The Il1r1 locus is uniquely regulated in mouse beta cells. Il1r1 is highly enriched in mouse beta cells when compared to both mouse alpha cells (A) and human beta cells (B). This expression pattern is mimicked by a beta cell-specific lncRNA upstream of the Il1r1 transcription start in the mouse but not human locus. Both the Il1r1 transcription start site and the upstream lncRNA in mouse are associated with strong transcription factor binding for PDX1, NKX6.1, MAFA and NEUROD1, while there is only limited NKX6.1 binding at the human locus (B). Cell surface expression of IL1R1/CD121a on mIns1-H2b-mCherry + beta cells is confirmed by FACS (C) and immunofluorescence (D, E). Both Il1r1 and its associated lncRNA are significantly up regulated by overnight stimulation of mouse islets with 16.8 mM glucose (F). The Il1r1 lncRNA features 13 repeats of the ETS1 consensus binding site within a 300 bp stretch of DNA (MCAST p value = 0.0009), which may offer an explanation for the strong glucose regulation of Il1r1 and its associated lncRNA, as Ets1 expression is significantly increased by elevated glucose (G). Human RNA-seq data are from , ChIP-Seq data are from [38, 48, 69]. Numbers inside the grey box refer to lncRNA coordinates and correspond to Additional file 11.