SEL1L regulates adhesion, proliferation and secretion of insulin by affecting integrin signaling

Giuseppe R. Diaferia, Vincenzo Cirulli, Ida Biunno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


SEL1L, a component of the endoplasmic reticulum associated degradation (ERAD) pathway, has been reported to regulate the (i) differentiation of the pancreatic endocrine and exocrine tissue during the second transition of mouse embryonic development, (ii) neural stem cell self-renewal and lineage commitment and (iii) cell cycle progression through regulation of genes related to cell-matrix interaction. Here we show that in the pancreas the expression of SEL1L is developmentally regulated, such that it is readily detected in developing islet cells and in nascent acinar clusters adjacent to basement membranes, and becomes progressively restricted to the islets of Langherans in post-natal life. This peculiar expression pattern and the presence of two inverse RGD motifs in the fibronectin type II domain of SEL1L protein indicate a possible interaction with cell adhesion molecules to regulate islets architecture. Co-immunoprecipitation studies revealed SEL1L and β1-integrin interaction and, down-modulation of SEL1L in pancreatic β-cells, negatively influences both cell adhesion on selected matrix components and cell proliferation likely due to altered ERK signaling. Furthermore, the absence of SEL1L protein strongly inhibits glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in isolated mouse pancreatic islets unveiling an important role of SEL1L in insulin trafficking. This phenotype can be rescued by the ectopic expression of the β1-integrin subunit confirming the close interaction of these two proteins in regulating the cross-talk between extracellular matrix and insulin signalling to create a favourable micro-environment for β-cell development and function.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere79458
JournalPLoS One
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 20 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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