An acetate-specific GPCR, FFAR2, regulates insulin secretion

Medha Priyadarshini, Stephanie R Villa, Miles Fuller, Barton Wicksteed, Charles R Mackay, Thierry Alquier, Vincent Poitout, Helena Mancebo, Raghavendra G Mirmira, Annette Gilchrist, Brian T Layden

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    140 Citations (Scopus)


    G protein-coupled receptors have been well described to contribute to the regulation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS). The short-chain fatty acid-sensing G protein-coupled receptor, free fatty acid receptor 2 (FFAR2), is expressed in pancreatic beta-cells, and in rodents, its expression is altered during insulin resistance. Thus, we explored the role of FFAR2 in regulating GSIS. First, assessing the phenotype of wild-type and Ffar2(-/-) mice in vivo, we observed no differences with regard to glucose homeostasis on normal or high-fat diet, with a marginally significant defect in insulin secretion in Ffar2(-/-) mice during hyperglycemic clamps. In ex vivo insulin secretion studies, we observed diminished GSIS from Ffar2(-/-) islets relative to wild-type islets under high-glucose conditions. Further, in the presence of acetate, the primary endogenous ligand for FFAR2, we observed FFAR2-dependent potentiation of GSIS, whereas FFAR2-specific agonists resulted in either potentiation or inhibition of GSIS, which we found to result from selective signaling through either Galphaq/11 or Galphai/o, respectively. Lastly, in ex vivo insulin secretion studies of human islets, we observed that acetate and FFAR2 agonists elicited different signaling properties at human FFAR2 than at mouse FFAR2. Taken together, our studies reveal that FFAR2 signaling occurs by divergent G protein pathways that can selectively potentiate or inhibit GSIS in mouse islets. Further, we have identified important differences in the response of mouse and human FFAR2 to selective agonists, and we suggest that these differences warrant consideration in the continued investigation of FFAR2 as a novel type 2 diabetes target.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1055 - 1066
    Number of pages12
    JournalMolecular Endocrinology
    Issue number7
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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