Editors' ChoiceMetabolism

SerpinB1 improves insulin sensitivity

Sci. Signal.  19 Jan 2016:
Vol. 9, Issue 411, pp. ec10
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aaf2512

Pancreatic β cells adjust the secretion of insulin in response to acute changes in plasma glucose concentration. These cells also compensate for long-term changes in insulin sensitivity by adjusting their activity or numbers, or both (see Tarasov and Rorsman). In addition to being insulin resistant, mice lacking the liver insulin receptor (LIRKO mice) also exhibit β cell hyperplasia that depends on factors released from the liver. Using a proteomic approach, El Ouaamari et al. found that the abundance of the protease inhibitor serpinB1 was greater in liver extracts, liver explant–conditioned medium, and serum from LIRKO mice than in those from wild-type mice. SerpinB1 abundance correlated inversely with insulin sensitivity in human patients with risk factors for type 2 diabetes. Recombinant human serpinB1 stimulated the proliferation of β cells in cultured mouse and human islets in a dose-dependent manner. Elastase is a protease inhibited by serpinB1, and forms of serpinB1 that do not inhibit elastase activity did not stimulate proliferation of cultured mouse β cells. Compounds that inhibit elastase also promoted the proliferation of cultured mouse β cells. In mice, elastase inhibitors stimulated the proliferation of both endogenous β cells and the β cells of human islet grafts. Furthermore, overexpression of serpinb1 increased the regeneration of β cells following β cell ablation in zebrafish embryos. In several models of acute and chronic insulin resistance, serpinb1 knockout mice exhibited reduced β cell proliferation compared with wild-type controls. However, β cell proliferation was not abolished in serpinb1 knockouts, indicating that additional factors can induce compensatory proliferation of β cells. Phosphoproteomic analyses demonstrated that treatment of cultured mouse β cells with human serpinB1 stimulated signaling through several pathways that promote cell proliferation and survival. Commentary by Tarasov and Rorsman considers how these findings might be put to clinical use.

A. El Ouaamari, E. Dirice, N. Gedeon, J. Hu, J.-Y. Zhou, J. Shirakawa, L. Hou, J. Goodman, C. Karampelias, G. Qiang, J. Boucher, R. Martinez, M. A. Gritsenko, D. F. De Jesus, S. Kahraman, S. Bhatt, R. D. Smith, H.-D. Beer, P. Jungtrakoon, Y. Gong, A. B. Goldfine, C. W. Liew, A. Doria, O. Andersson, W.-J. Qian, E. Remold-O’Donnell, R. N. Kulkarni, SerpinB1 promotes pancreatic β cell proliferation. Cell Metab. 23, 194–205 (2016). [PubMed]

A. I. Tarasov, P. Rorsman, Dramatis personae in β-cell mass regulation: Enter SerpinB1. Cell Metab. 23, 8–10 (2016). [Online Journal]

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