Functional Gly297Ser Variant of the Physiological Dysglycemic Peptide Pancreastatin is a Novel Risk Factor for Cardiometabolic Disorders

Diabetes. 2021 Dec 3;db210289. doi: 10.2337/db21-0289. Online ahead of print.


Pancreastatin (PST), a chromogranin A (CHGA)-derived potent physiological dysglycemic peptide, regulates glucose/insulin homeostasis. We have identified a non-synonymous functional PST variant (p.Gly297Ser; rs9658664) that occurs in a large section of human populations. Association analysis of this single nucleotide polymorphism with cardiovascular/metabolic diseases states in Indian populations (n≈4300 subjects) displays elevated plasma glucose, glycosylated hemoglobin, diastolic blood pressure and catecholamines in Gly/Ser subjects as compared to wild-type individuals (Gly/Gly). Consistently, the 297Ser allele confers an increased risk (∼1.3-1.6-fold) for type-2 diabetes/hypertension/coronary artery disease/metabolic syndrome. In corroboration, the variant peptide (PST-297S) displays gain-of-potency in several cellular events relevant for cardiometabolic disorders (e.g, increased expression of gluconeogenic genes, increased catecholamine secretion, greater inhibition of insulin-stimulated glucose-uptake) than the wild-type peptide (PST-WT). Computational docking analysis and molecular dynamics simulations show higher affinity binding of PST-297S peptide with glucose-regulated protein 78 (GRP78) and insulin receptor (IR) than PST-WT, providing a mechanistic basis for the enhanced activity of the variant peptide. In vitro binding assays validate these in silico predictions of PST peptides binding to GRP78 and IR. In conclusion, the PST 297Ser allele influences cardiovascular/metabolic phenotypes and emerges as a novel risk factor for type-2 diabetes/hypertension/coronary artery disease in human populations.