RNA-seq-based identification of Star upregulation by islet amyloid formation

Meghan F. Hogan, Mark Ziemann, Harikrishnan K N, Hanah Rodriguez, Antony Kaspi, Nathalie Esser, Andrew T. Templin, Assam El-Osta, Steven E. Kahn

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Aggregation of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) into islet amyloid results in β-cell toxicity in human type 2 diabetes. To determine the effect of islet amyloid formation on gene expression, we performed ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis using cultured islets from either wild-type mice (mIAPP), which are not amyloid prone, or mice that express human IAPP (hIAPP), which develop amyloid. Comparing mIAPP and hIAPP islets, 5025 genes were differentially regulated (2439 upregulated and 2586 downregulated). When considering gene sets (reactomes), 248 and 52 pathways were up- and downregulated, respectively. Of the top 100 genes upregulated under two conditions of amyloid formation, seven were common. Of these seven genes, only steroidogenic acute regulatory protein (Star) demonstrated no effect of glucose per se to modify its expression. We confirmed this differential gene expression using quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR) and also demonstrated the presence of STAR protein in islets containing amyloid. Furthermore, Star is a part of reactomes representing metabolism, metabolism of lipids, metabolism of steroid hormones, metabolism of steroids and pregnenolone biosynthesis. Thus, examining gene expression that is differentially regulated by islet amyloid has the ability to identify new molecules involved in islet physiology and pathology applicable to type 2 diabetes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-76
Number of pages10
JournalProtein Engineering Design and Selection
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


  • amylin
  • amyloid
  • diabetes
  • glucose
  • islet amyloid polypeptide
  • islets
  • RNA-seq
  • steroidogenic acute regulatory protein
  • β-cell

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