Translational Factor eIF4G1 Regulates Glucose Homeostasis and Pancreatic β-Cell Function

Seokwon Jo, Amber D Lockridge, Ramkumar Mohan, Nicholas Esch, Regina Schlichting, Neha Panigrahy, Ahmad Essawy, Eric Gustafson, Emilyn U Alejandro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Protein translation is essential for cell physiology, and dysregulation of this process has been linked to aging-related diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Reduced protein level of a requisite scaffolding protein of the initiation complex, eIF4G1, downstream of nutrients and insulin signaling is associated with diabetes in humans and mice. In the current study, we tested the hypothesis that eIF4G1 is critical for β-cell function and glucose homeostasis by genetically ablating eIF4G1 specifically in β-cells in vivo (βeIF4G1 knockout [KO]). Adult male and female βeIF4G1KO mice displayed glucose intolerance but normal insulin sensitivity. β-Cell mass was normal under steady state and under metabolic stress by diet-induced obesity, but we observed increases in proliferation and apoptosis in β-cells of βeIF4G1KO. We uncovered deficits in insulin secretion, partly due to reduced mitochondrial oxygen consumption rate, glucose-stimulated Ca2+ flux, and reduced insulin content associated with loss of eIF4E, the mRNA 59 cap-binding protein of the initiation complex and binding partner of eIF4G1. Genetic reconstitution of eIF4E in single β-cells or intact islets of βeIF4G1KO mice recovers insulin content, implicating an unexplored role for eIF4G1/eIF4E in insulin biosynthesis. Altogether these data demonstrate an essential role for the translational factor eIF4G1 on glucose homeostasis and β-cell function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)155-170
Number of pages16
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 28 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 by the American Diabetes Association.


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