Pancreatic beta cells within the islets of Langerhans are centrally involved in the pathogenesis of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Describing... Show More
Pancreatic beta cells within the islets of Langerhans are centrally involved in the pathogenesis of both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Describing the differentiated state of the human beta cell has been hampered so far by technical (low resolution microarrays) and biological limitations (whole islet preparations rather than isolated beta cells). We circumvent these by deep RNA sequencing of purified beta cells from 11 individuals, presenting here the first characterization of the human beta cell transcriptome. Additionally, we perform the first comparison of gene expression profiles between beta cells, whole islets (N=7) and beta cell depleted islet preparations (N=5), revealing thus beta cell specific expression signatures. Finally, we combine this with whole-genome sequencing data for 7 of our donors, describing here the first set of genetic variants controlling inter-individual variability in beta cell gene expression.
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