Specific control of pancreatic endocrine β- and δ-cell mass by class IIa histone deacetylases HDAC4, HDAC5, and HDAC9

Olivia Lenoir, Kathleen Flosseau, Feng Xia Ma, Bertrand Blondeau, Antonello Mai, Rhonda Bassel-Duby, Philippe Ravassard, Eric N. Olson, Cécile Haumaitre, Raphaël Scharfmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE - Class IIa histone deacetylases (HDACs) belong to a large family of enzymes involved in protein deacetylation and play a role in regulating gene expression and cell differentiation. Previously, we showed that HDAC inhibitors modify the timing and determination of pancreatic cell fate. The aim of this study was to determine the role of class IIa HDACs in pancreas development. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS - We took a genetic approach and analyzed the pancreatic phenotype of mice lacking HDAC4, -5, and -9. We also developed a novel method of lentiviral infection of pancreatic explants and performed gain-of-function experiments. RESULTS - We show that class IIa HDAC4, -5, and -9 have an unexpected restricted expression in the endocrine β- and δ-cells of the pancreas. Analyses of the pancreas of class IIa HDAC mutant mice revealed an increased pool of insulin-producing β-cells in Hdac5 -/- and Hdac9 -/- mice and an increased pool of somatostatin-producing δ-cells in Hdac4 -/- and Hdac5 -/- mice. Conversely, HDAC4 and HDAC5 overexpression showed a decreased pool of insulin-producing β-cells and somatostatinproducing δ-cells. Finally, treatment of pancreatic explants with the selective class IIa HDAC inhibitor MC1568 enhances expression of Pax4, a key factor required for proper β-and δ-cell differentiation and amplifies endocrine β- and δ-cells. CONCLUSIONS - We conclude that HDAC4, -5, and -9 are key regulators to control the pancreatic β/δ-cell lineage. These results highlight the epigenetic mechanisms underlying the regulation of endocrine cell development and suggest new strategies for β-cell differentiation-based therapies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2861-2871
Number of pages11
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism


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