Specific deletion of CDC42 in pancreatic β cells attenuates glucose-induced insulin expression and secretion in mice

Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2020 Dec 1;518:111004. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2020.111004. Epub 2020 Aug 29.


Insulin is a key hormone for maintaining glucose homeostasis in organisms. In general, deficiency of insulin synthesis and secretion results in type I diabetes, whereas insulin resistance leads to type 2 diabetes. Cell division cycle 42 (CDC42), a member of Rho GTPases family, has been shown as an essential regulator in the second phase of glucose-induced insulin secretion in pancreatic islets β cells in vitro. However, the effect of CDC42 on insulin expression has not been explored. Here we reported that the glucose-induced insulin expression and secretion were significantly inhibited in mice lacking CDC42 gene in pancreatic β cells (Rip-CDC42cKO) in vivo and in vitro. Deletion of CDC42 gene in pancreatic β cells did not affect survival or reproduction in mice. However, the Rip-CDC42cKO mice showed the systemic glucose intolerance and the decrease of glucose-induced insulin secretion without apparent alterations of peripheral tissues insulin sensitivity and the morphology of islets. Furthermore, we demonstrated that deletion of CDC42 gene in pancreatic β cells significantly attenuated the insulin expression through inhibiting the ERK1/2-NeuroD1 signaling pathway. Taken together, our study presents novel evidence that CDC42 is an important modulator in glucose-induced insulin expression as well as insulin secretion in pancreatic β cells.

Keywords: Cell division cycle 42 (CDC42); Glucose homeostasis; Insulin expression; Insulin secretion; NeuroD1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Gene Deletion
  • Gene Expression / drug effects
  • Gene Knockdown Techniques
  • Glucose / pharmacology*
  • Insulin / genetics*
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Resistance / genetics
  • Insulin Secretion* / drug effects
  • Insulin Secretion* / genetics
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Organ Specificity / genetics
  • Rats
  • Signal Transduction / drug effects
  • Signal Transduction / genetics
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein / genetics*


  • Cdc42 protein, mouse
  • Insulin
  • cdc42 GTP-Binding Protein
  • Glucose