Volume 1.11 | Jul 6

Pancreatic Cell News 1.11, July 6, 2010.


Joslin Finds the Trouble with Tribbles in Diabetes  ShareThis
Joslin researchers now have identified mechanisms triggered by a variant of the tribbles gene that cause trouble in insulin-producing pancreatic beta cells-and that offer a promising target for therapies for people with type 2 diabetes. [Press release from the Joslin Diabetes Center discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation]

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Joslin Shows Transplanted Beta Cells Learn to Deal with Stress
For transplanted beta cells, life is tough. Not only are the insulin-producing cells in a stranger’s body, tucked into the liver rather than the pancreas, they are a bit short on oxygen and blood, and they are often exposed to raised levels of glucose. Joslin Diabetes Center scientists, however, have shown that the cells can protect themselves by actively adapting to their new homes-findings that may help to aid future transplants aimed at treating type 1 diabetes. [Press release from the Joslin Diabetes Center discussing online prepublication in PLoS ONE]

Muscular Problems in Children with Neonatal Diabetes are Neurological
New research into muscular problems associated with a rare, inherited form of diabetes that affects infants early on in life could pave the way for improved treatments for the condition. [Press release from the University of Oxford discussing online prepublication in Science]

More Bad News for Diabetes Drug
Criticism of the diabetes therapy Avandia is reaching a fever pitch. The drug has been in the spotlight since 2007, when it was linked to heart attacks. Two new studies analyzing outcomes for hundreds of thousands of people reaffirmed that the drug can be hazardous for the heart and pegged the degree of risk close to the 2007 finding. [Press release from ScienceInsiderdiscussing online prepublication in The Journal of the American Medical Association]


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Risk of Acute Myocardial Infarction, Stroke, Heart Failure, and Death in Elderly Medicare Patients Treated With Rosiglitazone or Pioglitazone
Studies have suggested that the use of rosiglitazone may be associated with an increased risk of serious cardiovascular events compared with other treatments for type 2 diabetes. [JAMA]

The Transcription Factor MafB Antagonizes Antiviral Responses by Blocking Recruitment of Coactivators to the Transcription Factor IRF3
Higher expression of transcription factor MafB in human pancreatic islet beta cells might increase cellular vulnerability to viral infections associated with the etiology of type I diabetes. [Nat Immunol]

Muscle Dysfunction Caused by a K(ATP) Channel Mutation in Neonatal Diabetes Is Neuronal in Origin
While the diabetes arises from suppressed insulin secretion by overactive K(ATP) channels in pancreatic beta cells, the source of the motor phenotype is unknown. Using mice carrying a human Kir6.2 mutation (V59M) targeted to either muscle or nerve, researchers show that analogous motor impairments originate in the central nervous system rather than in muscle or peripheral nerves. [Science]

The Pseudokinase Tribbles Homolog 3 Interacts with ATF4 to Negatively Regulate Insulin Exocytosis in Human and Mouse Beta Cells
Insufficient insulin secretion and reduced pancreatic beta cell mass are hallmarks of type 2 diabetes (T2DM). Here, researchers confirm that a previously identified polymorphism (rs2295490/Q84R) in exon 2 of the pseudokinase-encoding gene tribbles 3 is associated with an increased risk for T2DM in 2 populations of people of mixed European descent. [J Clin Invest]

Intradermal Alpha1-Antitrypsin Therapy Avoids Fatal Anaphylaxis, Prevents Type 1 Diabetes and Reverses Hyperglycaemia in the NOD Mouse Model of the Disease
Human alpha1-antitrypsin (hAAT) gene therapy prevents type 1 diabetes in a NOD mouse model of diabetes. However, repeated i.p. injections of hAAT into NOD mice leads to fatal anaphylaxis. The aim of the study was to determine if an alternative route of administration avoids anaphylaxis and allows evaluation of hAAT’s potential for diabetes prevention and reversal. [Diabetologia]

Engraftment of Cells from Porcine Islets of Langerhans and Normalization of Glucose Tolerance Following Transplantation of Pig Pancreatic Primordia in Nonimmune-Suppressed Diabetic Rats
Here, in rats transplanted previously with E28 pig pancreatic primordia in the mesentery, researchers show normalization of glucose tolerance in nonimmune-suppressed streptozotocin-diabetic LEW rats and insulin and porcine proinsulin mRNA-expressing cell engraftment in the kidney following implantation of porcine islets beneath the renal capsule. [Am J Pathol]

Glucagon Deficiency Reduces Hepatic Glucose Production and Improves Glucose Tolerance In Adult Mice
To investigate the consequences of glucagon loss to hepatic glucose production and glucose homeostasis, researchers derived mice with a pancreas specific ablation of the alpha-cell transcription factor, Arx, resulting in a complete loss of the glucagon-producing pancreatic alpha-cell. [Mol Endocrinol]

Protective Unfolded Protein Response in Human Pancreatic Beta Cells Transplanted into Mice
Expression of genes involved in ER stress were examined in beta cell enriched tissue obtained with laser capture microdissection from frozen sections of pancreases obtained from non-diabetic subjects at surgery and from human islets transplanted into ICR-SCID mice for 4 weeks. [PLoS ONE]


Tailored Cancer Immunotherapy Using Combinations of Chemotherapy and a Mixture of Antibodies Against EGF-Receptor Ligands
Researchers quantified ligand secretion by several human cancer cell lines, and generated monoclonal antibodies against two ligands, namely TGF-alpha and heparin-binding EGF-like growth factor. These growth factors are frequently secreted by pancreatic tumor cell lines, including BxPC3 cells. [Proc Nat Acad Sci USA]

