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1.  Circulating CD36 Is Reduced in HNF1A-MODY Carriers 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(9):e74577.
Introduction
Premature atherosclerosis is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in type 2 diabetes mellitus. Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY) accounts for approximately 2% of all diabetes, with mutations in the transcription factor; hepatocyte nuclear factor 1 alpha (HNF1A) accounting for the majority of MODY cases. There is somewhat limited data available on the prevalence of macrovascular disease in HNF1A-MODY carriers with diabetes. Marked insulin resistance and the associated dyslipidaemia are not clinical features of HNF1A-MODY carriers. The scavenger protein CD36 has been shown to play a substantial role in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, largely through its interaction with oxidised LDL. Higher levels of monocyte CD36 and plasma CD36(sCD36) are seen to cluster with insulin resistance and diabetes. The aim of this study was to determine levels of sCD36 in participants with HNF1A-MODY diabetes and to compare them with unaffected normoglycaemic family members and participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Methods
We recruited 37 participants with HNF1A-MODY diabetes and compared levels of sCD36 with BMI-matched participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus and normoglycaemic HNF1A-MODY negative family controls. Levels of sCD36 were correlated with phenotypic and biochemical parameters.
Results
HNF1A-MODY participants were lean, normotensive, with higher HDL and lower triglyceride levels when compared to controls and participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus. sCD36 was also significantly lower in HNF1A-MODY participants when compared to both the normoglycaemic family controls and to lean participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Conclusion
In conclusion, sCD36 is significantly lower in lean participants with HNF1A-MODY diabetes when compared to weight-matched normoglycaemic familial HNF1A-MODY negative controls and to lean participants with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Lower levels of this pro-atherogenic marker may result from the higher HDL component in the lipid profile of HNF1A-MODY participants.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0074577
PMCID: PMC3771933  PMID: 24069322
2.  Effects of hepatocyte nuclear factor-1A and -4A on pancreatic stone protein/regenerating protein and C-reactive protein gene expression: implications for maturity-onset diabetes of the young 
Background
There is a significant clinical overlap between patients with hepatocyte nuclear factor (HNF)-1A and HNF4A maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY), two forms of monogenic diabetes. HNF1A and HNF4A are transcription factors that control common and partly overlapping sets of target genes. We have previously shown that elevated serum pancreatic stone protein / regenerating protein A (PSP/reg1A) levels can be detected in subjects with HNF1A-MODY. In this study, we investigated whether PSP/reg is differentially regulated by HNF1A and HNF4A.
Methods
Quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) and Western blotting were used to validate gene and protein expression in cellular models of HNF1A- and HNF4A-MODY. Serum PSP/reg1A levels and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) were measured by ELISA in 31 HNF1A- and 9 HNF4A-MODY subjects. The two groups were matched for age, body mass index, diabetes duration, blood pressure, lipid profile and aspirin and statin use.
Results
Inducible repression of HNF1A and HNF4A function in INS-1 cells suggested that PSP/reg induction required HNF4A, but not HNF1A. In contrast, crp gene expression was significantly reduced by repression of HNF1A, but not HNF4A function. PSP/reg levels were significantly lower in HNF4A subjects when compared to HNF1A subjects [9.25 (7.85-12.85) ng/ml vs. 12.5 (10.61-17.87) ng/ml, U-test P = 0.025]. hsCRP levels were significantly lower in HNF1A-MODY [0.22 (0.17-0.35) mg/L] compared to HNF4A-MODY group [0.81 (0.38-1.41) mg/L, U-test P = 0.002], Parallel measurements of serum PSP/reg1A and hsCRP levels were able to discriminate HNF1A- and HNF4A-MODY subjects.
Conclusion
Our study demonstrates that two distinct target genes, PSP/reg and crp, are differentially regulated by HNF1A and HNF4A, and provides clinical proof-of-concept that serum PSP/reg1A and hsCRP levels may distinguish HNF1A-MODY from HNF4A-MODY subjects.
doi:10.1186/1479-5876-11-156
PMCID: PMC3707779  PMID: 23803251
HNF1A; HNF4A; MODY; PSP/reg; HsCRP; Gene regulation
3.  Serum levels of pancreatic stone protein (PSP)/reg1A as an indicator of beta-cell apoptosis suggest an increased apoptosis rate in hepatocyte nuclear factor 1 alpha (HNF1A-MODY) carriers from the third decade of life onward 
Background
Mutations in the transcription factor hepatocyte nuclear factor-1-alpha (HNF1A) result in the commonest type of maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY). HNF1A-MODY carriers have reduced pancreatic beta cell mass, partially due to an increased rate of apoptosis. To date, it has not been possible to determine when apoptosis is occurring in HNF1A-MODY.We have recently demonstrated that beta cell apoptosis stimulates the expression of the pancreatic stone protein/regenerating (PSP/reg) gene in surviving neighbour cells, and that PSP/reg1A protein is subsequently secreted from these cells. The objective of this study was to determine whether serum levels of PSP/reg1A are elevated during disease progression in HNF1A-MODY carriers, and whether it may provide information regarding the onset of beta-cell apoptosis.
Methods
We analysed serum PSP/reg1A levels and correlated with clinical and biochemical parameters in subjects with HNF1A-MODY, glucokinase (GCK-MODY), and type 1 diabetes mellitus. A control group of normoglycaemic subjects was also analysed.
