Niacin receptor GPR109A inhibits insulin secretion and is down-regulated in type 2 diabetic islet beta-cells


We previously found niacin receptor GPR109A was expressed in murine islet beta-cells, and signaling through GPR109A inhibited glucose stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). However, the expression of GPR109A in human islets and its functional relevance is still not known.


The expression of GPR109A was examined by antibody staining and in situ hybridization on pancreatic paraffin sections. GPR109A was cloned and expressed in INS-1 islet beta-cells. Intracellular cAMP and GSIS were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).


The expression of GPR109A was confirmed in murine islet beta-cells and further detected in human counterparts by using commercially available polyclonal antibodies. In situ hybridization study detected the transcripts of GPR109A, but not that of closely related GPR109B. Furthermore, GPR109A was significantly reduced in islets from diabetic individuals and animal model of db/db mice as compared to their respective controls. Further, GPR109A levels in insulinoma were also reduced dramatically as compared to islets found in corresponding non-tumor normal tissues. Quantitative RT-PCR analysis demonstrated that GPR109A transcripts were severely down-regulated in rodent insulinoma cell lines as compared to that of freshly isolated islets from mice. Finally, human and murine GPR109A expression cassettes were transfected into INS-1 cells, which resulted in reduced accumulation of cAMP and insulin secretion after incubation with niacin. The effect could be completely abrogated by pretreatment with pertussis toxin.


These results demonstrate that GPR109A is functionally expressed in both human and murine islet beta-cells. However, the role of GPR109A in the prevention of diabetes or insulinoma needs further study.

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