Publications by authors named "Wing Yan So"

10 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Paired box 6 programs essential exocytotic genes in the regulation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis.

Sci Transl Med 2021 06;13(600)

Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Agency for Science Technology and Research, Singapore 138673, Singapore.

The paired box 6 (PAX6) transcription factor is crucial for normal pancreatic islet development and function. Heterozygous mutations of are associated with impaired insulin secretion and early-onset diabetes mellitus in humans. However, the molecular mechanism of PAX6 in controlling insulin secretion in human beta cells and its pathophysiological role in type 2 diabetes (T2D) remain ambiguous. We investigated the molecular pathway of PAX6 in the regulation of insulin secretion and the potential therapeutic value of PAX6 in T2D by using human pancreatic beta cell line EndoC-βH1, the mouse model, and primary human pancreatic islets. Through loss- and gain-of-function approaches, we uncovered a mechanism by which PAX6 modulates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) through a cAMP response element-binding protein (CREB)/Munc18-1/2 pathway. Moreover, under diabetic conditions, beta cells and pancreatic islets displayed dampened PAX6/CREB/Munc18-1/2 pathway activity and impaired GSIS, which were reversed by PAX6 replenishment. Adeno-associated virus-mediated PAX6 overexpression in mouse pancreatic beta cells led to a sustained amelioration of glycemic perturbation in vivo but did not affect insulin resistance. Our study highlights the pathophysiological role of PAX6 in T2D-associated beta cell dysfunction in humans and suggests the potential of gene transfer in preserving and restoring beta cell function.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abb1038DOI Listing
June 2021

IP-assisted CSN-COP1 competition regulates a CRL4-ETV5 proteolytic checkpoint to safeguard glucose-induced insulin secretion.

Nat Commun 2021 04 28;12(1):2461. Epub 2021 Apr 28.

School of Life Sciences, Department of Biology, Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China.

COP1 and COP9 signalosome (CSN) are the substrate receptor and deneddylase of CRL4 E3 ligase, respectively. How they functionally interact remains unclear. Here, we uncover COP1-CSN antagonism during glucose-induced insulin secretion. Heterozygous Csn2 mice with partially disrupted binding of IP, a CSN cofactor, display congenital hyperinsulinism and insulin resistance. This is due to increased Cul4 neddylation, CRL4 E3 assembly, and ubiquitylation of ETV5, an obesity-associated transcriptional suppressor of insulin secretion. Hyperglycemia reciprocally regulates CRL4-CSN versus CRL4 assembly to promote ETV5 degradation. Excessive ETV5 degradation is a hallmark of Csn2, high-fat diet-treated, and ob/ob mice. The CRL neddylation inhibitor Pevonedistat/MLN4924 stabilizes ETV5 and remediates the hyperinsulinemia and obesity/diabetes phenotypes of these mice. These observations were extended to human islets and EndoC-βH1 cells. Thus, a CRL4-ETV5 proteolytic checkpoint licensing GSIS is safeguarded by IP-assisted CSN-COP1 competition. Deregulation of the IP-CSN-CRL4-ETV5 axis underlies hyperinsulinemia and can be intervened to reduce obesity and diabetic risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22941-3DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8080631PMC
April 2021

Fibroblast growth factor 21 protects against lipotoxicity-induced pancreatic β-cell dysfunction via regulation of AMPK signaling and lipid metabolism.

