UMassMed Faculty Page (Formerly of UMass)
Title: WFS1: A Master Negative Regulator of Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress Signaling and an Effective Inducer of Insulin-Producing Cells. UMMS08-40; Patent Pending.
This new discovery provides a potential therapeutic target for type 1 and 2 diabetes. WFS1 has been identified as a master regulator of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response pathway and helps maintain ER homeostatsis and consequently protection of beta cell insulin production. High levels of ER stress have been associated with premature death of pancreatic cells. Lentivirus-mediated WFS1 introduction has been developed to convert exocrine cells into insulin-producing cells in patients with type 1 and 2 diabetes. This innovation application may also prove to be beneficial to other diseases that arise from ER including neurodegenerative diseases.