Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Medicine

Department

Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry

First Advisor

Dr. Sabire Ozcan

Abstract

Type 2 diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disease that affects one in ten people in the United States. It is caused by a combination of genetics and lifestyle factors. Disease progression begins with insulin resistance in peripheral tissues followed by pancreatic beta-cell failure. The mechanisms behind disease progression are not completely understood. PH domain leucine rich repeat protein phosphatase 1 (PHLPP1) is a known regulator of Akt and other members of the AGC kinase family. Akt has been established to play a role in numerous metabolic signaling pathways, including insulin action. It is hypothesized that as a regulator of Akt, PHLPP1 would have an important function in glucose homeostasis. Glucose tolerance tests performed on 8-week old Phlpp1-/- mice revealed no significant difference in glucose tolerance compared to wild type, however these mice did exhibit increased fasting blood glucose levels. Glucose tolerance tests were repeated at 20 weeks on the same mice and, interestingly, they displayed impaired glucose tolerance compared to wild type. Insulin tolerance tests showed that 8-week old mice have increased insulin sensitivity, however, the 20-week old mice were insulin-resistant compared to control animals. The 20-week old knockout mice also had significantly higher fasting blood glucose levels compared to 8-week old mice. To determine if the increased fasting blood glucose levels are due to increased hepatic glucose output, pyruvate tolerance tests were performed on both the 8 & 20 week old mice. Old mice displayed significantly increased hepatic glucose production compared to wild type. EchoMRI done on 24-week old mice showed significantly increased fat mass and decreased lean mass in the Phlpp1-/- mice compared to wild type littermates. Western blot analysis of liver samples from 32 week old Phlpp1-/- mice indicates loss of Akt signaling accompanied by a decrease in IRS2 protein levels, a common indicator of insulin resistance. These data suggest that Phlpp1-/- mice mimic the development of type 2 diabetes in humans, and provide a unique animal model to study the progression of type 2 diabetes and diabetes-associated complications.

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