Nutrient levels dictate the activity of O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase (OGT) to regulate O-GlcNAcylation, a post-translational modification mechanism to "fine-tune" intracellular signaling and metabolic status. However, the requirement of O-GlcNAcylation for maintaining glucose homeostasis by regulating pancreatic β cell mass and function is unclear. Here, we reveal that mice lacking β cell OGT (βOGT-KO) develop diabetes and β cell failure. βOGT-KO mice demonstrated increased ER stress and distended ER architecture, and these changes ultimately caused the loss of β cell mass due to ER-stress-induced apoptosis and decreased proliferation. Akt1/2 signaling was also dampened in βOGT-KO islets. The mechanistic role of these processes was demonstrated by rescuing the phenotype of βOGT-KO mice with concomitant Chop gene deletion or genetic reconstitution of Akt2. These findings identify OGT as a regulator of β cell mass and function and provide a direct link between O-GlcNAcylation and β cell survival by regulation of ER stress responses and modulation of Akt1/2 signaling.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)