- Dadi PK, Vierra NC, Ustione A, Piston DW, Colbran RJ, Jacobson DA. Inhibition of Pancreatic β-Cell Ca2+/Calmodulin-dependent Protein Kinase II Reduces Glucose-stimulated Calcium Influx and Insulin Secretion, Impairing Glucose Tolerance. The Journal of biological chemistry. 2014 May 2;289(18). 12435-45. PMID: 24627477 [PubMed]. PMCID: PMC4007438.
Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS) from pancreatic β-cells is caused by Ca(2+) entry via voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels. CaMKII is a key mediator and feedback regulator of Ca(2+) signaling in many tissues, but its role in β-cells is poorly understood, especially in vivo. Here, we report that mice with conditional inhibition of CaMKII in β-cells show significantly impaired glucose tolerance due to decreased GSIS. Moreover, β-cell CaMKII inhibition dramatically exacerbates glucose intolerance following exposure to a high fat diet. The impairment of islet GSIS by β-cell CaMKII inhibition is not accompanied by changes in either glucose metabolism or the activities of KATP and voltage-gated potassium channels. However, glucose-stimulated Ca(2+) entry via voltage-dependent Ca(2+) channels is reduced in islet β-cells with CaMKII inhibition, as well as in primary wild-type β-cells treated with a peptide inhibitor of CaMKII. The levels of basal β-cell cytoplasmic Ca(2+) and of endoplasmic reticulum Ca(2+) stores are also decreased by CaMKII inhibition. In addition, CaMKII inhibition suppresses glucose-stimulated action potential firing frequency. These results reveal that CaMKII is a Ca(2+) sensor with a key role as a feed-forward stimulator of β-cell Ca(2+) signals that enhance GSIS under physiological and pathological conditions.