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Protein power: Researchers trigger insulin production in diabetic mice
Date:1/8/2008

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Whats so innovative about UFs approach is the ability to normalize blood glucose levels in diabetic mice simply by delivering Pdx1 protein in the target cells, thus effectively eliminating the side effects associated with gene therapy, Yang said.

Dr. Joel Habener, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School whose research team was one of three groups that discovered Pdx1 and identified it as an important regulator of pancreas development, said using viruses as vectors for gene therapy in humans can pose problems because of the bodys immune reaction to them. He heralded the UF findings and said the idea of using a protein to correct a condition like diabetes is appealing because it is naturally occurring, not a chemical compound thats been synthesized from the mind of a chemist thats a foreign substance.

What these findings teach is there is promise for a therapeutic approach to the treatment of diabetes, he said. I think one of the really major breakthroughs here is the demonstration of principle that the naked protein in and of itself can get into cells and cause changes that are remarkable in a mouse model of type 1 diabetes, the regeneration of the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas.


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Contact: Melanie Fridl Ross
ufcardiac@aol.com
352-273-5810
University of Florida
Source:Eurekalert

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