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INGAP-PP up-regulates the expression of genes and proteins related to K+ ATP channels and ameliorates Ca2+ handling in cultured adult rat islets.

Kelly E Silva, Helena C Barbosa, Alex Rafacho, José R Bosqueiro, Luiz F Stoppiglia, Everardo M Carneiro, Maria I Borelli, Hector Del Zotto, Juan J Gagliardino, Antonio C Boschero

Regul. Pept., 2008 Jun 5 , 148, 39-45

Islet Neogenesis Associated Protein (INGAP) increases pancreatic beta-cell mass and potentiates glucose-induced insulin secretion. Here, we investigated the effects of the pentadecapeptide INGAP-PP in adult cultured rat islets upon the expression of proteins constitutive of the K(+)(ATP) channel, Ca(2+) handling, and insulin secretion. The islets were cultured in RPMI medium with or without INGAP-PP for four days. Thereafter, gene (RT-PCR) and protein expression (Western blotting) of Foxa2, SUR1 and Kir6.2, cytoplasmic Ca(2+) ([Ca(2+)](i)), static and dynamic insulin secretion, and (86)Rb efflux were measured. INGAP-PP increased the expression levels of Kir6.2, SUR1 and Foxa2 genes, and SUR1 and Foxa2 proteins. INGAP-PP cultured islets released significantly more insulin in response to 40 mM KCl and 100 muM tolbutamide. INGAP-PP shifted to the left the dose-response curve of insulin secretion to increasing concentrations of glucose (EC(50) of 10.0+/-0.4 vs. 13.7+/-1.5 mM glucose of the controls). It also increased the first phase of insulin secretion elicited by either 22.2 mM glucose or 100 microM tolbutamide and accelerated the velocity of glucose-induced reduction of (86)Rb efflux in perifused islets. These effects were accompanied by a significant increase in [Ca(2+)](i) and the maintenance of a considerable degree of [Ca(2+)](i) oscillations. These results confirm that the enhancing effect of INGAP-PP upon insulin release, elicited by different secretagogues, is due to an improvement of the secretory function in cultured islets. Such improvement is due, at least partly, to an increased K(+)(ATP) channel protein expression and/or changing in the kinetic properties of these channels and augmented [Ca(2+)](i) response. Accordingly, INGAP-PP could potentially be used to maintain the functional integrity of cultured islets and eventually, for the prevention and treatment of diabetes.