Researchers at the Burnham Institute for Medical Research and the University of California, San Diego have found parallels between how the pancreas develops in the embryo and type II diabetes (also known as adult diabetes). When the pancreas develops in an embryo, a protein called Wnt (pronounced “wint) helps control how the cells mature into insulin-producing cells. In most adults, the pancreas contains very little Wnt protein, but in people with type II diabetes Wnt protein is abundant in the pancreas. The authors suggest that Wnt could be a target for new type II diabetes therapies.
Experimental Diabetes Research: January 20, 2009
CIRM funding: Seung-Hee Lee (T2-00004), Carla Demeterco (T2-00003)
Related Information: Press Release, Burnham Institute for Medical Research