Volume 2.17 | May 3

Pancreatic Cell News 2.17, May 3, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
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TOP STORY

Researchers Discover Mechanism that Could Convert Certain Cells into Insulin-Making Cells
Researchers report that they may have discovered the underlying mechanism that could convert other cell types into pancreatic beta cells. [Press release from the University of California, Los Angeles discussing online prepublication in Developmental Cell]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Pediatric Diabetes Clinical Trial Uses Psoriasis Drug
Pediatricians Eric Felner, MD, MSCR, and Mark Rigby, MD, PhD, have launched a phase II multi-center clinical trial evaluating whether intramuscular injections of alefacept (Amevive®) halt or slow the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas of patients recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. [The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University Press Release]

Low Vitamin D Levels Linked to Diabetes Risk
Lower levels of vitamin D circulating in the bloodstream are tied to a higher risk of developing diabetes in a new study of Australian adults. [Press release from Reuters discussing online prepublication in Diabetes Care]

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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
To directly assess the role of Tssp in autoimmune diabetes, researchers generated thymus-specific serine protease-deficient (Tssp°) NOD mice. While remaining immunocompetent, Tssp° NOD mice were protected from diabetes and severe insulitis. [J Clin Invest]

Pancreatic β Cell Identity Is Maintained by DNA Methylation-Mediated Repression of Arx
Scientists report that β cells deficient in Dnmt1, an enzyme that propagates DNA methylation patterns during cell division, were converted to α cells. [Dev Cell]

Suppression of Ptf1a Activity Induces Acinar-to-Endocrine Conversion
Data indicate that targeted postembryonic disruption of the acinar cell fate can restore the developmental plasticity that is lost during development. [Curr Biol]

HLA-A2–Matched Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cells From Type 1 Diabetic Patients, but not Nondiabetic Donors, Transfer Insulitis to NOD-scid/γc(null)/HLA-A2 Transgenic Mice Concurrent With the Expansion of Islet-Specific CD8+ T cells

The objective in this study was to develop a small-animal model using human effector cells to study type 1 diabetes. [Diabetes]

In Vivo Conditional Pax4 Overexpression in Mature Islet β-Cells Prevents Stress-Induced Hyperglycemia in Mice
To establish the role of the transcription factor Pax4 in pancreatic islet expansion and survival in response to physiological stress and its impact on glucose metabolism, researchers generated transgenic mice conditionally and selectively overexpressing Pax4 or a diabetes-linked mutant variant (Pax4R129 W) in β-cells. [Diabetes]

Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D, Calcium Intake, and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes After 5 Years
The objective of this study was to examine whether serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25OHD) and dietary calcium predict incident type 2 diabetes and insulin sensitivity. [Diabetes Care]

Glucose Regulates Cyclin D2 Expression in Quiescent and Replicating Pancreatic β-Cells Through Glycolysis and Calcium Channels
Glucose metabolism maintains high levels of nuclear cyclin D2 in quiescent β-cells and modulates the down-regulation of cyclin D2 in replicating β-cells. [Endocrinology]

AGEs Decrease Insulin Synthesis in Pancreatic β-Cell by Repressing Pdx-1 Protein Expression at the Post-Translational Level
Here, researchers investigated the possible mechanisms underlying advanced glycation end product-related suppression of insulin synthesis. [PLoS ONE]

PANCREATIC CANCER

Treatment of Advanced Pancreatic Carcinoma with 90Y-Clivatuzumab Tetraxetan: A Phase I Single-Dose Escalation Trial
This Phase I study evaluated a single dose of 90Y-clivatuzumab tetraxetan (90Y-labeled hPAM4) in patients with advanced pancreatic cancer. [Clin Cancer Res]

GRB2 Couples RhoU to EGFR Signaling and Cell Migration
RhoU is involved in EGFR-mediated signaling leading to AP1 transcriptional activity and cell migration in pancreatic cancer cells, events that require its interaction with the Grb2-EGFR complex. [Mol Biol Cell]

Lentivirus-Mediated Overexpression of TGF-β Inducible Early Gene 1 Inhibits SW1990 Pancreatic Cancer Cell Growth
In this study, researchers up-regulated the gene expression of TIEG1 in SW1990 pancreatic cancer cell line by a lentivirus transfection system and investigated its potential as a therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer. [Cell Biol Int]

Gemcitabine/Cannabinoid Combination Triggers Autophagy in Pancreatic Cancer Cells through a ROS-Mediated Mechanism
Here, researchers show that gemcitabine induces both cannabinoid receptor-1 and cannabinoid receptor-2 (CB2) receptors by an NF-κB-dependent mechanism and that its association with cannabinoids synergistically inhibits pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell growth and increases reactive oxygen species (ROS) induced by single treatments. [Cell Death Dis]

INDUSTRY NEWS

CytRx’s INNO-206 Receives FDA Approval for Orphan Drug Designation for Pancreatic Cancer
CytRx Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company specializing in oncology, announced that its tumor-targeting pro-drug candidate INNO-206 has been approved for orphan drug designation for the treatment of patients with pancreatic cancer by the Office of Orphan Products Development of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). [CytRx Corporation Press Release]

Hackensack Hospital Partners with Researcher in Search for Diabetes Cure
Doctors hope to find a cure for diabetes as they embark on a partnership with one of the world’s leading researchers for the disease. [Diabetes Research Institute Press Release]

Video: FDA Approves Tradjenta™ (linagliptin) Tablets for the Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes
Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Eli Lilly and Company announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved
Tradjenta™ (linagliptin) tablets, a prescription medication used along with diet and exercise to lower blood sugar in adults with type 2 diabetes. [Eli Lilly and Company Press Release]

Merck Profit Beats Analysts’ Estimates on Diabetes Drugs, Cost Reductions
Merck & Co., the second-largest U.S. drugmaker, reported first-quarter profit that topped analysts’ estimates, boosted by cost reductions and higher sales of its Januvia diabetes pill. [Merck & Co. Press Release]

2011 BIO International Convention to Host New Forum on Diabetes
In an effort to raise awareness for one of the most costly chronic diseases facing adults and children, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO), together with the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), will feature a two-day diabetes forum for the first time at its 2011 BIO International Convention. [Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Press Release]

Novo Nordisk Increased Operating Profit by 24% in the First Quarter of 2011
Organic sales growth of 15% driven by Victoza®, NovoRapid® and Levemir®. Sales increased by 15% in Danish kroner and by 11% in local currencies. [Novo Nordisk 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 Pancreatic Society Meeting 2011
December 1-2, 2011
Liverpool, United Kingdom

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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