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PLoS One. 2013;8(3):e59222. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0059222. Epub 2013 Mar 15.

Expression and secretion of human proinsulin-B10 from mouse salivary glands: implications for the treatment of type I diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1Molecular Physiology and Therapeutics Branch, National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD, USA.


Adenovirus (Ad) mediated expression of therapeutic proteins from salivary glands can result in the delivery of biologically active proteins into the circulation where they impart their physiological function. In recent years, Ad vector delivery to salivary glands (SGs) has emerged as a viable option for gene therapy. Here, we engineered a variant of human proinsulin (hProinsulin-B10) into an Ad vector and demonstrated its ability to transduce cell lines, and express a bioactive protein that induces the phosphorylation of AKT, a key insulin signaling molecule. We also examined its expression in mice following delivery of the vector to the parotid gland (PTG), the submandibular gland (SMG) or to the liver via the tail vein and assessed transgenic protein expression and vector containment for each delivery method. In all cases, hProinsulin-B10 was expressed and secreted into the circulation. Lower levels of circulating hProinsulin-B10 were obtained from the PTG while higher levels were obtained from the tail vein and the SMG; however, vector particle containment was best when delivered to the SMG. Expression of hProinsulin-B10 in the SMG of chemically induced diabetic mice prevented excessive hyperglycemia observed in untreated mice. These results demonstrate that hProinsulin-B10 can be expressed and secreted into the circulation from SGs and can function physiologically in vivo. The ability to remediate a diabetic phenotype in a model of type 1 diabetes mellitus is the first step in an effort that may lead to a possible therapy for diabetes.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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