Pancreatic β-cells continuously sense blood glucose levels and secrete insulin to maintain normoglycemia. In β-cells, ATP generated by glycolysis promotes the closure of ATP-sensitive K+ channels, thereby increasing intracellular calcium and ultimately insulin secretion. 14-3-3 proteins, and in particular 14-3-3ζ, have been found to regulate ATP synthase and mitochondrial respiration, suggesting that members of this family of scaffold proteins in β-cells may influence glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) and glucose homeostasis. To date, we have identified critical contributions of 14-3-3 proteins to GSIS. In mouse and human islets, pan-inhibition of 14-3-3 proteins with cell-permeable inhibitors potentiated ex-vivo GSIS. This was associated with increased mitochondrial function, as oxygen consumption and ATP synthesis rates were significantly enhanced. Moreover, increased ATP production was confirmed with luciferase-based assays. Of the seven isoforms, we previously reported critical metabolic roles of 14-3-3ζ in glucose homeostasis, and to understand its role in β-cells, β-cell-specific knockout mice (Ins1CreThor:14-3-3ζfl/fl, β-KO) were generated. When compared to control mice, no differences in body weights or glucose and insulin tolerance were observed, but β-KO mice displayed significantly enhanced insulin secretion following i.p. glucose (2 g/kg), and ex vivo islet perifusion studies revealed enhanced 2nd-phase secretion of GSIS from β-KO islets. Similar to pan-14-3-3 inhibition, increased mitochondrial activity and ATP synthesis were detected in islets of β-KO mice.

In summary, these results demonstrate critical functions of 14-3-3ζ and its related proteins in mitochondrial activity in β-cells and the regulation of GSIS. These data also suggest that 14-3-3ζ inhibition may represent a promising target to enhance pancreatic β-cell function in the context of diabetes.


Y. Mugabo: None. M. Galipeau: None. J. Tan: None. E. Fadzeyeva: None. R. Grygorczyk: None. G.E. Lim: None.


Canadian Institutes of Health Research; Canada Research Chairs Program (PJT-153144)

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