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Diabetologia. 1990 Apr;33(4):250-2.

Expression of reg protein in rat regenerating islets and its co-localization with insulin in the beta cell secretory granules.

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Department of Biochemistry, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.


Regenerating islets can be induced by the administration of poly(ADP-ribose) synthetase inhibitors to 90% depancreatized rats. In screening a regenerating islet-derived cDNA library, we previously isolated a novel gene. reg (regenerating gene), which encodes a 165-amino acid protein with a 21-amino acid signal sequence. In the present study, we have examined the expression and localization of reg protein in the regenerating islets by immunocytochemical techniques using a monoclonal antibody against a recombinant rat reg protein of 144 amino acids without the signal sequence. Light microscopy examination showed strong immunoreactivity for reg protein in the regenerating islets of the rats at two weeks and two months after 90% pancreatectomy, whereas reg protein was almost undetectable in normal rat islets or in the islets of the rats one year after the pancreatectomy. Almost all the reg protein-positive cells were stained for insulin. By applying the immunogold technique at the ultrastructural level, it was demonstrated that both reg protein and insulin occur in the central granular core of the regenerating Beta cell secretory granules. These results suggest that reg protein is synthesized in and secreted from the regenerating Beta cells and that its expression is closely associated with Beta-cell regeneration.

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