Role of pancreatic transcription factors in maintenance of mature β-cell function

Int J Mol Sci. 2015 Mar 18;16(3):6281-97. doi: 10.3390/ijms16036281.


A variety of pancreatic transcription factors including PDX-1 and MafA play crucial roles in the pancreas and function for the maintenance of mature β-cell function. However, when β-cells are chronically exposed to hyperglycemia, expression and/or activities of such transcription factors are reduced, which leads to deterioration of b-cell function. These phenomena are well known as β-cell glucose toxicity in practical medicine as well as in the islet biology research area. Here we describe the possible mechanism for β-cell glucose toxicity found in type 2 diabetes. It is likely that reduced expression levels of PDX-1 and MafA lead to suppression of insulin biosynthesis and secretion. In addition, expression levels of incretin receptors (GLP-1 and GIP receptors) in β-cells are decreased, which likely contributes to the impaired incretin effects found in diabetes. Taken together, down-regulation of insulin gene transcription factors and incretin receptors explains, at least in part, the molecular mechanism for β-cell glucose toxicity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Homeodomain Proteins / genetics
  • Homeodomain Proteins / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Maf Transcription Factors, Large / genetics
  • Maf Transcription Factors, Large / metabolism
  • Oxidative Stress / genetics
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology
  • Pancreas / metabolism*
  • Trans-Activators / genetics
  • Trans-Activators / metabolism
  • Transcription Factors / genetics
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism*


  • Homeodomain Proteins
  • Maf Transcription Factors, Large
  • Trans-Activators
  • Transcription Factors
  • pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1 protein