home   genetic news   bioinformatics   biotechnology   literature   journals   ethics   positions   events   sitemap
  HUM-MOLGEN -> Genetic News | search  

Insulin factories produced by self replication

  May, 11 2004 10:57
your information resource in human molecular genetics
Insulin-producing beta-cells can proliferate by making more of themselves, research in this week's Nature (VOL. 429 NO. 6987 DATED 6 MAY 2004, pp. 41-46) suggests. The study, which counters the prevailing hypothesis on beta-cell production, may aid the development of new treatments for type I diabetes.

Once we've eaten, we store any excess sugar in order to reserve energy for later. Excess glucose is sensed by beta-cells in the pancreas, which respond by secreting the hormone insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin, in turn, tells various cells in the body to store glucose. In type I diabetes, the immune system destroys beta-cells, resulting in a lifelong dependency on insulin therapy. So researchers have long been searching for a renewable source of transplantable beta-cells.

Douglas A. Melton and colleagues used a genetic approach for marking cells and tracing their fate, to shed light on the origin of beta-cells in adult mice. They find that beta-cells arise mainly from pre-existing beta-cells and not from pancreatic stem cells, as was previously thought.

If human beta-cells replicate like their mouse counterparts, then the discovery may prompt the development of new therapies for type I diabetes, says Ken Zaret in an accompanying News and Views article. "It doesn't exclude the possibility that, in some diseases, adult stem cells might contribute to the beta-cell population. But it does shine light on a resource for insulin-producing cells that has been there all along: the beta-cell itself."


Douglas A. Melton (HHMI, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA)
Tel: +1 617 495 1812, E-mail: dmelton@mcb.harvard.edu

Ken Zaret (Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA, USA)
Tel: +1 215 728 7066, E-mail: zaret@fccc.edu

(C) Nature press release.

Message posted by: Trevor M. D'Souza

print this article mail this article
Bookmark and Share this page (what is this?)

Social bookmarking allows users to save and categorise a personal collection of bookmarks and share them with others. This is different to using your own browser bookmarks which are available using the menus within your web browser.

Use the links below to share this article on the social bookmarking site of your choice.

Read more about social bookmarking at Wikipedia - Social Bookmarking

Latest News
Variants Associated with Pediatric Allergic Disorder

Mutations in PHF6 Found in T-Cell Leukemia

Genetic Risk Variant for Urinary Bladder Cancer

Antibody Has Therapeutic Effect on Mice with ALS

Regulating P53 Activity in Cancer Cells

Anti-RNA Therapy Counters Breast Cancer Spread

Mitochondrial DNA Diversity

The Power of RNA Sequencing

‘Pro-Ageing' Therapy for Cancer?

Niche Genetics Influence Leukaemia

Molecular Biology: Clinical Promise for RNA Interference

Chemoprevention Cocktail for Colon Cancer

more news ...

Generated by News Editor 2.0 by Kai Garlipp
WWW: Kai Garlipp, Frank S. Zollmann.
7.0 © 1995-2017 HUM-MOLGEN. All rights reserved. Liability, Copyright and Imprint.