Min Guo

Vanderbilt University, Nashville, MI, United States

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Publications (11)74.2 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: The large Maf transcription factors, MafA and MafB, are expressed with distinct spatial-temporal patterns in rodent islet cells. Analysis of Mafa(-/-) and pancreas-specific Mafa(panc) deletion mutant mice demonstrated a primary role for MafA in adult β-cell activity, different from the embryonic importance of MafB. Our interests here were to precisely define when MafA became functional significant to β-cells, determine how this was affected by the brief period of postnatal MafB production, and to identify genes regulated by MafA during this period. We found that islet cell organization, β-cell mass and β-cell function were influenced by 3 weeks of age in Mafa(Δpanc) mice, and compromised earlier in Mafa(Δpanc);Mafb(+/-) mice. A combination of genome-wide microarray profiling, electron microscopy and metabolic assays were used to reveal mechanisms of MafA control. For example, β-cell replication was produced by actions on Cyclin D2 regulation, while effects on granule docking impacted first-phase insulin secretion. Moreover, notable differences in the genes regulated by embryonic MafB and postnatal MafA gene expression were found. These results not only clearly define why MafA is an essential transcriptional regulator of islet β-cells, but also why cell maturation involves coordinated actions with MafB.
    Diabetes 02/2014; · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Type 2 diabetes (T2DM) commonly arises from islet β cell failure and insulin resistance. Here, we examined the sensitivity of key islet-enriched transcription factors to oxidative stress, a condition associated with β cell dysfunction in both type 1 diabetes (T1DM) and T2DM. Hydrogen peroxide treatment of β cell lines induced cytoplasmic translocation of MAFA and NKX6.1. In parallel, the ability of nuclear PDX1 to bind endogenous target gene promoters was also dramatically reduced, whereas the activity of other key β cell transcriptional regulators was unaffected. MAFA levels were reduced, followed by a reduction in NKX6.1 upon development of hyperglycemia in db/db mice, a T2DM model. Transgenic expression of the glutathione peroxidase-1 antioxidant enzyme (GPX1) in db/db islet β cells restored nuclear MAFA, nuclear NKX6.1, and β cell function in vivo. Notably, the selective decrease in MAFA, NKX6.1, and PDX1 expression was found in human T2DM islets. MAFB, a MAFA-related transcription factor expressed in human β cells, was also severely compromised. We propose that MAFA, MAFB, NKX6.1, and PDX1 activity provides a gauge of islet β cell function, with loss of MAFA (and/or MAFB) representing an early indicator of β cell inactivity and the subsequent deficit of more impactful NKX6.1 (and/or PDX1) resulting in overt dysfunction associated with T2DM.
    The Journal of clinical investigation 07/2013; · 15.39 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The expression pattern of genes important for pancreatic islet cell function requires the actions of cell-enriched transcription factors. Musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma homolog A (MafA) is a β-cell-specific transcriptional activator critical to adult islet β-cell function, with MafA mutant mice manifesting symptoms associated with human type 2 diabetes. Here, we describe that MafA expression is controlled by hepatocyte nuclear factor 1-α (Hnf1α), the transcription factor gene mutated in the most common monoallelic form of maturity onset diabetes of the young. There are six conserved sequence domains in the 5'-flanking MafA promoter, of which one, region 3 (R3) [base pair (bp) -8118/-7750] is principally involved in controlling the unique developmental and adult islet β-cell-specific expression pattern. Chromatin immunoprecipitation analysis demonstrated that Hnf1α bound specifically within R3. Furthermore, in vitro DNA-binding experiments localized an Hnf1α regulatory element between bp -7822 and -7793, an area previously associated with stimulation by the islet developmental regulator, Islet1. However, site-directed mutational studies showed that Hnf1α was essential to R3-driven reporter activation through bp -7816/-7811. Significantly, MafA levels were dramatically reduced in the insulin(+) cell population remaining in embryonic and adult Hnf1α(-/-) pancreata. Our results demonstrate that Hnf1α regulates MafA in β-cells and suggests that compromised MafA expression contributes to β-cell dysfunction in maturity onset diabetes of the young.
    Molecular Endocrinology 02/2011; 25(2):339-47. · 4.75 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Several transcription factors are essential to pancreatic islet β-cell development, proliferation, and activity, including MafA and MafB. However, MafA and MafB are distinct from others in regard to temporal and islet cell expression pattern, with β-cells affected by MafB only during development and exclusively by MafA in the adult. Our aim was to define the functional relationship between these closely related activators to the β-cell. The distribution of MafA and MafB in the β-cell population was determined immunohistochemically at various developmental and perinatal stages in mice. To identify genes regulated by MafB, microarray profiling was performed on wild-type and MafB(-/-) pancreata at embryonic day 18.5, with candidates evaluated by quantitative RT-PCR and in situ hybridization. The potential role of MafA in the expression of verified targets was next analyzed in adult islets of a pancreas-wide MafA mutant (termed MafA(ΔPanc)). MafB was produced in a larger fraction of β-cells than MafA during development and found to regulate potential effectors of glucose sensing, hormone processing, vesicle formation, and insulin secretion. Notably, expression from many of these genes was compromised in MafA(ΔPanc) islets, suggesting that MafA is required to sustain expression in adults. Our results provide insight into the sequential manner by which MafA and MafB regulate islet β-cell formation and maturation.
