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New role discovered for molecule important in development of the pancreas
Date:7/10/2009

wo additional endocrine cell genes, Hnf1b and Foxa2.

"Pdx1 not only directly regulates Ngn3, it also indirectly regulates it by controlling the regulatory network of Sox9, Foxa2, Hnf6, and Hnf1b," she explains.

The most immediate implications of the findings also suggest a molecular mechanism for why those individuals who harbor mutations in Pdx1 get diabetes. If Pdx1 controls Ngn3, and Ngn3 governs endocrine progenitor cell formation, then loss of Pdx1 should result in a loss of endocrine lineages, including beta cells.

That appears to be the case in mice. Now, says Stoffers, the question is: Does this regulatory pathway look and act the same in humans as in mice? "It is likely that the mechanisms are the same, but we would like to directly test that," concludes Stoffers.


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Contact: Karen Kreeger
karen.kreeger@uphs.upenn.edu
215-349-5658
University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
Source:Eurekalert  

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