Chakravarthy et al. dissect the mechanisms maintaining α cell identity and reveal that simultaneous inactivation of the DNA methyltransferase Dnmt1 and the transcription factor Arx in adult mice drives the conversion of α- to β-like cells. In human T1D islets, glucagon+ cells lose DNMT1 and ARX expression and express β cell markers.
Here, we discuss the latest findings on pancreas and islet cell plasticity upon physiological, pathological and experimental conditions of stress. Understanding the mechanisms involved in cell reprogramming will allow the development of new strategies for the treatment of diabetes, by exploiting the intrinsic regeneration capacity of the pancreas.
The prevalence of diabetes will rise from 2.8% of the total world population in 2000 to 4.4% in 2030. The two prevailing forms of diabetes, named Type 1 and Type 2 (T1D and T2D), are chronic and often lead to life-threatening complications. There is currently no cure for diabetes, due to the poorly understood complex … Continue reading