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Seeking A Cure For Type 1 Diabetes: A New Marker For Identifying Precursors To Insulin-Producing Cells In Pancreas

For the millions of people worldwide with type 1 diabetes who cannot produce , the potential to transplant insulin-producing cells could offer hope for a long-term cure. The discovery of a marker to help identify and isolate stem cells that can develop into insulin-producing cells in the pancreas would be a critical step forward and is described in an article in BioResearch Open Access, a new bimonthly peer-reviewed open access journal from Mary Ann Liebert, The article is available free online at the BioResearch Open Access website*.

Pancreatic stem cells, the precursors of insulin-producing cells, have not yet been identified in humans or animals, and there is much debate about where they may reside. Ivka Afrikanova, Ayse Kayali, , and Alberto Hayek, , , , have identified a biochemical marker – stage-specific embryonic antigen 4 (SSEA4) – that they propose can be used to identify and purify human pancreatic stem cells. The article “Is Stage-Specific Embryonic Antigen 4 a Marker for Human Ductal Stem/Progenitor Cells” ** reports that when grown in culture with high levels of glucose and B27, these SSEA4+ stem cells can differentiate into insulin-producing pancreatic cells.


* http://www.liebertpub.com/biores
** http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/biores.2012.0235
Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News