Glucagon like peptide 1 (GLP1) , a classically gut derived hormone, potentiates insulin secretion. New evidence suggests that α cells can produce GLP1 under certain conditions, which may offer a novel therapeutic modality for treating diabetes; however, the mechanisms regulating α cell GLP1 production are unknown. We previously found that enhanced β cell GLP1 receptor (GLP1R) signaling activates α cell GLP1 by activating prohormone convertase 1/3 (Pcsk1) expression. We tested the hypothesis that enhanced β cell GLP1R signaling activates α cell GLP1 production through paracrine factors. We studied the impact of conditioned media (CM) generated from β cell GLP1R WT and KO islets of saline (CTRL) and liraglutide (LIRA) treated mice on α cell gene expression and function. CM from LIRA treated islets increased α cell Pcsk1 expression and active GLP-1 secretion only if β cells expressed the GLP1R (Pcsk1 expression (AU) : CTRL WT=1.0±0.1, LIRA WT=2.0±0.3, CTRL KO=1.1±0.2, LIRA KO=1.1±0.2, P<0.01; active GLP-1 (pg/mL) : CTRL WT=124±44, LIRA WT=682±247, CTRL KO=173±101, LIRA KO=116±30, P<0.05) . Subsequent identification of the proteome secreted by mouse and human islets in response to LIRA and CTRL revealed 14-3-3-ζ as a lead candidate in the regulation of α cell Pcsk1 expression. To assess the role of 14-3-3-ζ, islets from LIRA treated mice were treated with and without 14-3-3-ζ, and islets from CTRL treated mice were treated with and without the 14-3-3 inhibitor, R18. Addition of 14-3-3-ζ ablated the effect of CM from LIRA treated islets to increase α cell Pcsk1 expression, while inhibition of 14-3-3 with R18 in CTRL islets resulted in CM that mimicked the effect of CM from LIRA treated islets to stimulate α cell Pcsk1 expression (Pcsk1 expression: CTRL=1.1±0.2, R18=2.0±0.2, LIRA=2.4±0.3, LIRA+14-3-3-ζ=1.3±0.1, P<0.05) . These data refine our understanding of α cell GLP1 regulation and identify 14-3-3-ζ as a potential target with which to enhance α cell GLP1 production for diabetes treatment.


M.Holter: None. B.Cummings: None. D.Phuong: None. I.S.H.Lee: None. M.Saikia: None. L.A.Weikert: Stock/Shareholder; Merck & Co., Inc., Oramed Pharmaceuticals. E.T.Anderson: None. Q.Fu: None. S.Zhang: None. K.Sloop: Employee; Eli Lilly and Company.


NIH/NIDDK (F30 DK126538) Department of Defense (W81XWH-18-1-0206) The Hartwell Foundation NIH/NIDDK (R56DK124853)

Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. More information is available at