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Absence of LKB1 Gene Increases Insulin Production

Eliminating the LKB1 gene from the beta cells of the pancreas causes the production and secretion of more insulin than from normal beta cells in a mouse model, according to researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and collaborators. This results in an enhanced response to blood glucose levels. The findings have potentially significant implications for those suffering from diabetes due to insufficient production of insulin in the pancreas. Because it was shown that LKB1 negatively regulates both insulin content and secretion, the way has now been opened to possible development of a novel therapy that would limit the presence of this gene in pancreas beta cells, thus enhancing insulin secretion. This work was reported in the October 7 issue of Cell Metabolism. [Press release] [Cell Metabolism abstract]