APPL1 potentiates insulin secretion in pancreatic β cells by enhancing protein kinase Akt-dependent expression of SNARE proteins in mice

King Yip Cheng, Karen S.L. Lam, Donghai Wu, Yu Wang, Gary Sweeney, Ruby L.C. Hoo, Jialiang Zhang, Aimin Xu

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Insulin resistance and defective insulin secretion are the two major features of type 2 diabetes. The adapter protein APPL1 is an obligatory molecule in regulating peripheral insulin sensitivity, but its role in insulin secretion remains elusive. Here, we show that APPL1 expression in pancreatic β cells is markedly decreased in several mouse models of obesity and diabetes. APPL1 knockout mice exhibit glucose intolerance and impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), whereas transgenic expression of APPL1 prevents high-fat diet (HFD)-induced glucose intolerance partly by enhancing GSIS. In both pancreatic islets and rat β cells, APPL1 deficiency causes a marked reduction in expression of the exocytotic machinery SNARE proteins (syntaxin-1, synaptosomal-associated protein 25, and vesicle-associated membrane protein 2) and an obvious decrease in the number of exocytotic events. Such changes are accompanied by diminished insulin-stimulated Akt activation. Furthermore, the defective GSIS and reduced expression of SNARE proteins in APPL1-deficient β cells can be rescued by adenovirus-mediated expression of APPL1 or constitutively active Akt. These findings demonstrate that APPL1 couples insulin-stimulated Akt activation to GSIS by promoting the expression of the core exocytotic machinery involved in exocytosis and also suggest that reduced APPL1 expression in pancreatic islets may serve as a pathological link that couples insulin resistance to β-cell dysfunction in type 2 diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8919-8924
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jun 2012
Externally publishedYes

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