Do other pancreatic cells produce a protein that improves beta cell survival?

Gavin Bewick
Gavin Bewick

Scientific title: Validation of Y receptors as targets for the maintenance of beta cell mass
Principal Investigator: Dr Gavin Bewick
Institution: King’s College London
Project duration: 01/07/2014 – 31/03/2018

Objective: This project is investigating ways to improve the survival rate of beta cells by looking at the protective abilities of certain other cells in the pancreas. These ‘non-beta’ cells produce a protein that other cells in the body can detect on their surfaces, and destroying the non-beta cells seems to lead to beta cell death.

As a result, the team believes that the protein the non-beta cells produce, or perhaps the receptor that other cells use to detect it, could be behind the protection. If this is the case, the work could lead to a drug that protects beta cells – both remaining naturally occurring cells, and any received in a transplant.

Categories: Cure, Strategic Research Agreement, Beta Cell Therapies