Blum, Barak, Sinisa Hrvatin, Christian Schuetz, Claire Bonal, Alireza Rezania, and Douglas A Melton. 2012. “Functional Beta-Cell Maturation Is Marked by an Increased Glucose Threshold and by Expression of Urocortin 3.” Nature Biotechnology 30 (3) (February 26): 261–264.
Insulin-expressing cells that have been differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells in vitro lack the glucose responsiveness characteristic of mature beta cells. Beta-cell maturation in mice was studied to find genetic markers that enable screens for factors that induce bona fide beta cells in vitro. We find that functional beta-cell maturation is marked by an increase in the glucose threshold for insulin secretion and by expression of the gene urocortin 3.