Islet gene expression

Portrait of Lena Eliasson
Lena Eliasson

Principal Investigator

Lena Eliasson, Lund University

Research area description

Type-2 diabetes is a complex disease dependent on both genetic background and life-style factors. The disease is associated with increase in blood glucose level which is due to reduced insulin secretion from the pancreatic β-cell and impaired insulin action at the target cells. Diabetes is also associated with a perturbed glucagon secretion. The main focus of our research is to investigate the regulation of insulin and glucagon secretion with a specific interest in how miRNAs are involved in this regulation. Micro-RNAs (miRNA; 19-23 nt) are a novel class of small endogenous non-coding RNAs. They repress expression of protein-coding genes by binding to the 3’ untranslated region (UTR) through imprecise base-pairing and they thereby arrest the translation without mRNA degradation.

To functionally investigate exocytosis in these cells we utilize the patch-clamp technique. Exocytosis is measured as an increase in membrane capacitance. The patch-clamp technique has the advantage that it is possible to measure on single cells with a high temporal resolution. We also combine these techniques with live confocal microscopy, hormone measurements utilizing RIA as well as necessary molecular biology techniques and protein chemistry.

For more information, please see here.