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J Biol Chem. 2011 Jul 22;286(29):25778-89. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M111.246082. Epub 2011 May 25.

Glucose regulates free cytosolic Zn²⁺ concentration, Slc39 (ZiP), and metallothionein gene expression in primary pancreatic islet β-cells.

Author information

1
Section of Cell Biology, Division of Diabetes, Endocrinology, and Metabolism, Department of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, Exhibition Road, London SW7 2AZ, UK.

Abstract

Zn²⁺ is an important cofactor for insulin biosynthesis and storage in pancreatic β-cells. Correspondingly, polymorphisms in the SLC30A8 gene, encoding the secretory granule Zn²⁺ transporter ZnT8, are associated with type 2 diabetes risk. Using a genetically engineered (FRET)-based sensor (eCALWY-4), we show here that elevated glucose time-dependently increases free cytosolic Zn²⁺ ([Zn²⁺](cyt)) in mouse pancreatic β-cells. These changes become highly significant (853 ± 96 pm versus 452 ± 42 pm, p < 0.001) after 24 h and are associated with increased expression of the Zn²⁺ importer family members Slc39a6, Slc39a7, and Slc39a8, and decreased expression of metallothionein 1 and 2. Arguing that altered expression of the above genes is not due to altered [Zn²⁺](cyt), elevation of extracellular (and intracellular) [Zn²⁺] failed to mimic the effects of high glucose. By contrast, increases in intracellular cAMP prompted by 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine and forskolin partially mimicked the effects of glucose on metallothionein, although not ZiP, gene expression. Modulation of intracellular Ca²⁺ and insulin secretion with pharmacological agents (tolbutamide and diazoxide) suggested a possible role for changes in these parameters in the regulation of Slc39a6 and Slc39a7 but not Slc39a8, nor metallothionein expression. In summary, 1) glucose induces increases in [Zn²⁺](cyt), which are then likely to facilitate the processing and/or the storage of insulin and its cocrystallization with Zn²⁺, and 2) these increases are associated with elevated expression of zinc importers. Conversely, a chronic increase in [Zn²⁺](cyt) following sustained hyperglycemia may contribute to β-cell dysfunction and death in some forms of diabetes.

PMID:
21613223
PMCID:
PMC3138249
DOI:
10.1074/jbc.M111.246082
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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