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Cell Metab. 2005 Aug;2(2):105-17.

Increased dosage of mammalian Sir2 in pancreatic beta cells enhances glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in mice.

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Department of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri 63110, USA.


Sir2 NAD-dependent deacetylases connect transcription, metabolism, and aging. Increasing the dosage or activity of Sir2 extends life span in yeast, worms, and flies and promotes fat mobilization and glucose production in mammalian cells. Here we show that increased dosage of Sirt1, the mammalian Sir2 ortholog, in pancreatic beta cells improves glucose tolerance and enhances insulin secretion in response to glucose in beta cell-specific Sirt1-overexpressing (BESTO) transgenic mice. This phenotype is maintained as BESTO mice age. Pancreatic perfusion experiments further demonstrate that Sirt1 enhances insulin secretion in response to glucose and KCl. Microarray analyses of beta cell lines reveal that Sirt1 regulates genes involved in insulin secretion, including uncoupling protein 2 (Ucp2). Isolated BESTO islets also have reduced Ucp2, increased ATP production, and enhanced insulin secretion during glucose and KCl stimulation. These findings establish the importance of Sirt1 in beta cell function in vivo and suggest therapeutic interventions for type 2 diabetes.

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