Volume 2.02 | Jan 18

Pancreatic Cell News 2.02, January 18, 2011.


Antagonistic Interactions of Hedgehog, Bmp and Retinoic Acid Signals Control Zebrafish Endocrine Pancreas Development  ShareThis
Results identify multiple sequential roles for hedgehog (Hh) in pancreas development and highlight an unexpected antagonistic relationship between Hh and other signaling pathways to control pancreatic specification and differentiation. [Development]


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Overexpression of Repetitive DNA Sequences Discovered in Common Tumor Cells
Researchers have discovered a previously unknown feature of common tumor cells — massive overexpression of certain DNA sequences that do not code for proteins.  These DNA sequences — called satellite repeats — have been studied for their role in chromosomal structure but previously were not suspected of having a role in cancer. [Press release from Massachusetts General Hospital discussing online prepublication in Science]

Glucose Homeostasis: The Collagen Connection
The authors believe that results show that collagen and connective tissue are critical in the proper function of cells that control metabolism, including pancreatic islets, fat cells, and skeletal muscle. [Press release from discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation]

Study Launched to Develop Pancreatic Cancer Screening Test
A clinical research study to develop a rapid and inexpensive blood screening test for the early diagnosis of pancreatic cancer has been launched by Henry Ford Health System and the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. [Henry Ford Health System Press Release]

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Alpha3(V) Collagen Is Critical for Glucose Homeostasis in Mice Due to Effects in Pancreatic Islets and Peripheral Tissues
Results underscore the emerging view of the importance of extracellular matrix to the microenvironments that inform proper development/functioning of specialized cells, such as adipocytes, beta cells, and skeletal muscle. [J Clin Invest]

Leptin Downregulates Expression of the Gene Encoding Glucagon in AlphaTC1-9 Cells and Mouse Islets
Results demonstrate that leptin can regulate glucagon gene expression in alpha cells via a STAT3 pathway, and are important for understanding the role of leptin in glucose homeostasis. [Diabetologia]

Glucose Tolerance, Insulin Sensitivity and Insulin Release in European Non-Diabetic Carriers of a Polymorphism Upstream of CDKN2A and CDKN2B
The aim of this study was to investigate the association of the rs10811661 polymorphism near the CDKN2B/CDKN2A genes with glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity and insulin release in three samples of white people with European ancestry. [Diabetologia]

Participation of Akt, Menin, and p21 in Pregnancy-Induced Beta-Cell Proliferation
Researchers conclude that during pregnancy, placental hormones act through the prolactin receptor to increase alpha cell mass by up regulating beta cell proliferation by engaging Jak2, Akt, menin/p18, and p21. [Endocrinology]

Co-Encapsulation of Bioengineered IGF-II-Producing Cells and Pancreatic Islets: Effect on Beta Cell Survival
Researchers evaluated the effect of co-encapsulating islets and bioengineered insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II)-producing cells on islet cell survival. [Gene Ther]

Regulation of Ca(2+)-Entry in Pancreatic Alpha Cell Line by Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 4 Plays a Vital Role in Glucagon Release
Results suggested that depolarization by Transient Receptor Potential Melastatin 4 channel may play an important role in controlling glucagon secretion from alpha cells and perhaps glucose homeostasis. [Mol Cell Endocrinol]


Aberrant Overexpression of Satellite Repeats in Pancreatic and Other Epithelial Cancers
The overexpression of satellite transcripts in cancer may reflect global alterations in heterochromatin silencing and could potentially be useful as a biomarker for cancer detection. [Science]

Atrial Natriuretic Factor Stimulates Efflux of cAMP in Rat Exocrine Pancreas via Multidrug Resistance Associated Proteins
Atrial natriuretic factor signals via NRP-C coupled to the phospholipase C-protein kinase C pathway to increase secretin-induced efflux of cAMP, probably through MPR-4. Cyclic AMP extrusion might be a mechanism, in addition to PDE action, to regulate intracellular cAMP levels in pancreatic acinar cells. [Gastroenterology]

Serine/Threonine Protein Kinase SGK1 in Glucocorticoid-Dependent Transdifferentiation of Pancreatic Acinar Cells to Hepatocytes
Data demonstrate a crucial role for SGK1 (serum- and glucocorticoid-regulated kinase 1) induction in B-13 cell transdifferentiation to B-13/H hepatocytes and suggest that direct phosphorylation of beta-catenin by SGK1C represents the mechanism of crosstalk between glucocorticoid and WNT signaling pathways. [ J Cell Sci]

Pigment Epithelium-Derived Factor Associates with Neuropathy and Fibrosis in Pancreatic Cancer
Pigment epithelium-derived factor (PEDF) increases pancreatic stellate cell (PSC) activity, thereby contributing to the desmoplasia of pancreatic cancer. PSC overactivation likely leads to periacinar fibrosis and degeneration of fine acinar innervation. [Am J Gastroenterol]

Cyr61/CCN1 Signaling Is Critical for Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition and Stemness and Promotes Pancreatic Carcinogenesis
The discovery of the involvement of Cyr61/CCN1 in pancreatic carcinogenesis may represent an important marker for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and suggests Cyr61/CCN1 can be a potential cancer therapeutic target. [Mol Cancer]

N-myc Downstream Regulated Gene-1 Expression Correlates with Reduced Pancreatic Cancer Growth and Increased Apoptosis In Vitro and In Vivo
In this model researchers found that expression of N-myc downstream regulated gene-1 (NDRG1) correlates with decreased growth in human pancreatic cancer cells in vitro and in vivo . The observation that NDRG1 completely inhibited growth in anchorage-independent assays and in vivo supports a biological function as a tumor suppressor in pancreatic cancer. [Surgery]


