TCF7L2 is located at one of the most strongly associated type 2 diabetes loci reported to date. We previously reported that the most abundant member of a specific protein complex to bind across the presumed causal variant at this locus, rs7903146, was poly [ADP-ribose] polymerase type 1 (PARP-1). We analyzed the impact of PARP-1 inhibition on C. elegans health in the setting of hyperglycemia and on glucose-stimulated GLP-1 secretion in human intestinal cells. Given that high glucose concentrations progressively shorten the lifespan of C. elegans, in part by impacting key well-conserved insulin-modulated signaling pathways, we investigated the effect of PARP-1 inhibition with Olaparib on the lifespan of C. elegans nematodes under varying hyperglycemic conditions. Subsequently, we investigated whether Olaparib treatment had any effect on glucose-stimulated GLP-1 secretion in the human NCI-H716 intestinal cell line, a model system for the investigation of enteroendocrine function. Treatment with 100uM Olaparib in nematodes exposed to high concentrations of glucose led to significant lifespan rescue. The beneficial lifespan effect of Olaparib appeared to require both PARP-1 and TCF7L2, since treatment had no effect in hyperglycemic conditions in knock-out worm strains for either of these homologs. Further investigation using the NCI-H716 cells revealed that Olaparib significantly enhanced secretion of the incretin, GLP-1, plus the gene expression of TCF7L2, GCG and PC1. These data from studies in both C. elegans and a human cell line suggest that PARP-1 inhibition offers a novel therapeutic avenue to treat type 2 diabetes.
Keywords: C. elegans; GLP-1; PARP-1; TCF7L2; glucose.