Claudin 4 in pancreatic β cells is involved in regulating the functional state of adult islets

Hongtu Li, Abraham Neelankal John, Takahiro Nagatake, Yoko Hamazaki, Fang Xu Jiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)


The functional state (FS) of adult pancreatic islets is regulated by a large array of regulatory molecules including numerous transcription factors. Whether any islet structural molecules play such a role has not been well understood. Here, multiple technologies including bioinformatics analyses were used to explore such molecules. The tight junction family molecule claudin 4 (Cldn4) was the highest enriched amongst over 140 structural genes analysed. Cldn4 expression was ~75-fold higher in adult islets than in exocrine tissues and was mostly up-regulated during functional maturation of developing islet cells. Cldn4 was progressively down-regulated in functionally compromised, dedifferentiating insulin-secreting β cells and in db/db type 2 diabetic islets. Furthermore, the genetic deletion of Cldn4 impaired significantly the FS without apparently affecting pancreas morphology, islet architectural structure and cellular distribution, and secretion of enteroendocrine hormones. Thus, we suggest a previously unidentified role for Cldn4 in regulating the FS of islets, with implications in translational research for better diabetes therapies.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFEBS Open Bio
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Sep 2019


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