Radiofrequency Field-Induced Thermal Cytotoxicity in Cancer Cells Treated with Fluorescent Nanoparticles
The authors investigated the effect of radiofrequency field exposure after targeted nanoparticle treatment in a coculture of 2 human cancer cell lines that have differential EGFR-1 expression (a high-expressing pancreatic carcinoma, Panc-1, and a low-expressing breast carcinoma, Cama-1). [Cancer]

Analogs of Vitamin E Epitomized by [alpha]-Tocopheryl Succinate for Pancreatic Cancer Treatment: In Vitro Results Induce Caution for In Vivo Applications
Researchers ascertained in vitro alpha-TOS effects on pancreatic cancer and normal cell growth and verified whether the combination of nontoxic alpha-TOS and 5-fluorouracil doses causes cancer cell death and whether alpha-TOS effects are mediated by the proapoptotic proteins Bax/Bak and/or SMAD4/DPC4 status. [Pancreas]

Blocking Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Triggers Apoptotic Cell Death in Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Researchers recently demonstrated that angiotensin II (AngII) type 1 receptor (AT1R) might be involved in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDA) angiogenesis. This study evaluated the antiproliferative and proapoptotic effects of an AT1R blocker, losartan, in PDA cells with different p53 mutation status. [Pancreas]


Celgene To Acquire Abraxis Bioscience Inc.
Celgene Corporation and Abraxis BioScience Inc. jointly announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement in which Celgene has agreed to acquire Abraxis BioScience. [Abraxis Bioscience Inc. Press Release]

Phase III Study Shows Novartis Drug Afinitor® More Than Doubles Time Without Tumor Growth in Advanced Pancreatic NET Patients
Novartis announced that results of a Phase III study show Afinitor® (everolimus) tablets plus best supportive care more than doubled progression-free survival, or time without tumor growth, versus placebo plus BSC in patients with advanced pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NET). [Novartis Press release]

Threshold Pharmaceuticals Initiates a Randomized, Controlled, Phase II Clinical Trial Evaluating TH-302 in Patients With Advanced Pancreatic Cancer
Threshold Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced that it has initiated a multi-center, randomized, controlled, crossover Phase II clinical trial of TH-302 in combination with gemcitabine in patients with first line pancreatic cancer. TH-302 is a proprietary tumor selective Hypoxia-Activated Prodrug (HAP) that specifically targets tumor hypoxia. [Threshold Pharmaceuticals Press Release]

Sanofi-aventis and JDRF Form Partnership to Improve Therapies, Work Toward Cure for Type 1 Diabetes
Sanofi-aventis and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) announced a unique partnership to develop therapeutic treatments for people with type 1 diabetes at different stages of the disease – both those living with the disease and the newly diagnosed – as well as preventing diabetes in those at risk. [Sanofi-aventis Press Release]

Lilly to Acquire Alnara Pharmaceuticals
Eli Lilly and Company and Alnara Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced they have signed a definitive merger agreement whereby Lilly will acquire Alnara, a privately held biotechnology company developing protein therapeutics for the treatment of metabolic diseases. [Alnara Pharmaceuticals Press Release]


U.S. Appeals Court Reinstates Stem Cell Suit
A U.S. appeals court reinstated a lawsuit that challenges an Obama administration policy for federal funding of some human embryonic stem cell research. [Court of Appeals, United States]

Research Budgets Face Austerity in 2012
The National Institutes of Health and other life sciences and biomedical research funding agencies will need to trim their budgets for 2012, which are to be planned over the summer, to satisfy a White House that is now stressing deficit reduction and belt-tightening after two years of stimulus funding-boosted research budgets. [The Office of Management and Budget, United States]

The Reality of Human Stem Cell Research in Europe
A new report from the European Science Foundation examines the key scientific questions for human stem cell research in the context of the rapidly emerging field of regenerative medicine. [European Science Foundation, European Union]

Strong Medicine for French Research
The medical-research adviser to France’s president aims to shift power and money to universities. [National Research Agency, France]

Cutting Drug Prices Hampers New Development
A report by the European School of Management and Technology Competition Analysis, and commissioned by the drugmaker Novartis, said there was a direct link between strict regulation and low innovation in the sector. [Reuters]

Meeting of the National Advisory Council for Healthcare Research and Quality [Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, United States]

Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission – Public Meeting Notice [Maryland Stem Cell Research Commission, United States]

Extension of Expiration Date and Additional Receipt Dates for RFA-AI-10-014: Ancillary Studies in Immunomodulation Clinical Trials (R01) (NOT-AI-10-035) [National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, United States]

Clarification of Research Objectives for NIDDK PAR-08-139: Enhancing Zebrafish Research with Research Tools and Techniques (R01) (NOT-DK-10-009) [National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, United States]


United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN) Third Annual Scientific Conference
July 12-14, 2010
Nottingham, United Kingdom

2010 World Cancer Congress
August 18-21, 2010
Shenzhen, China

Select Biosciences Inaugural Cellular Therapy Summit
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

The European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) Meeting – Advancing the Life Sciences
September 4-7, 2010
Barcelona, Spain

The Association of Upper Gastrointestinal Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland (AUGIS) 2010 Scientific Meeting 
September 9-10, 2010
Oxford, United Kingdom

Stem Cells USA & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
September 13-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States 

Annual Human Proteome Organization (HUPO) World Congress
September 19-23, 2010
Sydney, Australia

Institute of Medicine – University of Illinois at Chicago Midwest Conference on Diabetes and Obesity
September 21, 2010
Chicago, United States

35th European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress
October 8-12, 2010
Milan, Italy

Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium 2010
October 29-30, 2010
Leipzig, Germany

2010 American Pancreatic Association (APA) Annual Meeting
November 3-6, 2010
Chicago, United States

Select Biosciences International Forum on Stem Cells
November 12-13, 2010
Tianjin, China

Visit our events page  to stay up to date with the latest events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.



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