Connexin36 (Cx36) is specifically expressed in neurons and in pancreatic beta-cells. Cx36 functions as a critical regulator of insulin secretion and content in beta-cells. In order to identify the molecular mechanisms that control the beta-cell expression of Cx36, we initiated the characterization of the human 5' regulatory region of the CX36 gene. A 2043-bp fragment of the human CX36 promoter was identified from a human BAC library and fused to a luciferase reporter gene. This promoter region was sufficient to confer specific expression to the reporter gene in insulin-secreting cell lines. Within this 5' regulatory region, a putative neuron-restrictive silencer element conserved between rodent and human species was recognized and binds the neuron-restrictive silencing factor (NRSF/REST). This factor is not expressed in insulin-secreting cells and neurons; it functions as a potent repressor through the recruitment of histone deacetylase to the promoter of neuronal genes. The NRSF-mediated repression of Cx36 in HeLa cells was abolished by trichostatin A, confirming the functional importance of histone deacetylase activity. Ectopic expression, by viral gene transfer, of NRSF/REST in different insulin-secreting beta-cell lines induced a marked reduction in Cx36 mRNA and protein content. Moreover, mutations in the Cx36 neuron-restrictive silencer element relieved the low transcriptional activity of the human CX36 promoter observed in HeLa cells and in INS-1 cells expressing NRSF/REST. The data showed that cx36 gene expression in insulin-producing beta-cell lines is strictly controlled by the transcriptional repressor NRSF/REST indicating that Cx36 participates to the neuronal phenotype of the pancreatic beta-cells.

Critical role of the transcriptional repressor NRSF/REST in the specific control of connexin36 in insulin-producing cell lines

CONDORELLI, Daniele Filippo;
2003-01-01

Abstract

Connexin36 (Cx36) is specifically expressed in neurons and in pancreatic beta-cells. Cx36 functions as a critical regulator of insulin secretion and content in beta-cells. In order to identify the molecular mechanisms that control the beta-cell expression of Cx36, we initiated the characterization of the human 5' regulatory region of the CX36 gene. A 2043-bp fragment of the human CX36 promoter was identified from a human BAC library and fused to a luciferase reporter gene. This promoter region was sufficient to confer specific expression to the reporter gene in insulin-secreting cell lines. Within this 5' regulatory region, a putative neuron-restrictive silencer element conserved between rodent and human species was recognized and binds the neuron-restrictive silencing factor (NRSF/REST). This factor is not expressed in insulin-secreting cells and neurons; it functions as a potent repressor through the recruitment of histone deacetylase to the promoter of neuronal genes. The NRSF-mediated repression of Cx36 in HeLa cells was abolished by trichostatin A, confirming the functional importance of histone deacetylase activity. Ectopic expression, by viral gene transfer, of NRSF/REST in different insulin-secreting beta-cell lines induced a marked reduction in Cx36 mRNA and protein content. Moreover, mutations in the Cx36 neuron-restrictive silencer element relieved the low transcriptional activity of the human CX36 promoter observed in HeLa cells and in INS-1 cells expressing NRSF/REST. The data showed that cx36 gene expression in insulin-producing beta-cell lines is strictly controlled by the transcriptional repressor NRSF/REST indicating that Cx36 participates to the neuronal phenotype of the pancreatic beta-cells.
PANCREATIC BETA-CELLS,; Cx36; CYTOKINE-INDUCED APOPTOSIS,
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11769/2409
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