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Hes3 is expressed in the adult pancreatic islet and regulates gene expression, cell growth, and insulin release

Masjkur, Jimmy; Arps-Forker, Carina; Poser, Stephen W.; Nikolakopoulou, Polyxeni; Toutouna, Louiza; Chenna, Ramu; Chavakis, Triantafyllos; Chatzigeorgiou, Antonios; Chen, Lan-Sun; Dubrovska, Anna; Choudhary, Pratik; Uphues, Ingo; Mark, Michael; Bornstein, Stefan R.; Androutsellis-Theotokis, Andreas


Jimmy Masjkur

Carina Arps-Forker

Stephen W. Poser

Polyxeni Nikolakopoulou

Louiza Toutouna

Ramu Chenna

Triantafyllos Chavakis

Antonios Chatzigeorgiou

Lan-Sun Chen

Anna Dubrovska

Pratik Choudhary

Ingo Uphues

Michael Mark

Stefan R. Bornstein

Andreas Androutsellis-Theotokis


The transcription factor Hes3 is a component of a signaling pathway that supports the growth of neural stem cells with profound consequences in neurodegenerative disease models. Here we explored whether Hes3 also regulates pancreatic islet cells. We showed that Hes3 is expressed in human and rodent pancreatic islets. In mouse islets it co-localizes with alpha and beta cell markers. We employed the mouse insulinoma cell line MIN6 to perform in vitro characterization and functional studies in conditions known to modulate Hes3 based upon our previous work using neural stem cell cultures. In these conditions, cells showed elevated Hes3 expression and nuclear localization, grew efficiently, and showed higher evoked insulin release responses, compared with serum-containing conditions. They also exhibited higher expression of the transcription factor Pdx1 and insulin. Furthermore, they were responsive to pharmacological treatments with the GLP-1 analog Exendin-4, which increased nuclear Hes3 localization. We employed a transfection approach to address specific functions of Hes3. Hes3 RNA interference opposed cell growth and affected gene expression as revealed by DNA microarrays. Western blotting and PCR approaches specifically showed that Hes3 RNA interference opposes the expression of Pdx1 and insulin. Hes3 overexpression (using a Hes3-GFP fusion construct) confirmed a role of Hes3 in regulating Pdx1 expression. Hes3 RNA interference reduced evoked insulin release. Mice lacking Hes3 exhibited increased islet damage by streptozotocin. These data suggest roles of Hes3 in pancreatic islet function.


Masjkur, J., Arps-Forker, C., Poser, S. W., Nikolakopoulou, P., Toutouna, L., Chenna, R., …Androutsellis-Theotokis, A. (2014). Hes3 is expressed in the adult pancreatic islet and regulates gene expression, cell growth, and insulin release. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289(51),

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 4, 2014
Online Publication Date Nov 4, 2014
Publication Date Dec 19, 2014
Deposit Date Nov 28, 2016
Publicly Available Date Nov 28, 2016
Journal Journal of Biological Chemistry
Print ISSN 0021-9258
Electronic ISSN 1083-351X
Publisher American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 289
Issue 51
Keywords Beta Cell (B-cell), Cell Culture, Islet, Neural Stem Cell (NSC), Neurodegenerative Disease, Neuroprogenitor Cell, Notch Pathway, Pancreas, Parkinson Disease, Signal Transduction
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Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:
Additional Information This research was originally published in Journal of Biological Chemistry Jimmy Masjkur, Carina Arps-Forker, Steven W. Poser, Polyxeni Nikolakopoulou, Louiza Toutouna,
Ramu Chenna, Triantafyllos Chavakis, Antonios Chatzigeorgiou, Lan-Sun Chen, Anna Dubrovska, Pratik Choudhary, Ingo Uphues, Michael Mark, Stefan R. Bornstein,
and Andreas Androutsellis-Theotokis Hes3 Is Expressed in the Adult Pancreatic Islet and Regulates Gene Expression, Cell Growth, and Insulin Release J. Biol. Chem. 2014 289: 35503-. doi:10.1074/jbc.M114.590687 © the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology.


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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address:

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