The p300 and CBP Transcriptional Coactivators Are Required for β-Cell and α-Cell Proliferation


p300 (EP300) and CBP (CREBBP) are transcriptional coactivators with histone acetyltransferase activity. Various β-cell transcription factors can recruit p300/CBP, and thus the coactivators could be important for β-cell function and health in vivo. We hypothesized that p300/CBP contribute to the development and proper function of pancreatic islets. To test this, we bred and studied mice lacking p300/CBP in their islets. Mice lacking either p300 or CBP in islets developed glucose intolerance attributable to impaired insulin secretion, together with reduced α- and β-cell area and islet insulin content. These phenotypes were exacerbated in mice with only a single copy of p300 or CBP expressed in islets. Removing p300 in pancreatic endocrine progenitors impaired proliferation of neonatal α- and β-cells. Mice lacking all four copies of p300/CBP in pancreatic endocrine progenitors failed to establish α- and β-cell mass postnatally. Transcriptomic analyses revealed significant overlaps between p300/CBP-downregulated genes and genes downregulated in Hnf1α-null islets and Nkx2.2-null islets, among others. Furthermore, p300/CBP are important for the acetylation of H3K27 at loci downregulated in Hnf1α-null islets. We conclude that p300 and CBP are limiting cofactors for islet development, and hence for postnatal glucose homeostasis, with some functional redundancy.

  • Received February 21, 2017.
  • Accepted November 21, 2017.

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