A newly developed stepwise process can transform mouse skin cells into insulin-secreting beta cells, report researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (Li K et al. Cell Stem Cell. 2014;14:228-236).
When the investigators treated the fibroblasts with a unique cocktail of molecules and reprogramming factors, the cells transformed into endoderm-like cells. Further treatment with additional compounds transformed the cells into pancreatic progenitor-like cells (PPLCs) that could be coaxed to mature in laboratory dishes into insulin-secreting cells.
Hampton T. New Method for Generating Insulin-Secreting Beta Cells. JAMA. 2014;311(13):1282. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.3429