RESULTS: In this study, L-cells were isolated from a primary intestinal cell line to create suitable target cells for insulin expression studies. The isolated cells displayed L-cell properties and were therefore used as an L-cell surrogate. Next, the isolated L-cells were transfected with the recombinant plasmid consisting of an insulin gene located downstream of the GLP-1 promoter. The secretion tests revealed that an increase in glucose concentration from 5 mM to 25 mM induced insulin gene expression in the L-cells by 2.7-fold. Furthermore, L-cells quickly responded to the glucose stimulation; the amount of insulin protein increased 2-fold in the first 30 minutes and then reached a plateau after 90 minutes.
CONCLUSION: Our data showed that L-cells efficiently produced the mature insulin protein. In addition, the insulin protein secretion was positively regulated with glucose induction. In conclusion, GLP-1 promoter and L-cell could be potential candidates for diabetes gene therapy agents.