Article Abstract

Studying pancreas development and diabetes using human pluripotent stem cells

Authors: David W. Scoville, Anton M. Jetten


For over two decades now, studies into pancreatic development have relied largely on the mouse as a model organism. These studies have generated a wealth of information into the genetic regulatory networks involved in pancreas formation, identifying key transcription factors involved in early pancreatic differentiation, endocrine cell specification, and mature hormone-producing cell production [reviewed recently in (1)]. Many of these genes have been confirmed to play a role in β-cell development in humans as well, with some factors linked to monogenic forms of diabetes, while others through Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) have been linked to increased risk of developing either type 1 or type 2 diabetes mellitus.