    Diabetes 10/2010; 59(10):2530-9. · 7.90 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: MafA is a key transcriptional activator of islet beta cells, and its exclusive expression within beta cells of the developing and adult pancreas is distinct among pancreatic regulators. Region 3 (base pairs -8118 to -7750 relative to the transcription start site), one of six conserved 5' cis domains of the MafA promoter, is capable of directing beta-cell-line-selective expression. Transgenic reporters of region 3 alone (R3), sequences spanning regions 1 to 6 (R1-6; base pairs -10428 to +230), and R1-6 lacking R3 (R1-6(DeltaR3)) were generated. Only the R1-6 transgene was active in MafA(+) insulin(+) cells during development and in adult cells. R1-6 also mediated glucose-induced MafA expression. Conversely, pancreatic expression was not observed with the R3 or R1-6(DeltaR3) line, although much of the nonpancreatic expression pattern was shared between the R1-6 and R1-6(DeltaR3) lines. Further support for the importance of R3 was also shown, as the islet regulators Nkx6.1 and Pax6, but not NeuroD1, activated MafA in gel shift, chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP), and transfection assays and in vivo mouse knockout models. Lastly, ChIP demonstrated that Pax6 and Pdx-1 also bound to R1 and R6, potentially functioning in pancreatic and nonpancreatic expression. These data highlight the nature of the cis- and trans-acting factors controlling the beta-cell-specific expression of MafA.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 09/2010; 30(17):4234-44. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: As successful generation of insulin-producing cells could be used for diabetes treatment, a concerted effort is being made to understand the molecular programs underlying islet beta-cell formation and function. The closely related MafA and MafB transcription factors are both key mammalian beta-cell regulators. MafA and MafB are co-expressed in insulin+beta-cells during embryogenesis, while in the adult pancreas only MafA is produced in beta-cells and MafB in glucagon+alpha-cells. MafB-/- animals are also deficient in insulin+ and glucagon+ cell production during embryogenesis. However, only MafA over-expression selectively induced endogenous Insulin mRNA production in cell line-based assays, while MafB specifically promoted Glucagon expression. Here, we analyzed whether these factors were sufficient to induce insulin+ and/or glucagon+ cell formation within embryonic endoderm using the chick in ovo electroporation assay. Ectopic expression of MafA, but not MafB, promoted Insulin production; however, neither MafA nor MafB were capable of inducing Glucagon. Co-electroporation of MafA with the Ngn3 transcription factor resulted in the development of more organized cell clusters containing both insulin- and glucagon-producing cells. Analysis of chimeric proteins of MafA and MafB demonstrated that chick Insulin activation depended on sequences within the MafA C-terminal DNA-binding domain. MafA was also bound to Insulin and Glucagon transcriptional control sequences in mouse embryonic pancreas and beta-cell lines. Collectively, these results demonstrate a unique ability for MafA to independently activate Insulin transcription.
    Journal of Endocrinology 06/2008; 198(2):271-9. · 4.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic endocrine cell differentiation depends on transcription factors that also contribute in adult insulin and glucagon gene expression. Islet cell development was examined in mice lacking MafB, a transcription factor expressed in immature alpha (glucagon(+)) and beta (insulin(+)) cells and capable of activating insulin and glucagon expression in vitro. We observed that MafB(-/-) embryos had reduced numbers of insulin(+) and glucagon(+) cells throughout development, whereas the total number of endocrine cells was unchanged. Moreover, production of insulin(+) cells was delayed until embryonic day (E) 13.5 in mutant mice and coincided with the onset of MafA expression, a MafB-related activator of insulin transcription. MafA expression was only detected in the insulin(+) cell population in MafB mutants, whereas many important regulatory proteins continued to be expressed in insulin(-) beta cells. However, Pdx1, Nkx6.1, and GLUT2 were selectively lost in these insulin-deficient cells between E15.5 and E18.5. MafB appears to directly regulate transcription of these genes, because binding was observed within endogenous control region sequences. These results demonstrate that MafB plays a previously uncharacterized role by regulating transcription of key factors during development that are required for the production of mature alpha and beta cells.