Development of a high capacity multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction protocol has allowed us to screen lineage related rat islet tumors classified as alpha-, beta-, and delta-like as judged by their hormone profile for differential expression of more than 50 selected genes. We find that in addition to insulin the insulinoma express the normal beta-cell markers Pdx-1, IAPP, and Glut-2, and that these markers are absent from the glucagonoma: a reflection of the normal alpha-cell. Furthermore, this study suggests that the GLP-1, glucagon, GIP, IGF-1, and insulin receptors as well as E-cadherin, R-cadherin, Id-1, and Id-2 are differentially expressed within the islet of Langerhans. Importantly, insulinoma-specific expression of the recently cloned homeodomain protein Nkx 6.1 predicted beta-cell-specific expression in the normal islet. Immunohistochemistry using antibodies raised against recombinant Nkx 6.1 did indeed localize Nkx 6.1 expression exclusively to the nuclei of normal islet beta-cells. Apart from pancreatic islets only the antral part of the stomach contained Nkx 6.1 mRNA. We conclude that multiplex reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction-based mRNA profiling is a powerful tool to identify differentially expressed genes within phenotypically related cells and propose that Nkx 6.1 is involved in specifying the unique characteristics of the beta-cell.
SciCrunch is a data sharing and display platform. Anyone can create a custom portal where they can select searchable subsets of hundreds of data sources, brand their web pages and create their community. SciCrunch will push data updates automatically to all portals on a weekly basis. User communities can also add their own data to scicrunch, however this is not currently a free service.