Clin Sci (Lond) 2019 10;133(19):2029-2044

School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) is known as a potent metabolic regulator but its protective mechanisms against lipotoxicity-induced β-cell dysfunction and apoptosis remain elusive. Here, we aimed to examine the regulatory pathways whereby FGF21 mediates islet lipid metabolism in lipotoxicity-treated cells and animal models. Rat β-cell line (INS-1E cells) and islets isolated from C57/BL6J mice were exposed to palmitic acid (PA) with/without FGF21, mimicking lipotoxic conditions. Resultant insulin secretion and intracellular signaling were analyzed with Western blotting and RNA-seq. C57/BL6J and global FGF21 knockout (KO) mice were fed with a high-fat diet (HFD) to induce lipotoxicity and given with a long-acting mimetic of FGF21. Insulin resistance and β-cell function were then assessed using homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) and insulinogenic index. FGF21 ameliorated PA-induced lipid accumulation, reversed cell apoptosis, and enhanced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) as impaired by lipotoxicity in islet β-cells. Mechanistically, FGF21 exerted its beneficial effects through activation of AMPK-ACC (acetyl-CoA carboxylase) pathway and peroxisome proliferation-activated receptors (PPARs) δ/γ signaling, thus increasing the levels of carnitine palmitoyltransferase-1A (CPT1A) and leading to increased fatty acid (FA) oxidation and reduced lipid deposition in β-cells. Interestingly, FGF21 reduced PA-induced cell death via restoration of the expression of apoptosis inhibitor Birc3. In vivo studies further showed that FGF21 is critical for islet insulinogenic capacity and normal function in the context of HFD-treated animals. FGF21 down-regulates islet cell lipid accumulation, probably via activation of AMPK-ACC and PPARδ/γ signaling, and reduces cell death under lipotoxicity, indicating that FGF21 is protective against lipotoxicity-induced β-cell dysfunction and apoptosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/CS20190093DOI Listing
October 2019

Insulinotropic effects of GPR120 agonists are altered in obese diabetic and obese non-diabetic states.

Clin Sci (Lond) 2017 02 15;131(3):247-260. Epub 2016 Dec 15.

School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China

G-protein-coupled receptor 120 (GPR120) is a putative target for obesity and diabetes therapies. However, it remains controversial whether resident GPR120 plays a direct regulatory role in islet β-cell insulin secretion. The present study examined this issue in isolated rodent islets and rat β-cell line INS-1E, and assessed the role of GPR120 in islet insulin secretion in obese non-diabetic (OND) and diabetic states. GPR120 expression was detected in rodent islet β-cells. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and synthetic GPR120 agonist GSK137647 (GSK) augmented insulin release from rat/mouse islets and INS-1E; DHA effects were partially mediated by GPR40. GPR120 knockdown and overexpression attenuated and enhanced DHA effects in INS-1E respectively. DHA and GSK improved postprandial hyperglycaemia of diabetic mice. Inhibition of calcium signalling in INS-1E reduced GPR120 activation-induced insulinotropic effects. The insulinotropic effects of DHA/GSK were amplified in OND rat islets, but diminished in diabetic rat islets. GPR120 and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) expression were elevated in OND islets and palmitic acid (PA)-treated INS-1E, but reduced in diabetic islets and high glucose-treated INS-1E. PPARγ activation increased GPR120 expression in rat islets and INS-1E. DHA and GSK induced protein kinase B (Akt)/extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation in rodent islets and INS-1E, and these effects were altered in OND and diabetic states. Taken together, the present study indicates that (i) GPR120 activation has an insulinotropic influence on β-cells with the involvement of calcium signalling; (ii) GPR120 expression in β-cells and GPR120-mediated insulinotropic effects are altered in OND and diabetic states in distinct ways, and these alterations may be mediated by PPARγ.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1042/CS20160545DOI Listing
February 2017

Irisin ameliorates hepatic glucose/lipid metabolism and enhances cell survival in insulin-resistant human HepG2 cells through adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase signaling.

Int J Biochem Cell Biol 2016 09 21;78:237-247. Epub 2016 Jul 21.

