Aberrant development of pancreatic beta cells derived from human iPSCs with FOXA2 deficiency


FOXA2 has been identified as an essential factor for pancreas development and emerging evidence supports an association between FOXA2 and diabetes. Although the role of FOXA2 during pancreatic development is well-studied in animal models, its role during human islet cell development remains unclear. Here, we generated induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from a patient with FOXA2 haploinsufficiency (FOXA2+/- iPSCs) followed by beta-cell differentiation to understand the role of FOXA2 during pancreatic beta-cell development. Our results showed that FOXA2 haploinsufficiency resulted in aberrant expression of genes essential for the differentiation and proper functioning of beta cells. At pancreatic progenitor (PP2) and endocrine progenitor (EPs) stages, transcriptome analysis showed downregulation in genes associated with pancreatic development and diabetes and upregulation in genes associated with nervous system development and WNT signaling pathway. Knockout of FOXA2 in control iPSCs (FOXA2-/- iPSCs) led to severe phenotypes in EPs and beta-cell stages. The expression of NGN3 and its downstream targets at EPs as well as INSUILIN and GLUCAGON at the beta-cell stage, were almost absent in the cells derived from FOXA2-/- iPSCs. These findings indicate that FOXA2 is crucial for human pancreatic endocrine development and its defect may lead to diabetes based on FOXA2 dosage.

Authors Elsayed AK, Younis I, Ali G, Hussain K, Abdelalim EM
Journal Cell death & disease
Publication Date 2021 Jan 20;12(1):103
PubMed 33473118
PubMed Central PMC7817686
DOI 10.1038/s41419-021-03390-8

Research Projects

Cell Lines