Modulation of islet G-proteins, alpha-glucosidehydrolase inhibition and insulin release stimulated by various secretagogues

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Guanine nucleotide-binding proteins (G-proteins) are known to act as important modulators of insulin release from the islets of Langerhans. We have recently found that the deoxynojirimycin-derivative emiglitate, a recognized inhibitor of intestinal alpha-glucosidehydrolase activity, is a powerful inhibitor of glucose-induced insulin release. With the use of isolated mouse islets the present investigation was performed in a primary attempt to elucidate whether this inhibitory mechanism in some way was linked to the beta-cell G-protein system. Treatment of freshly isolated islets with pertussis toxin (PTX), which is known to inactivate the G (i)-proteins, abolished the inhibitory effect of the alpha(2)-adrenoceptor agonist clonidine on insulin release stimulated by the phosphodiesterase inhibitor IBMX in the presence of the protein kinase C activator TPA and even changed it into an increase. Emiglitate did not display any inhibitory action on insulin release induced by these secretagogues. Similarly, clonidine-induced inhibition of glucose stimulated insulin release was reversed by PTX. However, PTX did not influence the suppressive action of emiglitate on glucose-induced insulin secretion. In contrast, the adenylate cyclase activator forskolin totally abolished the inhibitory effect of emiglitate, but not that of the glucose analogue mannoheptulose, on glucose-induced insulin release. Moreover, the stimulatory effect of forskolin and cholera toxin (CTX) (activator of G (s)-proteins) on the secretion of insulin was markedly enhanced in the presence of emiglitate. In conclusion, our results suggest that the inhibitory effect of emiglitate on glucose-induced insulin release is not directly related to the G(s)-proteins, but most likely exerted solely through the selective suppression of lysosomal aglucosidehydrolase activity, a step in between the proximal and the distal G(i)-proteins, in glucose induced stimulus-secretion mechanisms. Our data also suggests that the inhibitory action of emiglitate on glucose stimulated insulin release can be compensated for by an increased sensitivity of the cyclic AMP-protein kinase A pathway. Hence, emiglitate might indirectly elicit an increased activity of the G(s)-proteins to facilitate the secretory process.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Endocrinology and Diabetes


  • Pancreatic islets, insulin secretion, pertussis toxin, cholera toxin, agr-glucosidehydrolase inhibition, insulin secretagogues
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-34
JournalBioscience Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1996
Publication categoryResearch