By Reshma Kolala, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology ‘22 Residing in the pancreas are clusters of specialized cells, namely alpha, beta (), and delta cells. cells, more specifically, are insulin-secreting cells that are instrumental in the body’s glucose regulation mechanism. An elevation of the extracellular glucose concentrations allows glucose to enter cells via GLUT2 transporters, where it is subsequently metabolized. The resultant increase in ATP catalyzes the opening of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels, triggering the depolarization of the plasma membrane which in turn stimulates insulin release by cells (1). In individuals with Type 1 Diabetes (T1D), however, pancreatic islet beta cells are damaged by pro-inflammatory cytokines that are released by the body’s own immune cells. The loss of functional beta cell mass induces […]
By Roxanna Pignolet, Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, ‘20 Author’s note: This literature review was originally written as an assignment for my 102B Writing in the Disciplines: Biological Sciences class. At the start of this quarter I was lucky enough to get involved in plant metabolic engineering research in Dr. Patrick Shih’s laboratory, which exposed me to the field of synthetic biology for the first time. I immediately became fascinated with the whole process of engineering plants to produce medically relevant compounds. Through this review I hope to inform others of these surprising and highly relevant applications of plant genetic engineering.