Results
PSP/reg1A serum levels were significantly elevated in HNF1A-MODY (n = 37) subjects compared to controls (n = 60) (median = 12.50 ng/ml, IQR = 10.61-17.87 ng/ml versus median = 10.72 ng/ml, IQR = 8.94-12.54 ng/ml, p = 0.0008). PSP/reg1A correlated negatively with insulin levels during OGTT, (rho = −0.40, p = 0.02). Interestingly we noted a significant positive correlation of PSP/reg1A with age of the HNF1A-MODY carriers (rho = 0.40 p = 0.02) with an age of 25 years separating carriers with low and high PSP/reg1A levels. Patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus also had elevated serum levels of PSP/reg1A compared to controls, however this was independent of the duration of diabetes.
Conclusion
Our data suggest that beta cell apoptosis contributes increasingly to the pathophysiology of HNF1A-MODY in patients 25 years and over. PSP/reg1A may be developed as a serum marker to detect increased beta-cell apoptosis, or its therapeutic response.
doi:10.1186/1472-6823-12-13
PMCID: PMC3433346  PMID: 22808921
Maturity onset diabetes of the young (MODY); Apoptosis; Serum biomarker; Beta-Cell; Type 1 diabetes; Pancreatic stone protein (PSP); Regenerating gene 1A (reg1A)
4.  INS-1 Cells Undergoing Caspase-Dependent Apoptosis Enhance the Regenerative Capacity of Neighboring Cells 
Diabetes  2010;59(11):2799-2808.
OBJECTIVE
In diabetes, β-cell mass is not static but in a constant process of cell death and renewal. Inactivating mutations in transcription factor 1 (tcf-1)/hepatocyte nuclear factor1a (hnf1a) result in decreased β-cell mass and HNF1A–maturity onset diabetes of the young (HNF1A-MODY). Here, we investigated the effect of a dominant-negative HNF1A mutant (DN-HNF1A) induced apoptosis on the regenerative capacity of INS-1 cells.
RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
DN-HNF1A was expressed in INS-1 cells using a reverse tetracycline-dependent transactivator system. Gene(s)/protein(s) involved in β-cell regeneration were investigated by real-time quantitative RT-PCR, Western blotting, and immunohistochemistry. Pancreatic stone protein/regenerating protein (PSP/reg) serum levels in human subjects were detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
RESULTS
We detected a prominent induction of PSP/reg at the gene and protein level during DN-HNF1A–induced apoptosis. Elevated PSP/reg levels were also detected in islets of transgenic HNF1A-MODY mice and in the serum of HNF1A-MODY patients. The induction of PSP/reg was glucose dependent and mediated by caspase activation during apoptosis. Interestingly, the supernatant from DN-HNF1A–expressing cells, but not DN-HNF1A–expressing cells treated with zVAD.fmk, was sufficient to induce PSP/reg gene expression and increase cell proliferation in naïve, untreated INS-1 cells. Further experiments demonstrated that annexin-V–positive microparticles originating from apoptosing INS-1 cells mediated the induction of PSP/reg. Treatment with recombinant PSP/reg reversed the phenotype of DN-HNF1A–induced cells by stimulating cell proliferation and increasing insulin gene expression.
CONCLUSIONS
Our results suggest that apoptosing INS-1 cells shed microparticles that may stimulate PSP/reg induction in neighboring cells, a mechanism that may facilitate the recovery of β-cell mass in HNF1A-MODY.
doi:10.2337/db09-1478
PMCID: PMC2963538  PMID: 20682686
5.  Pheochromocytoma presenting as recurrent urinary tract infections : a case report 
Introduction
Pheochromocytomas are rare, potentially fatal, neuroendocrine tumors of the adrenal medulla or extra-adrenal paraganglia. Their clinical presentation varies greatly from the classic triad of episodic headache, diaphoresis and tachycardia to include a spectrum of non-specific symptomatology.
Case presentation
A 43-year-old Caucasian woman was referred to us from primary care services with a three-month history of recurrent urinary tract infections on a background of hypertension, latent autoimmune diabetes of adulthood and autoimmune hypothyroidism. At 38 years she required insulin therapy. Despite medication compliance and dietary control, she reported a recent history of increased insulin requirements and uncontrolled hypertension with concomitant recurrent urinary tract infections. A renal ultrasound examination, to rule out underlying renal pathology, revealed an incidental 8cm right adrenal mass of both solid and cystic components. A subsequent computed tomography of her abdomen and pelvis confirmed a solid heterogeneous mass consistent with a pheochromocytoma. There were no other features suggestive of multiple endocrine neoplasia. Urinary collection over 24 hours revealed grossly elevated levels of catecholamines and metabolites. Following an open right adrenalectomy, our patient's insulin requirements were significantly reduced and her symptoms resolved. Two weeks post-operatively, an iodine-131-metaiodobenzylguanidine scintigraphy was negative for residual tumor and metastatic disease. Urinary catecholamine and metabolite concentrations were within the normal range at a follow-up six months later.
Conclusion
Pheochromocytoma is a rare catecholamine-producing tumor requiring a high index of suspicion for early diagnosis. Our case report serves to highlight the importance of considering pheochromocytoma as a differential diagnosis in the atypical setting of recurrent urinary tract infections and concomitant autoimmune disease.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-5-6
PMCID: PMC3025966  PMID: 21226896

Results 1-5 (5)