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International Journal of Endocrinology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 925143, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/925143
Review Article

Chemical Methods to Induce Beta-Cell Proliferation

Chemical Biology Program, Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

Received 19 March 2012; Accepted 21 May 2012

Academic Editor: A. N. Balamurugan

Copyright © 2012 Amedeo Vetere and Bridget K. Wagner. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Pancreatic beta-cell regeneration, for example, by inducing proliferation, remains an important goal in developing effective treatments for diabetes. However, beta cells have mainly been considered quiescent. This “static” view has recently been challenged by observations of relevant physiological conditions in which metabolic stress is compensated by an increase in beta-cell mass. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlining these process could open the possibility of developing novel small molecules to increase beta-cell mass. Several cellular cell-cycle and signaling proteins provide attractive targets for high throughput screening, and recent advances in cell culture have enabled phenotypic screening for small molecule-induced beta-cell proliferation. We present here an overview of the current trends involving small-molecule approaches to induce beta-cell regeneration by proliferation.