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J Biol Chem. 2009 Oct 16;284(42):28498-509. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M109.020636. Epub 2009 Aug 25.

A novel pathway of insulin sensitivity in chromogranin A null mice: a crucial role for pancreastatin in glucose homeostasis.

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Department of Medicine, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla, California 92093-0838, USA.


Chromogranin A (CHGA/Chga), a proprotein, widely distributed in endocrine and neuroendocrine tissues (not expressed in muscle, liver, and adipose tissues), generates at least four bioactive peptides. One of those peptides, pancreastatin (PST), has been reported to interfere with insulin action. We generated a Chga knock-out (KO) mouse by the targeted deletion of the Chga gene in neuroendocrine tissues. KO mice displayed hypertension, higher plasma catecholamine, and adipokine levels and lower IL-6 and lipid levels compared with wild type mice. Liver glycogen content was elevated, but the nitric oxide (NO) level was diminished. Glucose, insulin, and pyruvate tolerance tests and hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp studies established increased insulin sensitivity in liver but decreased glucose disposal in muscle. Despite higher catecholamine and ketone body levels and muscle insulin resistance, KO mice maintained euglycemia due to increased liver insulin sensitivity. Suppressed mRNA abundance of phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and glucose-6-phosphatase (G6Pase) in KO mice further support this conclusion. PST administration in KO mice stimulated phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase and G6Pase mRNA abundance and raised the blood glucose level. In liver cells transfected with G6Pase promoter, PST caused transcriptional activation in a protein kinase C (PKC)- and NO synthase-dependent manner. Thus, PST action may be mediated by suppressing IRS1/2-phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase-Akt-FOXO-1 signaling and insulin-induced maturation of SREBP1c by PKC and a high level of NO. The combined effects of conventional PKC and endothelial NO synthase activation by PST can suppress insulin signaling. The rise in blood PST level with age and in diabetes suggests that PST is a negative regulator of insulin sensitivity and glucose homeostasis.

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