Volume 4.02 | Jan 22

Pancreatic Cell News 4.02 January 22, 2013
     In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs 
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KDM2B Promotes Pancreatic Cancer via Polycomb-Dependent and -Independent Transcriptional Programs
Researchers sought to identify epigenetic regulators driving the pathogenesis of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). They found that KDM2B, an H3K36 histone demethylase implicated in bypass of cellular senescence and somatic cell reprogramming, is markedly overexpressed in human PDAC, with levels increasing with disease grade and stage, and highest expression in metastases. [J Clin Invest] Full Article

New: Directed Differentiation of Pluripotent Stem Cells, A Cell Stem Cell Poster
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)


A Small Molecule Inducer of β Cell Proliferation Identified by High-Throughput Screening
Researchers performed high-throughput, cell-based screens using rodent β cell lines to identify molecules that induce proliferation of β cells. They report the discovery and characterization of WS6, a novel small molecule that promotes β cell proliferation in rodent and human primary islets. [J Am Chem Soc] Abstract

Overexpression of the Antioxidant Enzyme Catalase Does Not Interfere with the Glucose Responsiveness of Insulin-Secreting INS-1E Cells and Rat Islets
The effect of catalase overexpression on mitochondrial function and physiological insulin secretion was studied in insulin-secreting INS-1E and primary islet cells. Scientists demonstrated that an improved antioxidative defense status of insulin-secreting cells allowing efficient H2O2 inactivation is not incompatible with proper insulin secretory responsiveness to glucose stimulation and provide no support for a signaling role of H2O2 in insulin-secreting cells. [Diabetologia] Abstract

Growth Arrest Specific Protein 6 (GAS6): A Role in the Regulation of Proliferation and Functional Capacity of the Perinatal Rat Beta Cell
Scientists propose a role for GAS6 in the regulation of pancreatic beta cells in the critical period around the time of birth. Their results support the hypothesis that the reduced beta cell mass seen in low-protein offspring is caused by a change in the intra-uterine environment that favors premature maturation of the beta cells. [Diabetologia] Abstract

AMP-Activated Protein Kinase as Regulator of P2Y6 Receptor-Induced Insulin Secretion in Mouse Pancreatic β-Cells
Researchers studied the role of P2Y6 receptor in activation of AMP-activated protein kinase in MIN6 mouse pancreatic β-cells and insulin secretion. [Biochem Pharmacol] Abstract

Pre-Culturing Islets with Mesenchymal Stem Cells using a Direct Contact Configuration Is Beneficial for Transplantation Outcome in Diabetic Mice
The authors investigated the capacity of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to improve islet cell survival or β-cell function in vitro using direct and indirect contact islet-MSC configurations. They also investigated whether pre-culturing islets with MSCs improves islet transplantation outcome. [Cytotherapy] Abstract

Dual Effect of Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs) in Pancreatic Islet Apoptosis
To investigate the role of AGEs in β-cell deterioration, the authors evaluated the temporal and dose effects of AGE compounds on apoptosis rate, ROS generation and expression of pro- and anti-apoptotic genes in cultured islets. [Diabetes Metab Res Rev] Abstract


Methylation-Mediated Silencing of the miR-124 Genes Facilitates Pancreatic Cancer Progression and Metastasis by Targeting Rac1
The authors investigated the epigenetic modification of microRNA (miR)-124 genes and the potential function of miR-124 in pancreatic cancer. Using pyrosequencing analysis, they found that miR-124 genes (including miR-124-1, miR-124-2 and miR-124-3) are highly methylated in pancreatic cancer tissues compared with in non-cancerous tissues. [Oncogene] Abstract

SOX15 Is a Candidate Tumor Suppressor in Pancreatic Cancer with a Potential Role in Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling
Investigators identified SOX15 (sex determining region Y-box 15) as a candidate tumor suppressor gene in pancreatic cancer. Expression of SOX15 in pancreatic cancer cell lines with undetectable expression resulted in reduced viability of cancer cells both in vitro and in vivo demonstrating its tumor suppressive capability. [Oncogene] Abstract

Exposure to Bisphenol A Induces Dysfunction of Insulin Secretion and Apoptosis through the Damage of Mitochondria in Rat Insulinoma (INS-1) Cells
Researchers assessed the role of mitochondria-mediated mechanisms underlying bisphenol A-induced β-cell dysfunction and resulting β-cell apoptosis. [Cell Death Dis] Full Article

The Impact of MFG-E8 in Chronic Pancreatitis: Potential for Future Immunotherapy?
Scientists demonstrated that MFG-E8 is significantly up-regulated in chronic pancreatitis (CP) patients and together with fractalkine correlated noticeably with severe fibrosis and the presence of pain. Human pancreatic stellate cells overexpress MFG-E8 upon fractalkine stimulation in vitro, which underlines the suggested immunmodulatory link in CP and may be a key mechanism in CP fibrogenesis and pain generation. [BMC Gastroenterol] Abstract | Full Article

New: STEMdiff™ Definitive Endoderm Kit - For Easy, Standardized hPSC Differentiation


Generating Insulin-Producing Cells for Diabetic Therapy: Existing Strategies and New Development
Since the initial induction of insulin-producing cells from embryonic stem (ES) cells in 1999, several strategies and alternative cell sources have been developed to generate β-like cells, including direct differentiation from ES cells or induced pluripotent stem cells, proliferation of existing adult β-cells, and reprogramming of non-pancreatic adult stem/mature cells or pancreatic non-β-cells to β-like-cells. The authors briefly review the most relevant studies for each strategy, and discuss the comparative merits and drawbacks. [Ageing Res Rev] Abstract

Lorus Therapeutics Announces Issuance of United States Patent for Cancer Therapy IL-17E
Lorus Therapeutics Inc. announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has issued Lorus’ patent for its novel cancer therapy IL-17E. The patent covers the treatment of a wide range of cancers, including breast, lung, colon, pancreatic, gastric and ovarian tumors, as well as melanoma. [Lorus Therapeutics Inc.] Press Release

FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Approval of Canagliflozin for Treatment of Adults with Type 2 Diabetes
Janssen Research & Development, LLC announced that the Endocrinologic and Metabolic Drugs Advisory Committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) voted 10 – 5 to recommend approval for canagliflozin to treat type 2 diabetes in adult patients based on the efficacy and safety results from its comprehensive clinical development program. [Janssen Research & Development, LLC] Press Release

$2 Million Gift Names Fred and Mabel R. Parks Cell Supply Center at the Diabetes Research Institute
The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation announced that the Fred and Mabel R. Parks Foundation has made a $2 million gift to establish the Fred and Mabel R. Parks Cell Supply Center at the Diabetes Research Institute, located at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. [The Diabetes Research Institute Foundation] Press Release


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)


NEW REGEN 2013: Clinical Trials & Reimbursement
March 20-23, 2013
Boston, United States

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


Scientist or Engineer – hPSC Bioengineer (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Position – Diabetes and Beta-Cell Regeneration in Mice (Karolinska Institute)

Postdoctoral Researcher (The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio)

PhD Studentship – Human Pancreatic Beta Cells for Cell Therapy of Diabetes (IDIBELL and University of Barcelona)

Postdoctoral Position – Diabetes Research (Lund University)

Postdoctoral Position – Pancreatic Beta-Cell Dysfunction (Weill Cornell Medical College)

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