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Isabella Artner

Research team manager

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The calcium channel subunit gamma-4 is regulated by MafA and necessary for pancreatic beta-cell specification


  • Cheng Luan
  • Ye Yingying
  • Tania Singh
  • Mohammad Barghouth
  • Lena Eliasson
  • Isabella Artner
  • Enming Zhang
  • Erik Renström

Summary, in English

Voltage-gated Ca2+ (CaV) channels trigger glucose-induced insulin secretion in pancreatic beta-cell and their dysfunction increases diabetes risk. These heteromeric complexes include the main subunit alpha1, and the accessory ones, including subunit gamma that remains unexplored. Here, we demonstrate that CaV gamma subunit 4 (CaVγ4) is downregulated in islets from human donors with diabetes, diabetic Goto-Kakizaki (GK) rats, as well as under conditions of gluco-/lipotoxic stress. Reduction of CaVγ4 expression results in decreased expression of L-type CaV1.2 and CaV1.3, thereby suppressing voltage-gated Ca2+ entry and glucose stimulated insulin exocytosis. The most important finding is that CaVγ4 expression is controlled by the transcription factor responsible for beta-cell specification, MafA, as verified by chromatin immunoprecipitation and experiments in beta-cell specific MafA knockout mice (MafAΔβcell). Taken together, these findings suggest that CaVγ4 is necessary for maintaining a functional differentiated beta-cell phenotype. Treatment aiming at restoring CaVγ4 may help to restore beta-cell function in diabetes.


  • Diabetes - Islet Patophysiology
  • EXODIAB: Excellence of Diabetes Research in Sweden
  • StemTherapy: National Initiative on Stem Cells for Regenerative Therapy
  • Endocrine Cell Differentiation and Function
  • Stem Cell Center
  • Department of Clinical Sciences, Malmö
  • Diabetes - Islet Cell Exocytosis
  • Faculty of Medicine

Publishing year





Communications Biology



Document type

Journal article


Nature Publishing Group


  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology and Diabetes



Research group

  • Diabetes - Islet Patophysiology
  • Endocrine Cell Differentiation and Function
  • Diabetes - Islet Cell Exocytosis


  • ISSN: 2399-3642