Creating new β cells: cellular transmutation by genomic alchemy.


Journal Article

To address insulin insufficiency, diabetes research has long focused on techniques for replacing insulin-producing β cells. Studies in mice have suggested that, under some conditions, α cells possess the capacity to transdifferentiate into β cells, although the mechanisms that drive this conversion are unclear. In this issue, Bramswig et al. analyzed the methylation states of purified human α, β, and acinar cells and found α cells exhibit intrinsic phenotypic plasticity associated with specific histone methylation profiles. In addition to expanding our understanding of this potential source of β cells, this compendium of carefully generated human gene expression and epigenomic data in islet cell subtypes constitutes a truly valuable resource for the field.

Full Text

Cited Authors

  • Moss, LG

Published Date

  • March 2013

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 123 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 1007 - 1010

PubMed ID

  • 23434598

Pubmed Central ID

  • 23434598

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1558-8238

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9738

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1172/JCI68348


  • eng