RGD Reference Report - Pax6 is crucial for beta-cell function, insulin biosynthesis, and glucose-induced insulin secretion. - Rat Genome Database

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Pax6 is crucial for beta-cell function, insulin biosynthesis, and glucose-induced insulin secretion.

Authors: Gosmain, Y  Katz, LS  Masson, MH  Cheyssac, C  Poisson, C  Philippe, J 
Citation: Gosmain Y, etal., Mol Endocrinol. 2012 Apr;26(4):696-709. doi: 10.1210/me.2011-1256. Epub 2012 Mar 8.
RGD ID: 8552355
Pubmed: (View Article at PubMed) PMID:22403172
DOI: Full-text: DOI:10.1210/me.2011-1256

The Pax6 transcription factor is crucial for endocrine cell differentiation and function. Indeed, mutations of Pax6 are associated with a diabetic phenotype and a drastic decrease of insulin-positive cell number. Our aim was to better define the beta-cell Pax6 transcriptional network and thus provide further information concerning the role of Pax6 in beta-cell function. We developed a Pax6-deficient model in rat primary beta-cells with specific small interfering RNA leading to a 75% knockdown of Pax6 expression. Through candidate gene approach, we confirmed that Pax6 controls the mRNA levels of the insulin 1 and 2, Pdx1, MafA, GLUT2, and PC1/3 genes in beta-cells. Importantly, we identified new Pax6 target genes coding for GK, Nkx6.1, cMaf, PC2, GLP-1R and GIPR which are all involved in beta-cell function. Furthermore, we demonstrated that Pax6 directly binds and activates specific elements on the promoter region of these genes. We also demonstrated that Pax6 knockdown led to decreases in insulin cell content, in insulin processing, and a specific defect of glucose-induced insulin secretion as well as a significant reduction of GLP-1 action in primary beta-cells. Our results strongly suggest that Pax6 is crucial for beta-cells through transcriptional control of key genes coding for proteins that are involved in insulin biosynthesis and secretion as well as glucose and incretin actions on beta-cells. We provide further evidence that Pax6 represents a key element of mature beta-cell function.


Gene Ontology Annotations    

Biological Process

Objects Annotated

Genes (Rattus norvegicus)
Pax6  (paired box 6)

Additional Information