Impact of Epigenetic Mechanisms on the Regulation of Gene Expression During Intrauterine Programming of the Endocrine Pancreas

  • Ana Laura Ortega-Márquez
  • Angélica Morales-Miranda
  • Sumiko MorimotoEmail author
Reference work entry


The pancreas develops due to the function of many interconnected transcription factors and the regulation provided by them. Among the elements that regulate transcription are epigenetic factors, DNA methylation, histone modifications, and noncoding RNAs. Some of these factors regulate the differentiation of endocrine and exocrine tissue, cell fate determination into the distinct types of the endocrine cells (especially alpha and beta), and the maintenance of cell identity. We herein summarize the epigenetic mechanisms that occur during the normal development of the pancreas and also during negative programming due to the effects of some adverse environmental factors in the uterus such as unbalanced maternal nutrition. All the current data come from animal models because of the ability to control variables, the availability of organisms, and the relatively short life cycle. By means of specific cases, we present the importance of epigenetic processes in the normal and altered pancreatic development and function.


Developmental programming Experimental models Pancreatic beta cells Type 2 diabetes Transcription factors Gene expression Epigenetic modifications Methylation Acetylation Undernutrition Intrauterine growth restriction 

List of Abbreviations


Alpha fetoprotein gene


Albumin gene


Aristaless related homeobox


Neurogenic differentiation


cAMP-response element binding protein


Deoxyribonucleic acid


Enhancer of zeste 2 polycomb repressive complex 2 subunit


Forkhead box A2




Glucagon-like peptide receptor 1


Glucose transporter 2


Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion


Histone deacetylase 1


Hepatocyte nuclear factor


Trimethylation of lysine 27 at histone 3


Acetylation of lysine 9 and 14 at histone 3


PTPRN, protein tyrosine phosphatase, receptor type N


Insulin-like growth factor


Insulin receptor


Insulin receptor substrate


Islet transcription factor 1


Intrauterine growth restriction

KATP channels

ATP-regulated potassium channels


Musculoaponeurotic fibrosarcoma transcription factor


Methyl CpG binding protein 2




MicroRNA 375


Mechanistic target of rapamycin


Neurogenin 3


Homeobox protein NK


Paired box 4–6


Pyruvatedehydrogenase kinase 1


Pancreatic and duodenal homeobox 1


Phosphatidylinositol-4, 5-bisphosphate 3-kinase


Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma coactivator-1 alpha


Pancreatic polypeptide


Protein arginine methyltransferase 6


Ribonucleic acid


SIN3 transcription regulator family member A




Transthyretin gene


Type 2 diabetes


Upstream transcription factor 1


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ana Laura Ortega-Márquez
    • 1
  • Angélica Morales-Miranda
    • 1
  • Sumiko Morimoto
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Reproductive BiologyInstituto Nacional de Ciencias Médicas y Nutrición “Salvador Zubirán”Mexico CityMexico

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