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Diabetes. 2003 Mar;52(3):760-6.

Role of H1-calponin in pancreatic AR42J cell differentiation into insulin-producing cells.

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  • 1Department of Metabolism, Endocrinology, and Molecular Medicine, Osaka City University Graduate School of Medicine, 1-4-3 Asahi-machi, Abeno-ku, Osaka 545-8585, Japan.


Basic or h1-calponin is a smooth muscle-specific, actin-binding protein that is involved in the regulation of smooth muscle contractile activity. We found in this study the expression of mRNA and protein for h1-calponin in AR42J-B13 cells, which is a useful model for investigating islet beta-cell differentiation from pancreatic common precursor cells. Following treatment of AR42J cells with activin A and hepatocyte growth factor, the protein levels of h1-calponin decreased in a time-dependent manner during the course of the cell differentiation. When h1-calponin was continuously overexpressed by utilizing recombinant adenovirus-mediated gene transfer, the percentage of cell differentiation in h1-calponin overexpressing cells was markedly suppressed as compared with that in the cells without overexpression (6.7 +/- 2.5 vs. 28.6 +/- 3.2%, P < 0.001, Student's t test). Finally, overexpression of h1-calponin (65.6 +/- 3.4), or that lacking actin-binding domain (55.9 +/- 3.4%), significantly (P < 0.001) suppressed the activin A-stimulated transcriptional activity of activin responsive element (ARE), whereas calponin homology-domain disruption mutant did not (100.6 +/- 1.9%). These results suggest that regulation of h1-calponin is involved in the regulation of differentiation of AR42J cells into insulin-producing cells at least partly through modulating ARE transcriptional activity.

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