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Hughes and colleagues study cilia and Ca2+ waves in pancreatic islet leader beta cells  

In March, Jing Hughes, MD, PhD and colleagues had their work titled “Molecular phenotyping of single pancreatic islet leader beta cells by ‘Flash-Seq,’” published by Life Sciences. 

Stimulation of insulin secretion occurs by high glucose from increases in cytosolic Ca2+ within pancreatic beta cells. Recent data has also shown that subpopulations of beta cells exist, including “leaders,” which initiate Ca2+ waves. Although, it is unknown if “leader cells possess unique molecular features,” including expression of primary cilia which are functionally linked to Ca2+ and beta cell insulin secretion. 

In their research, the authors find that leader beta cells are defined by distinct cilia gene expression and unique localization, which implies “a role for these features in defining the specialized function of leaders.” In addition, it also raises the possibility that “localised signalling between delta and leader cells contributes to the initiation and propagation of islet Ca2+ waves.” 

Pauline Chabosseau, Fiona Yong, Luis F. Delgadillo-Silva, Eun Young Lee, Rana Melhem, Shiying Li, Nidhi Gandhi, Jules Wastin, Livia Lopez Noriega, Isabelle Leclerc, Yusuf Ali, Jing W. Hughes, Robert Sladek, Aida Martinez-Sanchez, Guy A. Rutter, Molecular phenotyping of single pancreatic islet leader beta cells by “Flash-Seq”. Life Sciences, Volume 316. 2023. 121436, ISSN 0024-3205, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.lfs.2023.121436