Demethylation of the MafB promoter in a compromised β-cell model

wataru Nishimura, Naoko Ishibashi, Koki Eto, Nobuaki Funahashi, Haruhide Udagawa, Harukata Miki, Souichi Oe, Yasuko Noda, Kazuki Yasuda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Recent studies suggest that dedifferentiation of pancreatic β-cells is involved in compromised β-cell function in diabetes mellitus. we have previously shown that the promoter activity of MafB, which is expressed in α-cells of adult islets and immature β-cells in embryonic pancreas but not in mature β-cells in mice, is increased in compromised β-cells of diabetic model mice. Here, we investigated a rat β-cell line of INS1 cells with late-passage numbers, which showed extremely low expression of MafA and insulin, as an in vitro model of compromised β-cells. In these INS1 cells, the mRNA expression and the promoter activity of MafB were upregulated compared with the early-passage (‘conventional’) INS1 cells. Analysis of the MafB promoter in these late-passage INS1 cells revealed that specific CpG sites in the MafB promoter were partially demethylated. The reporter assay revealed that the unmethylated promoter activity of the 373 bp region containing these CpG sites was higher than the in vitro methylated promoter activity. These results suggest that the chronic culture of the rat β-cell line resulted in partial DNA demethylation of the MafB promoter, which may have a role in MafB promoter activation and possible dedifferentiation in our compromised β-cell model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-40
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Molecular Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 24 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • Dedifferentiation
  • Demethylation
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • MafB
  • β-cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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