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J Biol Chem. 2005 Apr 15;280(15):15047-52. Epub 2005 Jan 20.

A crucial role of MafA as a novel therapeutic target for diabetes.

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Department of Internal Medicine and Therapeutics, Osaka University Graduate School of Medicine, 2-2 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan.


MafA, a recently isolated pancreatic beta-cell-specific transcription factor, is a potent activator of insulin gene transcription. In this study, we show that MafA overexpression, together with PDX-1 (pancreatic and duodenal homeobox factor-1) and NeuroD, markedly increases insulin gene expression in the liver. Consequently, substantial amounts of insulin protein were induced by such combination. Furthermore, in streptozotocin-induced diabetic mice, MafA overexpression in the liver, together with PDX-1 and NeuroD, dramatically ameliorated glucose tolerance, while combination of PDX-1 and NeuroD was much less effective. These results suggest a crucial role of MafA as a novel therapeutic target for diabetes.

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