Unveiling novel mechanisms of bêta cell dysfunction and death in diabetes

Diabetes is caused by loss of pancreatic bêta cell functional mass. The molecular mechanisms leading to bêta cell dysfunction and apoptosis remain to be clarified. The aim of this project is to study novel molecular pathways mediating bêta cell dysfunction and death in diabetes related to deficient tRNA modifications, protein translation and endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress.

This will be achieved by studying the pathogenesis of monogenic forms of diabetes caused by mutations in ER stress-related proteins and the tRNA methyltransferase TRMT10A, which cause early onset diabetes and microcephaly. Insight into mechanisms of cellular dysfunction will be gained from human and rodent in vitro and in vivo experimental models.

The work on monogenic diabetes is expected to further the understanding of bêta cell failure in type 2 diabetes, which shares dysregulation of the same biological pathways, and open the way for novel treatment strategies.


Miriam Cnop

Laboratory of Experimental Medicine - ULB Center for Diabetes Research
Faculty of Medicine

Created on August 31, 2018