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Journal of Diabetes Research
Volume 2015, Article ID 173058, 12 pages
Research Article

Synergistic Activations of REG Iα and REG Iβ Promoters by IL-6 and Glucocorticoids through JAK/STAT Pathway in Human Pancreatic β Cells

Department of Biochemistry, Nara Medical University, Kashihara 634-8521, Japan

Received 10 December 2014; Accepted 26 January 2015

Academic Editor: Shi Fang Yan

Copyright © 2015 Akiyo Yamauchi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Reg (Regenerating gene) gene was originally isolated from rat regenerating islets and its encoding protein was revealed as an autocrine/paracrine growth factor for β cells. Rat Reg gene is activated in inflammatory conditions for β cell regeneration. In human, although five functional REG family genes (REG Iα, REG Iβ, REG III, HIP/PAP, and REG IV) were isolated, their expressions in β cells under inflammatory conditions remained unclear. In this study, we found that combined addition of IL-6 and dexamethasone (Dx) induced REG Iα and REG Iβ expression in human 1.1B4 β cells. Promoter assay revealed that a signal transducer and activator of transcription- (STAT-) binding site in each promoter of REG Iα (TGCCGGGAA) and REG Iβ (TGCCAGGAA) was essential for the IL-6+Dx-induced promoter activation. A Janus kinase 2 (JAK2) inhibitor significantly inhibited the IL-6+Dx-induced REG Iα and REG Iβ transcription. Electrophoretic mobility shift assay and chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that IL-6+Dx stimulation increased STAT3 binding to the REG Iα promoter. Furthermore, small interfering RNA-mediated targeting of STAT3 blocked the IL-6+Dx-induced expression of REG Iα and REG Iβ. These results indicate that the expression of REG Iα and REG Iβ should be upregulated in human β cells under inflammatory conditions through the JAK/STAT pathway.