The mammalian anx7 gene codes for a Ca2+-activated GTPase, which supports Ca2+/GTP-dependent secretion events and Ca2+ channel activities in vitro and in vivo. To test whether anx7 might be involved in Ca2+ signaling in secreting pancreatic β cells, we knocked out the anx7 gene in the mouse and tested the insulin-secretory properties of the β cells. The nullizygous anx7 (-/-) phenotype is lethal at embryonic day 10 because of cerebral hemorrhage. However, the heterozygous anx7 (+/-) mouse, although expressing only low levels of ANX7 protein, is viable and fertile. The anx7 (+/-) phenotype is associated with a substantial defect in insulin secretion, although the insulin content of the islets, is 8- to 10-fold higher in the mutants than in the normal littermate control. We infer from electrophysiological studies that both glucose-stimulated secretion and voltage-dependent Ca2+ channel functions are normal. However, electrooptical recordings indicate that the (+/-) mutation has caused a change in the ability of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate (IP3)-generating agonists to release intracellular calcium. The principle molecular consequence of lower anx7 expression is a profound reduction in IP3 receptor expression and function in pancreatic islets. The profound increase in islets, β cell number, and size may be a means of compensating for less efficient insulin secretion by individual defective pancreatic β cells. This is a direct demonstration of a connection between glucose-activated insulin secretion and Ca2+ signaling through IP3-sensitive Ca2+ stores.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - 23 Nov 1999|