School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address:

Irisin is a newly identified myokine that promotes the browning of white adipose tissue, enhances glucose uptake in skeletal muscle and modulates hepatic metabolism. However, the signaling pathways involved in the effects on hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism have not been resolved. This study aimed to examine the role of irisin in the regulation of hepatic glucose/lipid metabolism and cell survival, and whether adenosine monophosphate-activated protein kinase (AMPK), a master metabolic regulator in the liver, is involved in irisin's actions. Human liver-derived HepG2 cells were cultured in normal glucose-normal insulin (NGNI) or high glucose-high insulin (HGHI/insulin-resistant) condition. Hepatic glucose and lipid metabolism was evaluated by glucose output and glycogen content or triglyceride accumulation assays, respectively. Our results showed that irisin stimulated phosphorylation of AMPK and acetyl-CoA-carboxylase (ACC) via liver kinase B1 (LKB1) rather than Ca(2+)/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase kinase β (CaMKKβ) in HepG2 cells. Irisin ameliorated hepatic insulin resistance induced by HGHI condition. Irisin reduced hepatic triglyceride content and glucose output, but increased glycogen content, with those effects reversed by dorsomorphin, an AMPK inhibitor. Furthermore, irisin also stimulated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2 phosphorylation and promoted cell survival in an AMPK-dependent manner. In conclusion, our data indicate that irisin ameliorates dysregulation of hepatic glucose/lipid metabolism and cell death in insulin-resistant states via AMPK activation. These findings reveal a novel irisin-mediated protective mechanism in hepatic metabolism which provides a scientific basis for irisin as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes mellitus.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocel.2016.07.022DOI Listing
September 2016

Fibroblast Growth Factor 21 As an Emerging Therapeutic Target for Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

Med Res Rev 2016 07 31;36(4):672-704. Epub 2016 Mar 31.

School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong, China.

Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) 21 is a distinctive member of the FGF family that functions as an endocrine factor. It is expressed predominantly in the liver, but is also found in adipose tissue and the pancreas. Pharmacological studies have shown that FGF21 normalizes glucose and lipid homeostasis, thereby preventing the development of metabolic disorders, such as obesity and diabetes. Despite growing evidence for the therapeutic potential of FGF21, paradoxical increases of FGF21 in different disease conditions point to the existence of FGF21 resistance. In this review, we give a critical appraisal of recent advances in the understanding of the regulation of FGF21 production under various physiological conditions, its antidiabetic actions, and the clinical implications. We also discuss recent preclinical and clinical trials using engineered FGF21 analogs in the management of diabetes, as well as the potential side effects of FGF21 therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/med.21390DOI Listing
July 2016

Niacin-induced hyperglycemia is partially mediated via niacin receptor GPR109a in pancreatic islets.

Mol Cell Endocrinol 2015 Mar 23;404:56-66. Epub 2015 Jan 23.

School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China. Electronic address:

The widely used lipid-lowering drug niacin is reported to induce hyperglycemia during chronic and high-dose treatments, but the mechanism is poorly understood. Recently, the niacin receptor [G-protein-coupled receptor, (GPR) 109a], has been localized to islet cells while its potential role therein remains unclear. We, therefore, aimed at investigating how GPR109a regulates islet beta-cell function and its downstream signaling using high-fat diet-induced obese mice and INS-1E beta cells. Eight-week niacin treatment elevated blood glucose concentration in obese mice with increased areas under the curve at oral glucose and intraperitoneal insulin tolerance tests. Additionally, niacin treatment significantly decreased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) but induced peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (Pparg) and GPR109a expression in isolated pancreatic islets; concomitantly, reactive oxygen species (ROS) were transiently increased, with decreases in GSIS, intracellular cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) accumulation and mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm), but with increased expression of uncoupling protein 2 (Ucp2), Pparg and Gpr109a in INS-1E cells. Corroborating these findings, the decreases in GSIS, ΔΨm and cAMP production and increases in ROS, Pparg and GPR109a expression were abolished in INS-1E cells by GPR109a knockdown. Our data indicate that niacin-induced pancreatic islet dysfunction is probably modulated through activation of the islet beta-cell GPR109a-induced ROS-PPARγ-UCP2 pathways.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2015.01.029DOI Listing
March 2015

High glucose represses β-klotho expression and impairs fibroblast growth factor 21 action in mouse pancreatic islets: involvement of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ signaling.

Diabetes 2013 Nov 29;62(11):3751-9. Epub 2013 Jul 29.

