Lejonklou MH, Barbu A, Stålberg P, Skogseid B
Endocrinology 153 (6) 2588-2598 [2012-06-00; online 2012-04-12]
Individuals carrying heterozygous (hz) MEN1 (Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia Syndrome Type 1) germ line mutations develop endocrine tumors as a result of somatic loss of the wild-type (wt) allele. However, endocrine cell proliferation has been observed despite wt allele retention, indicating haploinsufficiency. To study downstream molecular effects of the hz haplotype, a germ line Men1 hz mouse model was used to explore differences in global endocrine pancreatic gene expression. Because islet cells of 5-wk-old hz mice express Menin from the retained wt Men1 allele, these were isolated after collagenase digestion of the pancreas, and used for global gene expression array. Wild-type littermates were used for comparison. Array findings were corroborated by quantitative PCR, Western blotting, in situ proximity ligation assay, and immunohistochemistry. The hz islets show increased proliferation: the Ki-67 index was twice as high as in wt islets (3.48 vs. 1.74%; P = 0.024). The microarray results demonstrated that several genes were differentially expressed. Some selected genes were studied on the protein level, e.g. the cytoskeletal regulator myristoylated alanine-rich protein kinase C substrate (Marcks) was significantly less expressed in hz islets, using in situ proximity ligation assay and Western blotting (P < 0.001 and P < 0.01, respectively). Further, gene ontology analysis showed that genes with higher mRNA expression in the hz endocrine pancreas were associated with e.g. chromatin maintenance and apoptosis. Lower mRNA was observed for genes involved in growth factor binding. In conclusion, despite retained Menin expression, proliferation was accelerated, and numerous genes were differentially expressed in the endocrine pancreas of 5-wk-old hz Men1 mice, corroborating the hypothesis that MEN1 is a haploinsufficient suppressor.