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 04/2007; 104(10):3853-8. · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The MafA transcription factor is both critical to islet beta-cell function and has a unique pancreatic cell-type-specific expression pattern. To localize the potential transcriptional regulatory region(s) involved in directing expression to the beta cell, areas of identity within the 5' flanking region of the mouse, human, and rat mafA genes were found between nucleotides -9389 and -9194, -8426 and -8293, -8118 and -7750, -6622 and -6441, -6217 and -6031, and -250 and +56 relative to the transcription start site. The identity between species was greater than 75%, with the highest found between bp -8118 and -7750 ( approximately 94%, termed region 3). Region 3 was the only upstream mammalian conserved region found in chicken mafA (88% identity). In addition, region 3 uniquely displayed beta-cell-specific activity in cell-line-based reporter assays. Important regulators of beta-cell formation and function, PDX-1, FoxA2, and Nkx2.2, were shown to specifically bind to region 3 in vivo using the chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. Mutational and functional analyses demonstrated that FoxA2 (bp -7943 to -7910), Nkx2.2 (bp -7771 to -7746), and PDX-1 (bp -8087 to -8063) mediated region 3 activation. Consistent with a role in transcription, small interfering RNA-mediated knockdown of PDX-1 led to decreased mafA mRNA production in INS-1-derived beta-cell lines (832/13 and 832/3), while MafA expression was undetected in the pancreatic epithelium of Nkx2.2 null animals. These results suggest that beta-cell-type-specific mafA transcription is principally controlled by region 3-acting transcription factors that are essential in the formation of functional beta cells.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 09/2006; 26(15):5735-43. · 5.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The islet-enriched MafA, PDX-1, and BETA2 activators contribute to both beta cell-specific and glucose-responsive insulin gene transcription. To investigate how these factors impart activation, their combined impact upon insulin enhancer-driven expression was first examined in non-beta cell line transfection assays. Individual expression of PDX-1 and BETA2 led to little or no activation, whereas MafA alone did so modestly. MafA together with PDX-1 or BETA2 produced synergistic activation, with even higher insulin promoter activity found when all three proteins were present. Stimulation was attenuated upon compromising either MafA transactivation or DNA-binding activity. MafA interacted with endogenous PDX-1 and BETA2 in coimmunoprecipitation and in vitro GST pull-down assays, suggesting that regulation involved direct binding. Dominant-negative acting and small interfering RNAs of MafA also profoundly reduced insulin promoter activity in beta cell lines. In addition, MafA was induced in parallel with insulin mRNA expression in glucose-stimulated rat islets. Insulin mRNA levels were also elevated in rat islets by adenoviral-mediated expression of MafA. Collectively, these results suggest that MafA plays a key role in coordinating and controlling the level of insulin gene expression in islet beta cells.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2005; 280(12):11887-94. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The BETA2 transcription factor influences islet beta cell development and function. Activation of insulin gene transcription by this member of the basic helix-loop-helix gene family is mediated by p300 through the ability of this coactivator to form a functional bridge between the basal transcriptional apparatus, BETA2, and PDX-1, another key transcription factor. In this report, we examined whether BETA2-mediated stimulation was also directly influenced by the acetyltransferase activities of p300 or the p300-associated factor. BETA2 was specifically and selectively acetylated by p300-associated factor in beta cells. Sites of BETA2 acetylation were found within the loop region of the basic helix-loop-helix DNA binding/dimerization domain and a more C-terminal region involved in activation. Insulin gene transcription was decreased by blocking acetylation of BETA2 because of effects on DNA binding and activation potential. These findings suggest that acetylation of BETA2 plays a role in controlling the activation state of this islet regulatory factor.
    Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2004; 279(11):9796-802. · 4.65 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Pancreatic beta-cell-type-specific expression of the insulin gene requires both ubiquitous and cell-enriched activators, which are organized within the enhancer region into a network of protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions to promote transcriptional synergy. Protein-protein-mediated communication between DNA-bound activators and the RNA polymerase II transcriptional machinery is inhibited by the adenovirus E1A protein as a result of E1A's binding to the p300 coactivator. E1A disrupts signaling between the non-DNA-binding p300 protein and the basic helix-loop-helix DNA-binding factors of insulin's E-element activator (i.e., the islet-enriched BETA2 and generally distributed E47 proteins), as well as a distinct but unidentified enhancer factor. In the present report, we show that E1A binding to p300 prevents activation by insulin's beta-cell-enriched PDX-1 activator. p300 interacts directly with the N-terminal region of the PDX-1 homeodomain protein, which contains conserved amino acid sequences essential for activation. The unique combination of PDX-1, BETA2, E47, and p300 was shown to promote synergistic activation from a transfected insulin enhancer-driven reporter construct in non-beta cells, a process inhibited by E1A. In addition, E1A inhibited the level of PDX-1 and BETA2 complex formation in beta cells. These results indicate that E1A inhibits insulin gene transcription by preventing communication between the p300 coactivator and key DNA-bound activators, like PDX-1 and BETA2:E47.
    Molecular and Cellular Biology 02/2002; 22(2):412-20. · 5.04 Impact Factor