Lammert E, Brown J, Melton DA. 2000. Notch gene expression during pancreatic organogenesis. Mechanisms of development. 94(1-2):199-203. Pubmed: 10842072


Notch receptors are involved in regulating the balance between cell differentiation and stem cell proliferation during the development of numerous tissues (Artavanis-Tsakonas, S., Matsuno, K., Fortini, M. E., 1995. Notch signaling. Science 268, 225-232). Here the expression of all four vertebrate Notch genes, their ligands, and some down-stream targets is analyzed during mouse pancreatic organogenesis. Notch 1 is the first Notch gene expressed in the pancreatic epithelium, and coexpression with HES 1 suggests that the Notch 1 pathway is activated. Notch 2 expression follows later when pancreatic buds branch and is restricted to embryonic ducts, believed to be the source for endocrine and exocrine stem cells. Notch 3 and Notch 4 are expressed in pancreatic mesenchyme and later in endothelial cells. Together these descriptive data comprise a framework for understanding the cellular basis for Notch function during pancreatic development.

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Doug Melton is pursuing a cure for type 1 diabetes. His lab studies the developmental biology of the pancreas, using that information to grow and develop pancreatic cells (islets of Langerhans). In parallel, they investigate ways to protect beta cells from autoimmune attack.

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