Pancreatic and duodenal homeobox protein 1 (Pdx-1) maintains endoplasmic reticulum calcium levels through transcriptional regulation of sarco-endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase 2b (SERCA2b) in the islet β cell

Justin S. Johnson, Tatsuyoshi Kono, Xin Tong, Wataru R. Yamamoto, Angel Zarain-Herzberg, Matthew J. Merrins, Leslie S. Satin, Patrick Gilon, Carmella Evans-Molina

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20 Scopus citations


Although the pancreatic duodenal homeobox 1 (Pdx-1) transcription factor is known to play an indispensable role in β cell development and secretory function, recent data also implicate Pdx-1 in the maintenance of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) health. The sarco-endoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ ATPase 2b (SERCA2b) pump maintains a steep Ca2+ gradient between the cytosol and ER lumen. In models of diabetes, our data demonstrated loss of β cell Pdx-1 that occurs in parallel with altered SERCA2b expression, whereas in silico analysis of the SERCA2b promoter revealed multiple putative Pdx-1 binding sites. We hypothesized that Pdx-1 loss under inflammatory and diabetic conditions leads to decreased SERCA2b levels and activity with concomitant alterations in ER health. To test this, siRNA-mediated knockdown of Pdx-1 was performed in INS-1 cells. The results revealed reduced SERCA2b expression and decreased ER Ca2+, which was measured using fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy. Cotransfection of human Pdx-1 with a reporter fused to the human SERCA2 promoter increased luciferase activity 3- to 4-fold relative to an empty vector control, and direct binding of Pdx-1 to the proximal SERCA2 promoter was confirmed by chromatin immunoprecipitation. To determine whether restoration of SERCA2b could rescue ER stress induced by Pdx-1 loss, Pdx1+/- mice were fed a high-fat diet. Isolated islets demonstrated an increased spliced-to-total Xbp1 ratio, whereas SERCA2b overexpression reduced the Xbp1 ratio to that of wild-type controls. Together, these results identify SERCA2b as a novel transcriptional target of Pdx-1 and define a role for altered ER Ca2+ regulation in Pdx-1-deficient states.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32798-32810
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number47
StatePublished - Nov 21 2014


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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