Sometimes diabetes is diagnosed already in very small babies, during the first six months of life. In these cases, mutations in the gene encoding insulin are often found.
These mutations are only found in one copy of the gene; that means that half of the produced insulin is normal, which should be enough to secure normal blood sugar. However, this is not the case: insulin secretion stops totally after a few months. It is believed that this is caused by a toxic effect of the mutant insulin inside the cell, but the exact mechanisms are poorly understood.
Insulin - Stress - Reaction - Beta - Cell
Mutant insulin is known to cause a chronic stress reaction in the beta cell, and it has been thought that this leads to the death of the cell. It is important to understand the detailed consequences of beta-cell stress, because this may help to develop drugs for the prevention of both rare and common forms of diabetes.
"We now had the chance to test this with real patient-derived cells," tells Professor...
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