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Biochim Biophys Acta. 2008 Dec;1783(12):2344-51. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2008.08.014. Epub 2008 Sep 17.

Calreticulin regulates insulin receptor expression and its downstream PI3 Kinase/Akt signalling pathway.

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  • 1Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, St. Boniface General Hospital Research Centre 351 Tache Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R2H 2A6.


Defects in insulin signalling and glucose metabolism are associated with the development of diabetes. Insulin signalling is initiated by the binding of insulin to its receptor and triggering cascades of events including activation of PI3kinase/Akt signalling pathway. Calreticulin (CRT) is a calcium binding chaperone molecule located in the endoplasmic reticulum. Targeted deletion of CRT in mice is embryonic lethal as a result of developmental and metabolic abnormalities. Rescued CRT null mice develop severe hypoglycemia the reason for which is not known. In addition, ventricular cardiomyocytes isolated from CRT null (crt-/-) mice have increased glycogen deposits. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the changes in the glucose uptake and insulin signalling pathway (mainly PI3 kinase/Akt) in the absence of CRT. Here we show a significant increase in the glucose uptake by the crt-/- cells. This increase was accompanied by a significant increase in both insulin receptor beta expression, Insulin receptor substrate-1 phosphorylation, GLUT-1 expression and in insulin stimulated Akt phosphorylation and kinase activity in the crt-/- cells. Intriguingly, the increased expression of insulin receptor beta in the crt-/- was due to decreased levels of p53 protein. The current study is the first evidence for the up-regulation of insulin receptor density and activity in the absence of CRT function.

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