Metabolomic Biomarker Research for the Early Detection of Diabetes
The first Round Table Conference on Metabolomics took place in Vienna, bringing together high-level international experts to discuss the state of science and the future of metabolomics in diabetology and the nutritional sciences. [Biocrates Life Sciences AG Press Release]

Cancer Research UK and Cancer Research Technology Establish Team of Stem Cell Experts to Beat Cancer
Cancer Research UK and its commercial arm, Cancer Research Technology, have established a team of scientists with expertise in cancer stem cell research to identify new targets to detect, monitor and treat cancer. The charity has hand-picked four world class research groups to collaborate on an initial two-year research project to unravel the role of cancer stem cells in the development, growth and spread of tumors in breast, prostate and head and neck cancers. [Cancer Research UK Press Release]

A United and Powerful Initiative Launched to Strengthen the UK Economy
LifeSciencesUK, a new initiative representing the human healthcare industry, has been launched by the UK’s four key healthcare trade associations to build on the government’s commitment to transform the life sciences environment in the UK. [LifeSciencesUK Press Release]

Eurand Announces Agreement with Nycomed for ZENPEP® in Russia-CIS
Eurand N.V. and Nycomed announced that Eurand has entered into an exclusive commercialization, license and supply agreement with Nycomed for Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), as well as Georgia and Mongolia. [Eurand N.V. Press Release]

Statement From Lilly on FDA Advisory Committee Recommendation Regarding Liprotamase New Drug Application for Treatment of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
Eli Lilly and Company announced the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Gastrointestinal Drugs Advisory Committee voted to recommend non-approval of liprotamase, a non-porcine pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy, currently under FDA review for the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. [Eli Lilly and Company Press Release]

CureFAKtor Pharmaceuticals Receives Orphan Drug Designation for Its Lead Compound CFAK-C4 for the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer
CureFAKtor Pharmaceuticals, LLC announced that its lead compound, CFAK-C4 , which is in development for the treatment of pancreatic cancer, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. [CureFAKtor Pharmaceuticals, LLC Press Release]

Merck Announces FDA Acceptance of New Drug Application for an Investigational Extended-Release Formulation of JANUMET® (sitagliptin/metformin HCI) for Type 2 Diabetes
Merck announced that the New Drug Application for the Company’s investigational extended-release formulation of JANUMET for type 2 diabetes has been accepted for standard review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). [Merck & Co., Inc. Press Release]

Sirona Biochem Announces Positive Preclinical Results for Diabetes Drug Candidate
Sirona Biochem Corporation announced it achieved positive preclinical results for its type 2 diabetes drug candidate. [Sirona Biochem Corporation Press Release]

Oncolytics Biotech® Inc. Announces 2-Arm, Randomized Phase II Pancreatic Cancer Study
Oncolytics Biotech Inc. announced that the Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program, Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, U.S. National Cancer Institute, which is part of the National Institutes of Health, has agreed to sponsor a 2-Arm randomized Phase II study of carboplatin, paclitaxel plus REOLYSIN® versus carboplatin and paclitaxel alone in the first line treatment of patients with recurrent or metastatic pancreatic cancer. [Oncolytics Biotech Inc. Press Release]

The Type 2 Talk™ Public Health Initiative Launches to Motivate People to Actively Manage Their Type 2 Diabetes
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists and its educational arm – the American College of Endocrinology – in partnership with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company and AstraZeneca, announced a new public health initiative for people with type 2 diabetes mellitus called The Type 2 Talk: Changing the Type 2 Diabetes Conversation™. [Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Press Release]
GlaxoSmithKline Announces Q4 2010 Legal Charge
GlaxoSmithKline announced that it expects to record a legal charge for the fourth quarter of 2010 of £2.2 billion ($3.4 billion) (equating to an after tax cost of £1.8 billion). The charge primarily relates to additional provisioning in respect of the investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado into the Group’s U.S. sales and promotional practices and for product liability cases regarding Avandia (rosiglitazone). [GlaxoSmithKline Press Release]


Advisory Panel Doubts Effectiveness of Lilly’s Pancreas Drug Solpura
An FDA advisory committee failed to recommend Eli Lilly’s pancreatic insufficiency candidate Solpura, saying the company did not prove that the drug was effective. [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

News Rapid Increase of Diabetes Strains Middle East’s Health Agencies
Of the 10 countries in the world with the highest diabetes prevalence, six of them are in the Middle East and North Africa region, raising concerns about controlling the disease and the financial burden on the region’s governments. [American Diabetes Association, United States]

National Institutes of Health (United States)

Food and Drug Administration (United States)
Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research (United States)

European Medicines Agency (European Union)
Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

National Health Service (United Kingdom)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)


Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the pancreatic cell community.


Lab Technologist – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies)

Lab Technologist – Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Lab Technologist – Tissue Culture (STEMCELL Technologies)

Assistant Professor (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering)

Postdoctoral Scientist (University of Oxford Nuffield Department of Surgical Sciences)

Chief, Division of Endocrinology (University of Florida/Shands)

Principal Investigator, Stem Cell Biology and Diabetes (McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine/ University of Toronto)

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Diabetes/Cardiovascular Disease (Children’s Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School)

Postdoctoral Research Associate in Ryanodine Receptor Calcium Signaling and Pancreatitis (Yale University School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow in Bioinformatics/Computational Biology – Diabetes (Lund University)

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