Nesfatin-1 inhibits voltage gated K+ channels in pancreatic beta cells

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The anorexigenic neuropeptide NEFA/nucleobindin 2 (NUCB2)/nesfatin-1-containing neurons are distributed in the brain regions involved in feeding regulation. In spite of the growing knowledge of its physiological functions through extensive studies, its molecular mechanism of reaction, including its receptor, remains unknown. NUCB2/nesfatin-1 is also involved in various peripheral regulations, including glucose homeostasis. In pancreatic beta-cells, NUCB2/nesfatin-1 is reported to enhance glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) but its exact mechanism remains unknown.

To clarify this mechanism, we measured the effect of nesfatin-1 on the electrical activity of pancreatic beta-cells. Using mouse primary beta cells, we measured changes in the ATP-sensitive K+ (KATP) channel current, the voltage-gated K+ (Kv) channel current, and insulin secretion upon application of nesfatin-1.

Nesfatin-1 inhibited the Kv channel, but KATP channel activity was unaffected. Nesfatin-1 enhanced insulin secretion to a same level as Kv channel blocker tetraethylammonium (TEA). The effect was not further enhanced when nesfatin-1 and TEA were applied simultaneously. The inhibition binding assay with [125I]nesfatin-1 in Kv2.1 channels, major contributor of Kv current in beta cell, expressing HEK239 cells indicated the binding of nesfatin-1 on Kv2.1 channel.

Because Kv channel inhibition enhances insulin secretion under high glucose conditions, our present data suggest a possible mechanism of nesfatin-1 on enhancing GSIS through regulation of ion channels rather than its unidentified receptor.

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