An Acetate-Specific GPCR, FFAR2, Regulates Insulin Secretion

Mol Endocrinol. 2015 Jul;29(7):1055-66. doi: 10.1210/me.2015-1007. Epub 2015 Jun 15.

Abstract

G protein-coupled receptors have been well described to contribute to the regulation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). The short-chain fatty acid-sensing G protein-coupled receptor, free fatty acid receptor 2 (FFAR2), is expressed in pancreatic β-cells, and in rodents, its expression is altered during insulin resistance. Thus, we explored the role of FFAR2 in regulating GSIS. First, assessing the phenotype of wild-type and Ffar2(-/-) mice in vivo, we observed no differences with regard to glucose homeostasis on normal or high-fat diet, with a marginally significant defect in insulin secretion in Ffar2(-/-) mice during hyperglycemic clamps. In ex vivo insulin secretion studies, we observed diminished GSIS from Ffar2(-/-) islets relative to wild-type islets under high-glucose conditions. Further, in the presence of acetate, the primary endogenous ligand for FFAR2, we observed FFAR2-dependent potentiation of GSIS, whereas FFAR2-specific agonists resulted in either potentiation or inhibition of GSIS, which we found to result from selective signaling through either Gαq/11 or Gαi/o, respectively. Lastly, in ex vivo insulin secretion studies of human islets, we observed that acetate and FFAR2 agonists elicited different signaling properties at human FFAR2 than at mouse FFAR2. Taken together, our studies reveal that FFAR2 signaling occurs by divergent G protein pathways that can selectively potentiate or inhibit GSIS in mouse islets. Further, we have identified important differences in the response of mouse and human FFAR2 to selective agonists, and we suggest that these differences warrant consideration in the continued investigation of FFAR2 as a novel type 2 diabetes target.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acetates / metabolism*
  • Animals
  • Diet, High-Fat
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gq-G11 / metabolism
  • Glucose Clamp Technique
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism*
  • Insulin / pharmacology
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Phenotype
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / agonists
  • Receptors, Cell Surface / metabolism*
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / agonists
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / deficiency
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism*
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Species Specificity

Substances

  • Acetates
  • Ffar2 protein, mouse
  • G-protein coupled receptor 43, human
  • Insulin
  • Receptors, Cell Surface
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • GTP-Binding Protein alpha Subunits, Gq-G11