ZFIN ID: ZDB-PUB-101011-2
Dachshund homologues play a conserved role in islet cell development
Kalousova, A., Mavropoulos, A., Adams, B.A., Nekrep, N., Li, Z., Krauss, S., Stainier, D.Y., and German, M.S.
All metazoans use insulin to control energy metabolism, but they secrete it from different cells: neurons in the central nervous system in invertebrates and endocrine cells in the gut or pancreas in vertebrates. Despite their origins in different germ layers, all of these insulin-producing cells share common functional features and gene expression patterns. In this study, we tested the role in insulin-producing cells of the vertebrate homologues of Dachshund, a transcriptional regulator that marks the earliest committed progenitors of the neural insulin-producing cells in Drosophila. Both zebrafish and mice expressed a single dominant Dachshund homologue in the pancreatic endocrine lineage, and in both species loss of this homologue reduced the numbers of all islet cell types including the insulin-producing β-cells. In mice, Dach1 gene deletion left the pancreatic progenitor cells unaltered, but blocked the perinatal burst of proliferation of differentiated β-cells that normally generates most of the β-cell mass. In β-cells, Dach1 bound to the promoter of the cell cycle inhibitor p27Kip1, which constrains β-cell proliferation. Taken together, these data demonstrate a conserved role for Dachshund homologues in the production of insulin-producing cells.