Journal of Biosciences

, 44:149 | Cite as

Effect of FIGF overexpression on liver cells transforming to insulin-producing cells

  • Yaqin He
  • Xiaoliang Xie
  • Xiaoyan Li
  • Shikuo Rong
  • Yukui LiEmail author
  • Zhenhui LuEmail author


Limitation in the number of insulin-producing pancreatic β-cells is a typical feature of diabetes. It has been indicated that activating pancreatic transcription factors can promote the transformation of hepatocytes into insulin-secreting β-like cells, indicating that direct hepatocyte differentiation seems promising as a treatment for diabetes. Nevertheless, the reprogramming efficiency still remains low. Our previous study found that the expression of c-fos-induced growth factor (FIGF) was increased in the pancreatic tissues in partial pancreatectomy mice compared to that in normal mice. Here, we observed that treatment with Ad-FIGF was found to enhance MafA and Ngn3-induced reprogramming of BNL CL.2 cells to β-like cells with the ability of secreting insulin. And FIGF overexpression increased the levels of histone H3/H4 acetylation at MafA and Ngn3 promoter regions in BNL CL.2 cells. Importantly, in vivo study further confirmed that forced expression of FIGF facilitated the insulin expression and decreased the blood glucose levels in STZ mice. These results strengthen the possibility of developing cell-based therapies for diabetes through utilizing β-like cells derived from non-insulin-secreting cells.


C-fos-induced growth factor (FIGF) diabetes histone H3/H4 acetylation MafA and Ngn3 





C-fos-induced growth factor


Vascular endothelial growth factor-D


Dulbecco’s modified Eagle’s medium


Fetal bovine serum




Bovine serum albumin


Radioimmunoprecipitation assay





This study was supported by Project of Ningxia Natural Science Foundation (Grant No.: 2018AAC03264), First-Class Discipline Construction Founded Project of Ningxia Medical University and the School of Clinical Medicine (Grant No.: NXYLXK2017A05) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No.: 81460152).

Supplementary material

12038_2019_9965_MOESM1_ESM.ppt (278 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PPT 279 kb)


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Copyright information

© Indian Academy of Sciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Surgery LaboratoryGeneral Hospital of Ningxia Medical UniversityYinchuanChina
  2. 2.Department of Colorectal SurgeryGeneral Hospital of Ningxia Medical UniversityYinchuanChina
  3. 3.College of Clinical MedicineNingxia Medical UniversityYinchuanChina
  4. 4.Department of UrologyGeneral Hospital of Ningxia Medical UniversityYinchuanChina
  5. 5.Ningxia Medical UniversityYinchuanChina
  6. 6.Department of Hepatobiliary SurgeryGeneral Hospital of Ningxia Medical UniversityYinchuanChina

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