Volume 6.19 | May 19

Pancreatic Cell News 6.19 May 19, 2015
Pancreatic Cell News
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TOP STORY
The Life and Death of Beta Cells
Scientists have discovered new mechanisms governing why insulin-producing cells cease to function. Their death is triggered by massive overproduction of short strands of ribonucleic acid, known as microRNA 200. [Press release from ETH Zurich discussing online prepublication in Nature Medicine] Press Release | Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
DIABETES & PANCREATITIS

Alternatively Activated Macrophages Promote Pancreatic Fibrosis in Chronic Pancreatitis
Unlike acute pancreatitis, scientists found that alternatively activated macrophages are dominant in mouse and human chronic pancreatitis. They also demonstrated that mouse and human pancreatic stellate cells are a source of interleukin (IL)-4/IL-13. [Nat Commun] Abstract

Pancreatic Islet APJ Deletion Reduces Islet Density and Glucose Tolerance in Mice
The authors assessed the influence of a selective APJ deletion in pancreatic islet cells on islet homeostasis and glucose tolerance in mice. APJ deletion in islet cells resulted in a significantly reduced islet size, density and β-cell mass. [Endocrinology] Abstract

Insulin-Like Growth Factor 2 Overexpression Induces Beta-Cell Dysfunction and Increases Beta-Cell Susceptibility to Damage
Scientists characterized the effects of insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) on β-cell functionality. Overexpression of IGF2 led to β-cell dedifferentiation and endoplasmic reticulum stress causing islet dysfunction in vivo. Both adenoviral-mediated overexpression of IGF2 and treatment of adult wild-type islets with recombinant IGF2 in vitro further confirmed the direct implication of IGF2 on β-cell dysfunction. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

Characterization of Zinc Influx Transporters (ZIPs) in Pancreatic Beta Cells: Roles in Regulating Cytosolic Zinc Homeostasis and Insulin Secretion
The authors examined the beta cell and islet ZIP transcriptome and show consistent high expression of ZIP6 and ZIP7 genes across human, mouse islets and MIN6 beta cells. Modulation of ZIP6 and ZIP7 expression significantly altered cytosolic zinc influx in pancreatic beta cells, indicating an important role for ZIP6 and ZIP7 in regulating cellular zinc homeostasis. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

PANCREATIC CANCER

Pancreatic Cancer Exosomes Initiate Pre-Metastatic Niche Formation in the Liver
Scientists showed that pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma-derived exosomes induce liver pre-metastatic niche formation in naive mice and consequently increase liver metastatic burden. [Nat Cell Biol]
Abstract | Press Release

Targeting Pancreatic Cancer Metastasis by Inhibition of Vav1, a Driver of Tumor Cell Invasion
Investigators found that treatment of cultured pancreatic tumor cells with azathioprine inhibited Vav1-dependent invasive cell migration and matrix degradation, through inhibition of Rac and Cdc42 signaling. [Cancer Res] Abstract

MicroRNA-33a-Mediated Downregulation of Pim-3 Kinase Expression Renders Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells Sensitivity to Gemcitabine
Researchers demonstrated that plasma microRNA (miR)-33a levels positively correlated with miR-33a levels in tumor tissues of patients with pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and are a good prognostic indicator of overall survival. Overexpression of miR-33a inhibited tumor cell proliferation and increased the chemosensitivity to gemcitabine both in vitro and in vivo. [Oncotarget] Full Article

An Unexpected Inhibition of Antiviral Signaling by Virus-Encoded Tumor Suppressor p53 in Pancreatic Cancer Cells
Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV)-encoded p53 or p53-coiled-coil did not inhibit antiviral signaling in non-malignant human pancreatic ductal cells, which retained their resistance to all tested VSV recombinants. [Virology] Abstract

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REVIEWS
Recent Advances in Pancreatic Cancer: Biology, Treatment, and Prevention
Although preclinical studies uncovered the importance of herbal products in attenuating pancreatic carcinoma, limited studies have been conducted to evaluate their role in clinics. The authors provide a new insight to recent advances in pancreatic cancer biology, treatment and current status of herbal products in its anticipation. [Biochim Biophys Acta] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the pancreatic cell research field.
 
SCIENCE NEWS
Targovax Announces Presentation of Data from the Ongoing Phase I/II Clinical Study of the RAS-Specific Therapeutic Cancer Vaccine TG01 in Resected Pancreatic Cancer
Targovax announced that safety data and immunological results from the ongoing Phase I/II clinical study CT-TG01-01, testing the therapeutic cancer vaccine TG01 in combination with gemcitabine in patients with resected pancreatic cancer, will be presented. [Press release from Targovax discussing research to be presented at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Chicago] Press Release

New Data from IMAGE 1 Show Improved Survival in Metastatic Pancreatic Cancer in Patients Receiving IMM-101
Immodulon Therapeutics announced updated results of long-term survival from IMAGE 1, a randomized, controlled, open-label, Phase II clinical trial comparing the combination of IMM-101 and gemcitabine versus gemcitabine alone as first-line treatment for advanced pancreatic cancer. [Press release from Immodulon Therapeutics discussing research to be presented at the 2015 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, Chicago] Press Release

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INDUSTRY NEWS
Dicerna Announces Expansion of Ongoing DCR-MYC Phase I Study to Evaluate Safety and Efficacy in Patients with Advanced Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (PNETs)
Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced it is expanding its ongoing Phase I study of DCR-MYC in solid tumors, multiple myeloma, or lymphoma to include a cohort of patients with pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors following early signs of clinical and metabolic response and tumor shrinkage in PNET patients. [Dicerna Pharmaceuticals, Inc.] Press Release

Lilly and Sanford-Burnham Announce Collaboration to Investigate Immunological Therapies
Eli Lilly and Company and Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute announced that they will collaborate to discover and develop immunological therapies. Lilly and Sanford-Burnham will investigate potential therapeutics using biotechnology approaches in targeting multiple immune checkpoint modulators for the treatment of immunological diseases such as lupus, Sjögren’s Syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease and other autoimmune disorders. [Eli Lilly and Company] Press Release

JDRF-Supported Researchers Make Gains in Designing Islet Cell Encapsulation Materials for Use in Type 1 Diabetes Therapies
Researchers have been endeavoring to create encapsulation materials that will protect implanted islet cells from the immune system, yet allow the cells to sense changes in blood glucose and release the right amount of insulin and other blood-sugar controlling hormones at exactly the right time. [JDRF (PR Newswire Association LLC)] Press Release | Abstract
 
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)

Therapeutic Goods Administration (Australia)
 
EVENTS
NEW Nordic Life Sciences Days 2015
September 9-10, 2015
Stockholm, Sweden

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the pancreatic cell community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Postdoctoral Position – Metabolic Fingerprinting of Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (CEU San Pablo University)

NEW Postdoctoral Position – Cancer (MD Anderson Cancer Center)

NEW Research Fellow – Systems Biology (University of Glasgow)

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cell Biology Endoderm Lineages (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

PhD Studentships – Diabetes Research (Diabetes UK)

Postdoctoral Position – Type 1 Diabetes Research (KU Leuven)

Research Assistant/Associate – Pancreatic Cancer (University of Glasgow)

Postdoctoral Position – Obesity and Diabetes Research (University of Iowa)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Mechanisms of Cell Death of Normal Tissue Stem Cells (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center)


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