Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sophisticated Genetic Engineering Improves Insulin-producing Beta Cells

Date:
October 8, 2009
Source:
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute
Summary:
Researchers have used sophisticated genetic engineering to remove or "knock out" the Lkb1 gene from beta cells of laboratory mice. The result was an increase in both the size and number of beta cells, as well as greater amounts of insulin stored and released by the cells.

One of the biggest mysteries about diabetes is why specialized cells in the pancreas stop secreting insulin, which the body needs in order to store glucose from food. A team from the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) Research Institute has identified a protein that inhibits insulin production in mice -- work that offers a new way of understanding, and perhaps of one day treating, both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.

Related Articles


A study to be published in the journal Cell Metabolism describes how a research group led by Dr. Robert Screaton, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Apoptotic Signaling at the University of Ottawa, used sophisticated genetic engineering to remove or 'knock out' the Lkb1 gene from beta cells of laboratory mice. The result was an increase in both the size and number of beta cells, as well as greater amounts of insulin stored and released by the cells.

Importantly, the improved beta cell function lasted for at least five months, even in mice fed a high-fat diet designed to mimic the high caloric intake associated with Metabolic Syndrome and Type 2 diabetes in humans.

"We were surprised by the impressive accumulation of Lkb1 in beta cells of diabetic mice, which suggested that Lkb1 might contribute to their impaired function. After removal of the Lkb1 gene, the beta cells grow larger, proliferate more, and secrete more insulin. It's a one-stop shop for the much needed insulin", said Dr. Screaton.

"The knockout mice on a high-fat diet have lower blood glucose. If this observation is confirmed in humans, it may give us another clue into the development of Type 2 diabetes, and perhaps new treatment options".

"Type 1 and 2 diabetes, already common diseases, are showing disturbingly steady growth in incidence. The two conditions are among Canada's, and indeed the globe's, greatest health challenges," said Dr. Alex MacKenzie, CEO of the CHEO Research Institute and a physician who treats children with diabetes at CHEO. "The findings of Dr. Screaton's team introduce a novel and unanticipated potential therapeutic avenue for this costly and serious condition. It is some of the most important work to come out of our institute."

Contributors to the study were lead author Accalia Fu, Andy Ng, and Dr. Chantal Depatie of the CHEO Research Institute; Dr. Gen-Sheng Wang, Dr. Fraser Scott, Ying He, and Dr. Rhian Touyz of the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute; Nadeeja Wijesekara and Dr. Michael Wheeler of the University of Toronto; and Dr. Nabeel Bardeesy of Harvard University.

The work was supported by grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. "Sophisticated Genetic Engineering Improves Insulin-producing Beta Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 October 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007124727.htm>.
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. (2009, October 8). Sophisticated Genetic Engineering Improves Insulin-producing Beta Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007124727.htm
Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute. "Sophisticated Genetic Engineering Improves Insulin-producing Beta Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/10/091007124727.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Google To Use Nanoparticles, Wearables To Detect Disease

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Google X wants to improve modern medicine with nanoparticles and a wearable device. It's all an attempt to tackle disease detection and prevention. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Can Drinking Milk Lead To Early Death?

Newsy (Oct. 29, 2014) Researchers in Sweden released a study showing heavy milk drinkers face an increased mortality risk from a variety of causes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

Obama: The US Will Not 'run and Hide' From Ebola

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Surrounded by health care workers in the White House East Room, President Barack Obama said the U.S. will likely see additional Ebola cases in the weeks ahead. But he said the nation can't seal itself off in the fight against the disease. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins