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Biochem Soc Trans. 1994 Aug;22(3):684-7.

Regulated expression of GLUT2 in diabetes studied in transplanted pancreatic beta cells.

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Institute of Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Lausanne, Switzerland.


GLUT2 disappearance is a marker of the beta cell glucose-unresponsiveness associated with diabetes. Understanding the factor(s) leading to this dysfunction may shed light on pathogenesis of diabetes. Since the regulation of GLUT2 expression in diabetes can so far only be studied in in vivo experiments, we developed a novel experimental approach to study the genetic regulation of GLUT2 in diabetes. By encapsulating islets or cell lines in semi-permeable membranes, these cells can be exposed to the diabetic environment of rats or mice and can be retrieved for analysis of GLUT2 expression and for the change in the secretory response to glucose. Immunocytochemical analysis of transporter expression reveals changes in protein expression while transcriptional analysis of GLUT2 gene expression could be performed in cells transfected with promoter-reporter gene constructs. Using this last approach we hope to be able to characterize the promoter regions involved in the beta cell- and diabetes-specific regulation of GLUT2 expression and possibly to determine which factors are responsible for this regulation.

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