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Biochem Soc Trans. 2008 Jun;36(Pt 3):280-5. doi: 10.1042/BST0360280.

EGF receptor in pancreatic beta-cell mass regulation.

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Hospital for Children and Adolescents and the Biomedicum Stem Cell Center, University of Helsinki, 00014 Helsinki, Finland.


Pancreatic islet development is impaired in mice lacking EGFRs (epidermal growth factor receptors). Even partial tissue-specific attenuation of EGFR signalling in the islets leads to markedly reduced beta-cell proliferation and development of diabetes during the first weeks after birth. Out of the many EGFR ligands, betacellulin has been specifically associated with positive effects on beta-cell growth, through both increased proliferation and neogenesis. EGFR action is also necessary for the beta-cell mitogenic activity of the gut hormone GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide 1). Finally, in vitro models demonstrate a central role for EGFR in transdifferentiation of pancreatic acinar and ductal cells into endocrine islet cells. EGFR thus plays an essential role in beta-cell mass regulation, but its mechanisms of action remain poorly understood.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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