Research ArticlePhysiology

Hypusine biosynthesis in β cells links polyamine metabolism to facultative cellular proliferation to maintain glucose homeostasis

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Science Signaling  03 Dec 2019:
Vol. 12, Issue 610, eaax0715
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.aax0715

Translating into a bigger pancreas

The evolutionarily conserved mRNA translation factor eIF5A is critical for cell proliferation in developmental and oncogenic contexts, and its activity depends on hypusination, a posttranslational modification that is unique to eIF5A. Levasseur et al. found that eIF5A hypusination was critical for postnatal expansion of β cell mass in the pancreas. Mice that could not perform hypusination in β cells did not produce sufficient cyclin D2 to sustain cell cycling and developed diabetes in response to diet-induced obesity. Thus, eIF5A hypusination links increased insulin demand caused by insulin resistance with β cell proliferation to maintain glucose homeostasis.

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