Functional beta-cell maturation is marked by an increased glucose threshold and by expression of urocortin 3

Nat Biotechnol. 2012 Feb 26;30(3):261-4. doi: 10.1038/nbt.2141.


Insulin-expressing cells that have been differentiated from human pluripotent stem cells in vitro lack the glucose responsiveness characteristic of mature beta cells. Beta-cell maturation in mice was studied to find genetic markers that enable screens for factors that induce bona fide beta cells in vitro. We find that functional beta-cell maturation is marked by an increase in the glucose threshold for insulin secretion and by expression of the gene urocortin 3.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Glucose / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / metabolism
  • Insulin Secretion
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / cytology*
  • Insulin-Secreting Cells / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Pluripotent Stem Cells / cytology
  • Urocortins / deficiency
  • Urocortins / genetics
  • Urocortins / metabolism*


  • Insulin
  • Urocortins
  • Glucose

Associated data

  • GEO/GSE35906