The islet-expressed Lhx1 transcription factor interacts with islet-1 and contributes to glucose homeostasis

Academic Article


  • The LIM-homeodomain (LIMHD) transcription factor Islet-1 (Isl1) interacts with the LIM domainbinding protein 1 (Ldb1) coregulator to control expression of key pancreatic β-cell genes. However, Ldb1 also has Isl1-independent effects, supporting that another LIM-HD factor interacts with Ldb1 to impact β-cell development and/or function. LIM homeobox 1 (Lhx1) is an Isl1-related LIM-HD transcription factor that appears to be expressed in the developing mouse pancreas and in adult islets. However, roles for this factor in the pancreas are unknown. This study aimed to determine Lhx1 interactions and elucidate gene regulatory and physiological roles in the pancreas. Co-immunoprecipitation using β-cell extracts demonstrated an interaction between Lhx1 and Isl1, and thus we hypothesized that Lhx1 and Isl1 regulate similar target genes. To test this, we employed siRNA-mediated Lhx1 knockdown in β-cell lines and discovered reduced Glp1R mRNA. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed Lhx1 occupancy at a domain also known to be occupied by Isl1 and Ldb1. Through development of a pancreas-wide knockout mouse model (Lhx1λ Panc ), we demonstrate that aged Lhx1λ Panc mice have elevated fasting blood glucose levels, altered intraperitoneal and oral glucose tolerance, and significantly upregulated glucagon, somatostatin, pancreatic polypeptide, MafB, and Arx islet mRNAs. Additionally, Lhx1λ Panc mice exhibit significantly reduced Glp1R, an mRNA encoding the insulinotropic receptor for glucagon-like peptide 1 along with a concomitant dampened Glp1 response and mild glucose intolerance in mice challenged with oral glucose. These data are the first to reveal that the Lhx1 transcription factor contributes to normal glucose homeostasis and Glp1 responses.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Bethea M; Liu Y; Wade AK; Mullen R; Gupta R; Gelfanov V; Dimarchi R; Bhatnagar S; Behringer R; Habegger KM
  • Start Page

  • E397
  • End Page

  • E409
  • Volume

  • 316
  • Issue

  • 3