Volume 2.15 | Apr 19

Pancreatic Cell News 2.15, April 19, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
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TOP STORY
Pancreatic β Cell Identity Is Maintained by DNA Methylation-Mediated Repression of Arx
Researchers report that β cells deficient in Dnmt1, an enzyme that propagates DNA methylation patterns during cell division, were converted to α cells. [Dev Cell]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Why the Immune System Attacks Beta Cells in Type 1 Diabetes
Researchers found that the loss of the protease TSSP protected mice from developing diabetes, in part because immune cells were no longer processed in a way that made them recognize pancreatic islets. [Press release from Medical News Today discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Clinical Investigation]

Artificial Pancreas Promise for Common Diabetes Complication
Research has for the first time successfully demonstrated the potential of an ‘artificial pancreas’ in preventing night-time hypoglycemia in adults with type 1 diabetes. [Press release from the University of Cambridge discussing online prepublication in the British Medical Journal]

Helping Pancreatic Cancer Surgeons Make Tiebreaker Decisions
Researchers have identified two ‘biomarkers’ that appear to have the ability to predict patient survival after surgery for pancreatic cancer before the operation takes place. [Garvan Institute of Medical Research Press Release]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

DIABETES

Thymus-Specific Serine Protease Controls Autoreactive CD4 T Cell Development and Autoimmune Diabetes in Mice
Diabetes resistance of Tssp-deficient NOD mice was a property of the CD4 T cell compartment that is acquired during thymic selection and correlated with an impaired selection of CD4 T cells specific for islet antigens. [J Clin Invest]

Overnight Closed Loop Insulin Delivery (Artificial Pancreas) in Adults with Type 1 Diabetes: Crossover Randomized Controlled Studies
Researchers aimed to compare the safety and efficacy of overnight closed loop delivery of insulin (artificial pancreas) with conventional insulin pump therapy in adults with type 1 diabetes. [Br Med J]

The Cdk4-E2f1 Pathway Regulates Early Pancreas Development by Targeting Pdx1+ Progenitors and Ngn3+ Endocrine Precursors
Results suggest that Cdk4 promotes β cell development by directing E2f1-mediated activation of Ngn3 and increasing the pool of endocrine precursors, and identify Cdk4 as an important regulator of early pancreas development that modulates the proliferation potential of pancreatic progenitors and endocrine precursors. [Development]

Endoderm and Mesoderm Reciprocal Signaling Mediated by CXCL12 and CXCR4 Regulates the Migration of Angioblasts and Establishes the Pancreatic Fate
Results indicate that the gut endoderm and angioblasts attract each other through reciprocal CXCL12 and CXCR4 signaling. This has a pivotal role in the fate establishment of the pancreatic progenitor cells and in the potentiation of further differentiation into endocrine β cells. [Development]

R-spondin1 Deficiency in Mice Improves Glycemic Control in Association with Increased Beta Cell Mass
The present study reveals an unexpected role for Roof plate-specific spondin (R-spondin1; RSPO1) as a regulator of both beta cell proliferation and neogenesis in vivo, and reinforces the importance of cWNT signaling for the maintenance of normal pancreatic beta cell behavior. [Diabetologia]

Glucokinase Mediates Coupling of Glycolysis to Mitochondrial Metabolism But Not to Beta Cell Damage at High Glucose Exposure Levels
Researchers examined, with special emphasis on the role of the glucose sensor enzyme glucokinase, whether elevated glucose metabolism evokes toxicity to beta cells. [Diabetologia]

Exendin-4 Increases Islet Amyloid Deposition But Offsets the Resultant Beta Cell Toxicity in Human Islet Amyloid Polypeptide Transgenic Mouse Islets
As islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) is co-secreted with insulin, researchers hypothesized that IAPP secretion is necessary for amyloid formation and that treatments that increase insulin (and IAPP) secretion would thereby increase amyloid formation and toxicity. [Diabetologia]

PANCREATIC CANCER

Stat3/Socs3 Activation by IL-6 Transsignaling Promotes Progression of Pancreatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia and Development of Pancreatic Cancer
Data describe the involvement of IL-6 transsignaling/Stat3/Socs3 in pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia progression and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma development. [Cancer Cell]