School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Circulating fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) levels are elevated in diabetic subjects and correlate directly with abnormal glucose metabolism, while pharmacologically administered FGF21 can ameliorate hyperglycemia. The pancreatic islet is an FGF21 target, yet the actions of FGF21 in the islet under normal and diabetic conditions are not fully understood. This study investigated the effects of high glucose on islet FGF21 actions in a diabetic mouse model by investigating db/db mouse islet responses to exogenous FGF21, the direct effects of glucose on FGF21 signaling, and the involvement of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) in FGF21 pathway activation. Results showed that both adult db/db mouse islets and normal islets treated with high glucose ex vivo displayed reduced β-klotho expression, resistance to FGF21, and decreased PPARγ expression. Rosiglitazone, an antidiabetic PPARγ ligand, ameliorated these effects. Our data indicate that hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus may lead to FGF21 resistance in pancreatic islets, probably through reduction of PPARγ expression, which provides a novel mechanism for glucose-mediated islet dysfunction.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.2337/db13-0645DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3806592PMC
November 2013

Estrogen controls embryonic stem cell proliferation via store-operated calcium entry and the nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT).

J Cell Physiol 2012 Jun;227(6):2519-30

School of Life Sciences, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.

Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can self-renew indefinitely and differentiate into all cell lineages. Calcium is a universal second messenger which regulates a number of cellular pathways. Previous studies showed that store-operated calcium channels (SOCCs) but not voltage-operated calcium channels are present in mouse ESCs (mESCs). In this study, store-operated calcium entry (SOCE) was found to exist in mESCs using confocal microscopy. SOCC blockers lanthanum, 2-aminoethoxydiphenyl borate (2-APB) and SKF-96365 reduced mESC proliferation in a concentration-dependent manner, suggesting that SOCE is important for ESC proliferation. Pluripotent markers, Sox-2, Klf-4, and Nanog, were down-regulated by 2-APB, suggesting that self-renewal property of mESCs relies on SOCE. 17β-estradiol (E2) enhanced mESC proliferation. This enhanced proliferation was associated with an increment of SOCE. Both stimulated proliferation and increased SOCE could be reversed by SOCC blockers suggesting that E2 mediates its stimulatory effect on proliferation via enhancing SOCE. Also, cyclosporin A and INCA-6, inhibitors of calcineurin [phosphatase that de-phosphorylates and activates nuclear factor of activated T-cells (NFAT)], reversed the proliferative effect of E2, indicating that NFAT is involved in E2-stimulated proliferation. Interestingly, E2 caused the nuclear translocation of NFATc4, and this could be reversed by 2-APB. These results suggested that NFATc4 is the downstream target of E2-induced SOCE. The present investigation provides the first line of evidence that SOCE and NFAT are crucial for ESCs to maintain their unique characteristics. In addition, the present investigation also provides novel information on the mechanisms of how E2, an important female sex hormone, affects ESC proliferation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/jcp.22990DOI Listing
June 2012

Spatialization design: comparing points and landscapes.

IEEE Trans Vis Comput Graph 2007 Nov-Dec;13(6):1262-9

University of Victoria.

Spatializations represent non-spatial data using a spatial layout similar to a map. We present an experiment comparing different visual representations of spatialized data, to determine which representations are best for a non-trivial search and point estimation task. Primarily, we compare point-based displays to 2D and 3D information landscapes. We also compare a colour (hue) scale to a grey (lightness) scale. For the task we studied, point-based spatializations were far superior to landscapes, and 2D landscapes were superior to 3D landscapes. Little or no benefit was found for redundantly encoding data using colour or greyscale combined with landscape height. 3D landscapes with no colour scale (height-only) were particularly slow and inaccurate. A colour scale was found to be better than a greyscale for all display types, but a greyscale was helpful compared to height-only. These results suggest that point-based spatializations should be chosen over landscape representations, at least for tasks involving only point data itself rather than derived information about the data space.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/TVCG.2007.70596DOI Listing
December 2007
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