Scientists at Bangor University in Wales have been awarded a grant to conduct a study into a previously unchecked gene that could prove useful in the treatment of diabetes .
The team, led by Dr John Mulley, and funded by charity Diabetes UK, will examine the role of the Pdx2 gene in creating insulin-producing cells in humans, and hope to find new genetic pathways for insulin regulation or the production of insulin-producing cells. If this is successful, then it could be adapted for human use and potential type 2 diabetes therapies. The study is looking to identify the processes that activate the Pdx2 gene, as it works in a similar way to another gene, Pdx1.
Dr Mulley commented “With diabetes causes on the increase, it’s vital that we explore as many avenues as possible, so that we can understand the disease and the potential opportunities to develop new treatments.” Research has shown that there are over 153,000 people in Wales who are known to suffer from the metabolic condition, with 90 per cent of these being for type 2 diabetes.
Victoria King, head of research at Diabetes UK, also said “Once the insulin-producing beta cells have been destroyed in diabetes they have a limited, or almost non-existent, capacity to regenerate.”
She added “So working out how diverse organisms manage to regenerate insulin-producing cells, or regulate their insulin and glucose levels, can provide information that we can harness to develop ways to treat diabetes .”

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