The aim of this study was to identify genes that are specifically expressed in pancreatic islet β-cells (hereafter referred to as β-cells). Large-scale complementary DNA-sequencing analysis was performed for 3,429 expressed sequence tags derived from murine MIN6 β-cells, through homology comparisons using the GenBank database. Three individual ESTs were found to code for protease serine S1 family member 53 (Prss53). Prss53 mRNA is processed into both a short and long form, which encode 482 and 552 amino acids, respectively. Transient overexpression of myc-tagged Prss53 in COS-7 cells showed that Prss53 was strongly associated with the luminal surfaces of organellar membranes and that it underwent signal peptide cleavage and N-glycosylation. Immunoelectron microscopy and western blotting revealed that Prss53 localized to mitochondria in MIN6 cells. Short hairpin RNA-mediated Prss53 knockdown resulted in Ppargc1a downregulation and Ucp2 and Glut2 upregulation. JC-1 staining revealed that the mitochondria were depolarized in Prss53-knockdown MIN6 cells; however, no change was observed in glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Our results suggest that mitochondrial Prss53 expression plays an important role in maintaining the health of β-cells.
Taylor & Francis
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