Send to

Choose Destination
Mol Endocrinol. 2011 Oct;25(10):1760-72. doi: 10.1210/me.2011-1074. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

cMyc is a principal upstream driver of beta-cell proliferation in rat insulinoma cell lines and is an effective mediator of human beta-cell replication.

Author information

Division of Endocrinology, the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15260, USA.


Adult human β-cells replicate slowly. Also, despite the abundance of rodent β-cell lines, there are no human β-cell lines for diabetes research or therapy. Prior studies in four commonly studied rodent β-cell lines revealed that all four lines displayed an unusual, but strongly reproducible, cell cycle signature: an increase in seven G(1)/S molecules, i.e. cyclins A, D3, and E, and cdk1, -2, -4, and -6. Here, we explore the upstream mechanism(s) that drive these cell cycle changes. Using biochemical, pharmacological and molecular approaches, we surveyed potential upstream mitogenic signaling pathways in Ins 1 and RIN cells. We used both underexpression and overexpression to assess effects on rat and human β-cell proliferation, survival and cell cycle control. Our results indicate that cMyc is: 1) uniquely up-regulated among other candidates; 2) principally responsible for the increase in the seven G(1)/S molecules; and, 3) largely responsible for proliferation in rat β-cell lines. Importantly, cMyc expression in β-cell lines, although some 5- to 7-fold higher than normal rat β-cells, is far below the levels (75- to 150-fold) previously associated with β-cell death and dedifferentiation. Notably, modest overexpression of cMyc is able to drive proliferation without cell death in normal rat and human β-cells. We conclude that cMyc is an important driver of replication in the two most commonly employed rat β-cell lines. These studies reverse the current paradigm in which cMyc overexpression is inevitably associated with β-cell death and dedifferentiation. The cMyc pathway provides potential approaches, targets, and tools for driving and sustaining human β-cell replication.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center