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Regulation of ATP-sensitive potassium channel subunit Kir6.2 expression in rat intestinal insulin-producing progenitor cells.

Tetsuya Hashimoto, Takaaki Nakamura, Hiroshi Maegawa, Yoshihiko Nishio, Katsuya Egawa, Atsunori Kashiwagi

J. Biol. Chem., 2005 Jan 21 , 280, 1893-900

We have reported that the combined expression of Pdx-1 (pancreatic duodenal homeobox 1) and Isl-1 (islet 1) enables immature rat enterocytes (IEC-6) to produce and release insulin. A key component regulating the release of insulin is the ATP-sensitive potassium channel subunit Kir6.2. To investigate the regulation of Kir6.2 gene expression, we assessed Kir6.2 expression in IEC-6 cells expressing Pdx-1 and/or Isl-1. We observed that Kir6.2 protein was expressed de novo in IEC-6 cells expressing both Pdx-1 and Isl-1 but not in cells expressing Pdx-1 alone. Next, we analyzed the regions of the Kir6.2 promoter (-1677/-45) by performing a luciferase assay and electrophoretic mobility shift assay. The results have demonstrated that Kir6.2 promoter possesses two regions regulating the promoter activity: a Foxa2-binding site (-1364 to -1210) and an Sp1/Sp3-binding site (-1035 to -939). The additional expression of Isl-1 in IEC-6 cells expressing Pdx-1 attenuated overexpression of Foxa2 protein and enhanced Kir6.2 expression. Finally, knockdown of Isl-1 using the iRNA technique resulted in decreased expression of Kir6.2 protein in a rat pancreatic beta-cell line (RIN-5F cells). These results indicate that expression of Kir6.2 in the rat intestine is moderated by Isl-1.