Rationale: Subjects unable to sustain β-cell compensation develop type 2 diabetes. Early growth response-1 protein (EGR-1), implicated in the regulation of cell differentiation, proliferation, and apoptosis, is induced by diverse metabolic challenges, such as glucose or other nutrients. Therefore, we hypothesized that deficiency of EGR-1 might influence β-cell compensation in response to metabolic overload. Methods: Mice deficient in EGR-1 (Egr1-/-) were used to investigate the in vivo roles of EGR-1 in regulation of glucose homeostasis and beta-cell compensatory responses. Results: In response to a high-fat diet, Egr1-/- mice failed to secrete sufficient insulin to clear glucose, which was associated with lower insulin content and attenuated hypertrophic response of islets. High-fat feeding caused a dramatic impairment in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and downregulated the expression of genes encoding glucose sensing proteins. The cells co-expressing both insulin and glucagon were dramatically upregulated in islets of high-fat-fed Egr1-/- mice. EGR-1-deficient islets failed to maintain the transcriptional network for β-cell compensatory response. In human pancreatic tissues, EGR1 expression correlated with the expression of β-cell compensatory genes in the non-diabetic group, but not in the diabetic group. Conclusion: These results suggest that EGR-1 couples the transcriptional network to compensation for the loss of β-cell function and identity. Thus, our study highlights the early stress coupler EGR-1 as a critical factor in the development of pancreatic islet failure.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Medicine (miscellaneous)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics (miscellaneous)