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Cavβ3 regulates Ca2+-signalling and insulin expression in pancreatic β-cells in a cell-autonomous manner

posted on 23.08.2021, 11:10 by Alexander Becker, Barbara Wardas, Houssein Salah, Maryam Amini, Claudia Fecher‐Trost, Qiao Sen, Damian Martus, Andreas Beck, Stephan E. Philipp, Veit Flockerzi, Anouar Belkacemi

Voltage-gated Ca2+ (Cav) channels consist of a pore-forming Cavα1 subunit and auxiliary Cavα2-δ and Cavβ subunits. In fibroblasts, Cavβ3, independent of its role as a Cav subunit, reduces the sensitivity to low concentrations of inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3). Similarly, Cavβ3 could affect cytosolic [Ca2+] in pancreatic β-cells. Here, we deleted the Cavβ3-encoding gene Cacnb3 in insulin-secreting rat β-(Ins-1) cells using CRISPR/Cas9. These cells were used as controls to investigate the role of Cavβ3 on Ca2+-signalling, glucose-induced insulin secretion (GIIS), Cav-channel activity and gene expression in wild-type cells in which Cavβ3 and the IP3-receptor were co-immunoprecipitated. Transcript and protein profiling revealed significantly increased levels of insulin transcription factor Mafa, CaMKIV, neuroendocrine convertase1 (Pcsk1) and nitric oxide synthase-1 (NOS-1) in Cavβ3-KO cells. In the absence of Cavβ3, Cav-currents were not altered. In contrast, CREB activity, the amount of MAFA protein and GIIS, the extent of IP3-dependent Ca2+ release and the frequency of Ca2+-oscillations were increased. These processes were decreased by the Cavβ3 protein in a concentration-dependent manner. Our study shows that Cavβ3 interacts with the IP3-receptor in isolated β-cells, controls IP3-dependent Ca2+-signalling independently of Cav channel functions, and thereby regulates insulin expression and its glucose-dependent release in a cell-autonomous manner.


The study was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) CRC 894 to A.Beck, S.E.P., V.F. and A.Belkacemi.