The Id3/E47 Axis Mediates Cell Cycle Control in Human Pancreatic Ducts and Adenocarcinoma
The data establish dysregulation of the basic Helix-Loop-Helix/Id axis as an early and sustained feature of ductal pathogenesis and mark this axis as a potential therapeutic target for intervention in pancreatitis and pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. [Mol Cancer Res]

Nrf2 Is Overexpressed in Pancreatic Cancer: Implications for Cell Proliferation and Therapy
Researchers have investigated the integrity of the Nrf2/Keap1 system in pancreatic cancer. [Mol Cancer]

p53-Dependent Regulation of Growth, Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition, and Stemness in Normal Pancreatic Epithelial Cells
Findings support the notion that p53 controls both growth and epithelial cell differentiation in the pancreas. [Cell Cycle]

INDUSTRY NEWS

Cellular Dynamics Licenses Technology from ViaCyte
Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. announced it has strengthened its intellectual property portfolio by licensing patented definitive endoderm differentiation technology from ViaCyte, Inc., a stem cell company focused on diabetes therapy. [Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. Press Release]

Aduro BioTech Licenses GVAX Pancreas from BioSante Pharmaceuticals to Develop a Therapeutic Vaccine in Conjunction with CRS-207 for Pancreatic Cancer
Aduro BioTech has licensed GVAX Pancreas Cancer Vaccine (GVAX Pancreas) and GVAX Prostate Cancer Vaccine (GVAX Prostate) from BioSante Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in exchange for milestone and royalty payments after commercialization. [BusinessWire]

TeloVac Pancreatic Cancer Vaccine Trial Launched in UK
More than 1,000 patients with advanced pancreatic cancer have joined the TeloVac trial at 53 UK hospitals. [BBC News]

Lilly Receives Complete Response Letter From FDA for Liprotamase for the Treatment of Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency
Eli Lilly and Company has received a complete response letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its New Drug Application for liprotamase, a non-porcine pancreatic enzyme replacement therapy, under investigation for the treatment of exocrine pancreatic insufficiency. [Eli Lilly and Company Press Release]

BYDUREON™ Recommended for Approval in Europe
Eli Lilly and Company, together with Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Alkermes, Inc., announced that the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency has issued a positive opinion recommending approval of exenatide 2 mg powder and solvent for prolonged release suspension for injection (proposed trade name BYDUREON™) in the European Union for the treatment of type 2 diabetes in combination with certain oral therapies. [Eli Lilly and Company Press Release]

Lixisenatide Significantly Reduces HbA1c Without Increasing Hypoglycemia in Patients Uncontrolled on Sulfonylureas
Sanofi-aventis announced that lixisenatide, a once-daily GLP-1 receptor agonist under development for people with type 2 diabetes, achieved its primary efficacy objective of significant HbA1c reduction and improved glycemic control from baseline versus placebo. [Sanofi-aventis Press Release]

Halozyme’s Ultrafast Insulin Generates Faster-In and Faster-Out Profile for Type 1 Diabetes Patients Using Insulin Pumps
Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. announced results from a study in type 1 diabetes patients who receive their insulin treatment with a pump demonstrating that Aspart-PH20, a formulation of Halozyme’s rHuPH20 (recombinant human hyaluronidase) with the active ingredient in NovoLog®, accelerates insulin absorption and shortened its duration of action. [Halozyme Therapeutics, Inc. Press Release]

American College of Endocrinology (ACE) and Lilly Diabetes Offer Free Checklist to Help People With Diabetes Prepare Before Disaster Strikes
The American College of Endocrinology and Lilly Diabetes created the “Power of Prevention®: Diabetes Disaster Plan,” a comprehensive checklist of items for people with diabetes to use in order to prepare for a potential disaster. [Eli Lilly and Company Press Release]

Several Cancers Underrepresented in Clinical Trials
Several cancers with a high burden of disease are not receiving the clinical trial investment they require, according to a University of Sydney study. [University of Sydney Press Release]

POLICY NEWS
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)
EVENTS

NEW The American Society of Clinical Oncology and the American Association for Cancer Research: Methods in Clinical Cancer Research
July 30-August 4, 2011
Vail, United States

NEW Days of Molecular Medicine 2011 – Re-Engineering Regenerative Medicine
November 10-12, 2011
Hong Kong

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

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

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

Postdoctoral Position (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

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

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

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

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