Deficiencies in pancreatic β-cell mass contribute to both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. We investigated the role of the glucose-regulated protein (GRP) 94, an endoplasmic reticulum protein abundantly expressed in the pancreatic acini and islets, in β-cell development, survival, and function. We used a conditional knockout (KO) mouse in which the GRP94 gene, Hsp90b1, was specifically deleted in pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 (Pdx1)-expressing cells. These Hsp90b1 flox/flox;Pdx1Cre KO mice exhibited pancreatic hypoplasia at embryonic day (E) 16.5 to E18.5 and had significantly reduced β-cell mass at 4 weeks after birth. Further mechanistic studies showed that deletion of GRP94 reduced β-cell proliferation with increased cell apoptosis in both Pdx1+ endocrine progenitor cells and differentiated β cells. Although Hsp90b1 flox/flox;Pdx1Cre KO mice remained euglycemic at 8 weeks of age, they exhibited impaired glucose tolerance. In aggregate, these findings indicate that GRP94 is an essential regulator of pancreatic β-cell development, mass, and function.
Copyright © 2018 Endocrine Society.