New article: Beta-Cell Fate: From Gene Circuits to Disease Mechanisms

Hanne Scholz is one of the new authors on this Editorial on Beta-Cell Fate: From Gene Circuits to Disease Mechanisms in Frontiers in Genetics

Diabetes represents a group of energy metabolism pathologies where the most common forms of the disease exhibit a polygenic and multifactorial aetiology (American Diabetes Association, 2005). Diabetes has truly reached worldwide epidemic proportions with 537 million people living with diabetes worldwide (International Diabetes Federation, 2021). While diabetes can be managed, for many people the onset of life-threatening complications including blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke, and lower limb amputation further exacerbates the impact on mortality and morbidity (6.7 million deaths related to diabetes complications were reported in 2021). The major difficulty is distinguishing from the plethora of modulations the ones directly responsible for disease initiation. To date it remains largely unknown what are the external factors and cellular signals leading to insulin-producing β-cells decay or dysfunction are and what molecular mechanisms and cellular processes characterize this transition. Identifying the mechanisms governing the onset and progression of these complex conditions is exceedingly challenging, due to their multifactorial environmental component and the intricate genetic susceptibility interaction. Nevertheless, the past decade registered important advances towards understanding these issues. Moreover, the role of the other pancreatic cell populations in the onset, progression, and treatment of diabetes started to be revealed (Chera and Herrera, 2016). These advances contribute towards a more comprehensive demultiplexing of the large diversity of diabetes mechanisms, which is expected to critically contribute to an unambiguous diabetes reclassification.

The aim of this Research Topic was to provide a snapshot of current studies focused on molecular circuits and cellular processes involved in the development, function, and dysfunction of β-cells, touching multiple aspects of islet niche and disease progression.

Front. Genet., 25 February 2022


Published June 3, 2022 4:22 PM - Last modified June 3, 2022 4:22 PM