Mammalian pancreatic β-cells play a pivotal role in development and glucose homeostasis through the production and secretion of insulin. Functional failure or decrease in β-cell number leads to type 2 diabetes (T2D). Despite the physiological importance of β-cells, the viability of β-cells is often challenged mainly due to its poor ability to adapt to their changing microenvironment. One of the factors that negatively affect β-cell viability is high concentration of free fatty acids (FFAs) such as palmitate. In this work, we demonstrated that Yes-associated protein (Yap1) is activated when β-cells are treated with palmitate. Our loss- and gain-of-function analyses using rodent insulinoma cell lines revealed that Yap1 suppresses palmitate-induced apoptosis in β-cells without regulating their proliferation. We also found that upon palmitate treatment, re-arrangement of F-actin mediates Yap1 activation. Palmitate treatment increases expression of one of the Yap1 target genes, connective tissue growth factor (CTGF). Our gain-of-function analysis with CTGF suggests CTGF may be the downstream factor of Yap1 in the protective mechanism against FFA-induced apoptosis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Drug Discovery
- Cell Biology