Functional validation of T2D dysregulated beta-cell gene regulatory networks

Dr Amaya Lopez
CRC Malmö, Lund University
200 000 SEK - 2019

The pancreatic islets are key regulators of blood sugar. It is established that islet dysfunction is the final culprit in type 2 diabetes (2D), but the exact mechanisms are not known. Studies aiming to understand why have been difficult to pursue due to the complex cellular composition of the islets, The islets are composed of at least 5 cell types and it has not previously been possible to study what fails in T2D in each cell type at a time. This has been made possible thanks to new technology (single-cell RNAsequencing) that enables measurement of the expression of all genes in a single cell. We will use this technique to address what cellular biological processes that fails in which cell type in T2D. We will also functionally test whether computer-assisted predictions of cellular processes translate into true biological processes. This way we are well positioned to identify disease processes that can pave the way for development of novel treatments.