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Science. 2007 Nov 2;318(5851):806-9.

Menin controls growth of pancreatic beta-cells in pregnant mice and promotes gestational diabetes mellitus.

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  • 1Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA.

Abstract

During pregnancy, maternal pancreatic islets grow to match dynamic physiological demands, but the mechanisms regulating adaptive islet growth in this setting are poorly understood. Here we show that menin, a protein previously characterized as an endocrine tumor suppressor and transcriptional regulator, controls islet growth in pregnant mice. Pregnancy stimulated proliferation of maternal pancreatic islet beta-cells that was accompanied by reduced islet levels of menin and its targets. Transgenic expression of menin in maternal beta-cells prevented islet expansion and led to hyperglycemia and impaired glucose tolerance, hallmark features of gestational diabetes. Prolactin, a hormonal regulator of pregnancy, repressed islet menin levels and stimulated beta-cell proliferation. These results expand our understanding of mechanisms underlying diabetes pathogenesis and reveal potential targets for therapy in diabetes.

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