Sex-determining region Y-box (SOX) 6 negatively regulates glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from beta-cells and is a down-regulated transcription factor in the pancreatic islet cells of hyperinsulinemic obese mice. To determine the contribution of SOX6 to insulin resistance, we analyzed the effects of SOX6 on cell proliferation. Small interfering RNA-mediated attenuation of SOX6 expression stimulated the proliferation of insulinoma INS-1E and NIH-3T3 cells, whereas retroviral overexpression resulted in inhibition of cell growth. Quantitative real time-PCR analysis revealed that the levels of cyclin D1 transcripts were markedly decreased by SOX6 overexpression. Luciferase-reporter assay with beta-catenin showed that SOX6 suppresses cyclin D1 promoter activities. In vitro binding experiments showed that the LZ/Q domain of SOX6 physically interacts with armadillo repeats 1-4 of beta-catenin. Furthermore, chromatin immunoprecipitation assay revealed that increased SOX6 expression significantly reduced the levels of acetylated histones H3 and H4 at the cyclin D1 promoter. By using a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor and co-immunoprecipitation analysis, we showed that SOX6 suppressed cyclin D1 activities by interacting withbeta-catenin and HDAC1. The data presented suggest that SOX6 may be an important factor in obesity-related insulin resistance.
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