An activator of the glucagon gene expressed in developing islet α- and β-cells

Isabella Artner, John Le Lay, Yan Hang, Lynda Elghazi, Jonathan C. Schisler, Eva Henderson, Beatriz Sosa-Pineda, Roland Stein*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


The large Maf family of basic leucine-zipper-containing transcription factors are known regulators of key developmental and functional processes in various cell types, including pancreatic islets. Here, we demonstrate that within the adult pancreas, MafB is only expressed in islet α-cells and contributes to cell type-specific expression of the glucagon gene through activation of a conserved control element found between nucleotides -77 to -51. MafB was also shown to be expressed in developing α- and β-cells as well as in proliferating hormone-negative cells during pancreatogenesis. In addition, MafB expression is maintained in the insulin+ and glucagon+ cells remaining in mice lacking either the Pax4 or Pax6 developmental regulators, implicating a potentially early role for MafB in gene regulation during islet cell development. These results indicate that MafB is not only important to islet α-cell function but may also be involved in regulating genes required in both endocrine α- and β-cell differentiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)297-304
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An activator of the glucagon gene expressed in developing islet α- and β-cells'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this