The Rab-GTPase activating protein TBC1D1 is a paralog of AS160/TBC1D4. AS160/TBC1D4, a downstream effector of Akt, has been shown to play a central role in beta-cell function and survival. The two proteins have overlapping function in insulin signalling in muscle cells. However, the expression and the potential role of TBC1D1 in beta-cells remain unknown. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate whether TBC1D1 is expressed in beta-cells and whether it plays, as AS160/TBC1D4, a role in beta-cell function and survival. Using human and rat beta-cells, this study shows for the first time that TBC1D1 is expressed and phosphorylated in response to glucose in these cells. Knockdown of TBC1D1 in beta-cells resulted in increased basal and glucose-stimulated insulin release, decreased proliferation but no change in apoptosis.
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