Collaborative paper on stomach to beta cell reprogramming published in Cell Stem Cell

Graphical abstract V1A manuscript on which Shaun and group member Guanjue Xiang collaborated with Qiao (Joe) Zhou and colleagues at Harvard University has been published. “Reprogrammed Stomach Tissue as a Renewable Source of Functional β Cells for Blood Glucose Regulation” appears in Cell Stem Cell. In this study, the Zhou lab demonstrate that antral stomach cells can be converted into functional pancreatic beta cells (the type of cells missing in type I diabetes patients) via the over-expression of three transcription factors (Ngn2, Pdx1, and MafA). When such transdifferentiated cells were re-implanted into a diabetic mouse model, they served as functional insulin-producing beta cells and suppressed hyperglycemia for at least 6 months. Our role in this study was determining that antral stomach tissues are transcriptionally more similar to pancreatic beta cells compared with other gastrointestinal cells (duodenum, colon), thus potentially explaining their surprising and previously unappreciated propensity for conversion.

This work was highlighted in Cell Stem Cell in an accompanying preview article, and was featured in Forbes Magazine.

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