In Search of Therapeutic Targets
This is the Third Servier-IGIS Symposium Diabetes Supplement. As members of the International Group on Insulin Secretion (IGIS), we have done the utmost to fulfill the promise made at the First Servier-IGIS Symposium (1): the provision of yearly symposia of the highest scientific significance dealing with insulin secretion, β-cell biology, and islet pathophysiology. These symposia are made possible by a generous unrestricted educational grant from Servier (Paris). This company also manages the complex logistical tasks involved in the organization of these symposia, which are held in a pleasant venue that provides excellent opportunities for scientific exchange.
The Third Servier-IGIS Symposium focused on the ‘Regulation of Insulin Production’ and explored both genetic and molecular mechanisms behind the control of stimulus-secretion coupling in β-cells. A special emphasis was placed on the regulation of K+ATP channels in β-cells and the understanding of cellular mechanisms tranducing nutrient and hormonal signals into insulin release. Importantly, this symposium illustrated how a better knowledge of islet biology and pathology has in turn generated novel concepts and compounds for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The contributions by leading scientists active in these areas constitute the basis of the articles of this supplement; these have been reviewed and carefully edited by the IGIS board and selected referees.
Section 1 is concerned with efforts to discover genes associated with the susceptibility to diabetes mellitus. One identified locus has a major effect on type 1 diabetes susceptibility (IDDM 1), while other loci also have small but significant effects (IDDM 2, IDDM 15). One limitation in studies to date has been the lack of statistical power due to the inadequate size of collections of affected families. With regard to type 2 diabetes, genome scans in families with multiple affected individuals from several racial/ethnic groups have been performed. In one …