic B-cells contain approximately 9,000 granules, of which 7% are docked below the plasma membrane. The number of docked granules was reduced by 30% (200 granules) during 10 min stimulation with high K+. This stimulus depolarized the cell to -10 mV, elevated cytosolic [Ca2+] ([Ca2+](i)) from a basal concentration of 130 nM to a peak of 1.3 microM and released 0.5 ng insulin/islet, corresponding to 200-300 granules/cell. The Ca2+ transient decayed towards the prestimulatory concentration within approximately 200 s, presumably reflecting Ca2+ channel inactivation. Renewed stimulation with high K+ failed to stimulate insulin secretion when applied in the absence of glucose. The size of the RRP, derived from the insulin measurements, is similar to that estimated from the increase in cell capacitance elicited by photolytic release of caged Ca2+. We propose that the RRP represents a subset of the docked pool of granules and that replenishment of RRP can be accounted for largely by chemical modification of granules already in place or situated close to the plasma membrane.
Pflügers Archiv - European Journal of Physiology 06/2002; 444(1-2):43-51. · 4.87 Impact Factor