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Reprogrammed pancreatic cells cure type I diabetes

Typically, only pancreatic beta, which lack in people with type I diabetes, cells can produce insulin. Pedro Herrera and colleagues investigated whether human pancreatic alpha and gamma cells from diabetic and non-diabetic donors could be reprogrammed to produce insulin in response to glucose. The authors report that increased expression of two key transcription factors (Pdx1 and MafA) enabled cells to produce insulin — the first direct evidence of plasticity of mature human non-beta pancreatic cells.

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